A CELEBRATION OF STEVIE WONDER’S “SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE”, May 16 2020
The album performed in its entirety by an All-Star band.
Presented by Scott Petito and featuring: Danielia Cotton, Rachel Z, Joey Eppard Danny, Blume, Chogyi Lama, Bill Harris, Tyler Wood, Leslie Ritter, Chris Pasin ….and some very special to be announced performers!
*Songs in the Key of Life* was the culmination of a historic period of creativity for Stevie Wonder. Its ambition and scope were unprecedented, and he never approached its caliber or impact again.
Songs in the Key of Life is the eighteenth album by American singer, songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder. It was released on September 28, 1976, by Tamla Records, a division of Motown. The album has been regarded by music journalists as the culmination of Wonder’s “classic period” of recording. Some observers count six classic albums, some countfive, and others count four.
The album was recorded primarily at Crystal Sound studio in Hollywood, with some sessions recorded at the Record Plant in Hollywood, the Record Plant in Sausalito, and The Hit Factory in New York City. Final mixing was performed at Crystal Sound. By 1974, Wonder was one of the most successful figures in popular music. Within a short space of time, the albums Talking Book, Innervisions and Fulfillingness’ First Finale were all back-to-back critical successes. By the end of 1975, Wonder became serious about quitting the music industry andemigrating to Ghana to work with handicapped children. He had also expressed his anger with the way that the U.S. government was running the country. Though a farewell concert was being considered as the best way to retire, Wonder changed his decision and signed a new contract with Motown on August 5, 1975 which was a seven-year, seven LP, $37 million deal and gave him full artistic control, making this the largest recording dealin history at the time.
An ambitious highly anticipated double LP with a four-song bonus EP, Songs in the Key of Life debuted at number one on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart, becoming only the third album to achieve that feat and the first by an American artist at the time.
The lead single “I Wish” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The follow-up single “Sir Duke” also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Songs in the Key of Lifespent thirteen consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming the album with the most weeks at number one during the year. It was the second best-selling album of 1977 in the US. In 2005, Songs in theKey of Life was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Songs in the Key of Life won Album of the Year at the 19th Grammy Awards. It is the best-selling and most critically acclaimed album of Wonder’s career. Widely regarded as one of the greatest albums in the history of recorded music, many musicians have remarked on the quality ofthe album and its influence on their own work. Additionally, notable musicians have cited it as the greatest album of all time. It was voted number 89 in Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums and ranked number 57 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
In 2002, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
In 2005, Songs in the Key of Life was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, which deemed it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.