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Music of My Mind

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Music of My Mind
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 3, 1972
GenreProgressive soul[1]
Stevie Wonder chronology
Where I'm Coming From
Music of My Mind
Talking Book
Singles from Music of My Mind
  1. "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)"
    Released: April 25, 1972
  2. "Keep on Running"
    Released: August 15, 1972

Music of My Mind is the fourteenth studio album by American singer, songwriter, and musician Stevie Wonder. It was released on March 3, 1972, by Tamla Records, and was Wonder's first to be recorded under a new contract with Motown that allowed him full artistic control over his music. For the album, Wonder recruited electronic music pioneers Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff as associate producers, employing their custom TONTO synthesizer on several tracks.[2] The album hit No. # 21 in the Billboard LP charts, and critics found it representative of Wonder's artistic growth, and it is generally considered by modern critics to be the first album of Wonder's “classic period”.


Wonder became interested in using synthesizers after hearing the music of electronic group Tonto's Expanding Head Band.[3] Inspired after a meeting with the group's members, Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff, in May 1971, he began utilizing Arp and Moog synthesizers, stating that "the synthesizer has allowed me to do a lot of things I've wanted to do for a long time but were not possible till it came along."[3] Margouleff and Cecil associate produced, engineered, and handled Moog programming for the album, and would go on to collaborate with Wonder on his next three albums. Wonder produced the album and played all of the instruments himself, except for the trombone on "Love Having You Around", which was played by Art Baron, and the guitar on "Superwoman", which was played by Howard "Buzz" Feiten.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Austin Chronicle[5]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[6]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[7]
The Great Rock Discography7/10[8]
Los Angeles Times[9]
MusicHound R&B[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[12]

When Music of My Mind was first released on March 3, 1972, it became a modest success with both black and white audiences in the United States, charting at number six and number 21 on the Billboard R&B and pop charts, respectively.[13] Contemporary critics viewed it as Wonder's final step into artistic maturity.[14] In Rolling Stone, Vince Aletti said it showcased the ambitious use of Wonder's newfound artistic control and maturity as a songwriter, although he found some of the studio and vocal effects both gimmicky and self-indulgent.[15] Robert Christgau of Creem believed that, like Ray Charles, Wonder transcended aesthetic sensibilities on Music of My Mind, which he said featured "some of the most musical synthesizer improvisations yet", but whose individual songs were not as impressive as the "one-man album" concept.[16] Cash Box particularly praised the Moog synthesizer work on the single "Keep on Running."[17] Penny Valentine was more enthusiastic in her review for Sounds, viewing the record as a milestone in modern music and a culmination of soul music's creative maturity. She especially praised Wonder's arrangement of "intriguing vocal patterns" on what she deemed "an album of explosive genius and unshackled self-expression".[14]

The album was voted number 645 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[18] In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number 284 on the magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time;[citation needed] it was number 285 on the 2012 version of the list,[19] and 350 on the 2020 edition.[20]

In 2008, the album was re-released in the UK to coincide with Wonder's European tour.[21]

The songs "Sweet Little Girl" and "Evil" feature prominently at the beginning and end of "Teddy Perkins", the sixth episode of the second season of the acclaimed FX television show Atlanta.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Stevie Wonder, unless stated otherwise

Side one
1."Love Having You Around"Wonder, Syreeta Wright7:21
2."Superwoman" 8:04
3."I Love Every Little Thing About You" 3:46
4."Sweet Little Girl" 4:54
Total length:24:05
Side two
1."Happier Than the Morning Sun" 5:18
2."Girl Blue"Wonder, Yvonne Wright3:35
3."Seems So Long" 4:27
4."Keep on Running" 6:35
5."Evil"Wonder, Y. Wright3:35
Total length:23:30


  • Stevie Wonder – lead vocals (all), background vocals (1–5, 8), drums (all but 5), handclaps (8), T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer (2, 6, 7, 9), piano (8, 9), Rhodes piano (1–4), talk box (1, 6), harmonica (4, 6), bongos (3), clavinet (5, 8), Moog bass (all)
  • Art Baron – trombone (1)
  • Buzz Feiten – electric guitar (2)
  • Malcolm Cecil – Moog programming, associate producer, engineering
  • Robert Margouleff – Moog programming, associate producer, engineering
  • Syreeta – background vocals (4)
  • Uncredited – background vocals (1, 8, 9)
  • Joan DeCola – recording
  • Rick Rowe – recording

Charting singles[edit]

Year Name US[22] US


1972 Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You) 33 13
Keep on Running 90 36


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1972) Position
U.S. Billboard Pop Albums[24] 21
U.S. Billboard R&B Albums[24] 6

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1972) Position
U.S. Billboard Pop Albums[25] 47
U.S. Billboard R&B Albums[26] 17


  1. ^ Lester, Paul (August 30, 2012). "Stevie Wonder: 'I never thought of being blind and black as a disadvantage". The Guardian. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  2. ^ Hogan, Ed. "Hogan, Ed at". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  3. ^ a b Stubbs, David (2018). Future Sounds: The Story of Electronic Music From Stockhausen to Skrillex. Faber & Faber. pp. 177–179. ISBN 9780571346974. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ Moser, Margaret (May 19, 2000). "Review: Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: W". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 9, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus. p. 1522. OL 11913831M.
  8. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). New York: Canongate. p. 1688. OL 18807297M.
  9. ^ Hilburn, Robert (April 1, 2000). "Motown Releases Remind Us of Stevie Wonder's Impact". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  10. ^ Graff, Gary; Freedom du Lac, Josh; McFralin, Jim, eds. (1998). MusicHound R&B: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink. p. 629. OL 690592M.
  11. ^ Q. London: 123. August 2000.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  12. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Stevie Wonder". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 885–87. ISBN 0743201698. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  13. ^ Perone, James E. (2006). The Sound of Stevie Wonder: His Words and Music. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 30. ISBN 027598723X. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Penny Valentine (1971-12-04). "Sounds review". Sounds. Retrieved 2013-12-27. (subscription required)
  15. ^ Aletti, Vince (April 27, 1972). "Music of My Mind". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 1972). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  17. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. September 2, 1972. p. 14. Retrieved 2021-12-11.
  18. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2006). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 212. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  19. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  20. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2020-09-22. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  21. ^ "Stevie Wonder interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' March 1995". Bluesandsoul.com. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  22. ^ "Stevie Wonder". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  23. ^ "Stevie Wonder". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  24. ^ a b "Allmusic: Sweet Baby James: Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  25. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1972". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  26. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - Year-End". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-06-01.

External links[edit]