Time For A Big Smile! Stevie Wonder’s Got Something To Say!
For my look at songs in the letter “W”, I had to start with the legendary Stevie Wonder, and one of his most joyous songs:
Stevie Wonder – “Don’t Cha Worry ‘Bout A Thing”
From his Grammy-winng album “Innervisions”, Stevie Wonder’s great song begins with a terrific spoken word intro by Stevie:
“See dig, mama, uh, do ya understand that?
Well uh, like, I can understand how you can’t, because I’ve been uh,
You know, Paris, Beirut, you know, I mean Iraq, Iran, “Ukraingia”, you know
I speak very very um, fluent Spanish
Ah, todo ‘sta bien, chévere, you understand that?
Chevere, bien chevere, is that right mama?
‘Cause I’ve got my shaky…”
He then mumbles briefly before heading into his beautiful groove…
This leads right into one of his most upbeat songs:
“Everybody’s got a thing
But some don’t know how to handle it
Always reaching out in vain
Accepting the things not worth having but
Don’t you worry about a thing
Don’t you worry about a thing, mama
Because I’ll be standing on the side
When you check it out”
Here’s a great live version from 2009:
My wife and I were lucky enough to see this amazing Artist live a couple of years ago, when he performed “Songs In The Key Of Life” in its entirety…here are some of the videos from that night:
Next up is a great British singer, who never quite broke big in the US, but this song should have:
Robbie Williams – “Let Love Be Your Energy”
Robbie Williams had a string of smash hits around the world, including this big and bold love song:
“If you’re willing to change the world
Let love be your energy
I’ve got more than I need
When your love shines down on me”
Williams was successful in the US, but a mega-star elsewhere.
Here is the great music video from 2000:
Next up is a recent hit by a band I saw live at Lollapalooza, and they were terrific:
Walk The Moon – “Shut Up And Dance”
This big pop/rock smash is perhaps the band’s signature song, but they performed for an hour and the crowd loved every catchy minute of it!
Here they are performing “Shut Up And Dance” live at Lollapalooza –
Up next is one of rock’s most iconic lines:
“One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small…and the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all…”
“White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane
They were one of the great counter-culture bands of the 60’s, and lead Singer Grace Slick was a mesmerizing singer…here’s their great performance from the Smothers Brother Show in 1967:
The Smothers Brothers were very controversial for CBS in the late 60’s, especially when George Harrison came on the show to encourage to keep fighting! Here is that fascinating story:
Finally, you can look at the greatest entertainers today, but few can match this:
The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
The raucous rock ‘n’ roll of The Who has endured for decades, and for me, this is the greatest single song of all time:
“I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Pete Townsend wrote the song, a epic statement about youth, rebellion, revolution and acceptance – eight minutes of rage, anger and energy that reaches a crescendo with what is, without a doubt, the greatest howl in rock history:
It’s almost impossible to accurately capture the power of this guttural primal scream that Roger Daltry performs in this song:
The song has great musicianship, two different solo bridges, changes in tempo, and of course, THAT SCREAM.
What follows that scream is a summation that is cutting – and iconic in rock history – as these lyrics end the song:
“Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss…”
Anger, rage – and acceptance that nothing will ever change…
Pete Townsend is famous for his powerful guitar work – and circular assault on the instrument – throughout the song – but the lyrics are just so incredibly powerful – match by the energy of the entire band – here is an amazing performance of the song live from 1977 – one of the greatest live rock songs of all:
The band endures 50 years on – here is a look at their incredible career, with lots of videos:
Let me know your favorite songs with a “W”!