Overjoyed (Stevie Wonder song)

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"Overjoyed"
Single by Stevie Wonder
from the album In Square Circle
B-side "Land of La La"
Released 1985
Recorded 1985
Genre R&B
Length 3:41
Label Tamla
Writer(s) Stevie Wonder
Producer(s) Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder singles chronology
"Part-Time Lover"
(1985)
"Overjoyed"
(1985)
"Go Home"
(1986)
In Square Circle track listing
"Go Home"
(8)
"Overjoyed"
(9)
"It's Wrong (Apartheid)"
(10)

"Overjoyed" is a 1985 hit single written and performed by American R&B singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder on the Tamla (Motown) label from his 1985 album In Square Circle. The single peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1986, remaining in the Top 40 for six weeks. In addition, "Overjoyed" was a No. 1 hit on the adult contemporary chart, the eighth (and, to date, last) of his career.[1] An alternate single release featured an instrumental version on the B-side.[2]

The song was written first for the 1979 album Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, but was left off the album, and re-recorded for the album In Square Circle. In the liner notes for the song, "crickets, nightingale & additional bird sounds, ocean, pebbles in pond, stone dropped, crushing leaves" are listed under "environmental percussion". The song was first performed live on the May 7, 1983 broadcast episode of Saturday Night Live, where Wonder was the host and musical guest.

Cover versions[edit]

Bassist Stanley Clarke recorded a cover for his 1986 album Hideaway.[3] It was later covered by Diana Ross for her 1994 Christmas album, A Very Special Season, and by Mary J. Blige as a rare track on her Ballads collection released only in Japan, the latter version famously used in a mid-1990s Air Jordan commercial. Jane Monheit included a cover of the song in her 2007 album Surrender.

Bass virtuoso Victor Wooten included an instrumental cover of the song on his album A Show of Hands. In 2002, guitarist Blake Aaron covered the song on his album With Every Touch.[4] The same year Belgian-French singer Viktor Lazlo recorded the song for her album Amour(s).[5]

In 2009, jazz artist Esperanza Spalding covered the song at the White House at an event to commemorate Stevie Wonder's music.[6]

Progressive metal guitarist Drewsif Stalin recorded a cover of the song for his 2011 EP, Excursion.

Canadian singer Celine Dion performed a cover of the song on select dates of her residency show in Las Vegas, Celine, and since 2011, as a virtual duet with Stevie Wonder.

British pop group Steps covered the song for their 2012 album, Light Up the World.

Wonder appeared alongside Celine Dion singing a new duet cover version on her 2013 studio album Loved Me Back to Life. This version was produced by Tricky Stewart.[7] Jon Maranica of the New York Times called the cover "the most decadent move on the album (Loved Me Back to Life.) Mr. Wonder, lush and flexible, is the exact opposite of Ms. Dion as a singer. On paper, it's a severe mismatch. But Ms. Dion isn't out of tricks — when Mr. Wonder shimmies, she shimmies back, dodging her own shadow."[8] Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic noted in his review on the corresponding album that Dion was "expanding to something a little more modern and something with a subtle but palpable R&B undercurrent. This soulful streak surfaces on the duets ('Overjoyed' and 'Incredible.')"[9]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
Belgium Music chart 33
Canada (RPM) 55
Ireland music Chart 10
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 17
US Billboard Hot 100 24
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
US Billboard R&B Singles 8

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 263. 
  2. ^ "Discogs: Stevie Wonder – Overjoyed". Discogs.com/. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Hideaway overview". Allmusic.com. 
  4. ^ "With Every Touch overview". Allmusic.com. 
  5. ^ "AllMusic: Viktor Lazlo - Amour(s)". AllMusic.com/. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Baram, Marcus (February 25, 2009). "Obamas Honor Stevie Wonder During White House Concert (SLIDESHOW)". Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ http://news.radio.com/2013/03/14/celine-dion-new-album-stevie-wonder-adele-procuers-ne-yo/
  8. ^ Caramanica, Jon; Chinen, Nate (November 4, 2013). "CDs From Celine Dion and Midlake". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/loved-me-back-to-life-mw0002580809

External links[edit]