Talking Book

Label
Universal/Island Def Jam
Release date
11 Apr 2000
Running length
10 tracks
Running time
43:08

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 You Are the Sunshine of My Life 2:58 240,971
2 Maybe Your Baby 6:50 43,959
3 You And I 4:38 39,089
4 Tuesday Heartbreak 3:02 39,641
5 You've Got It Bad Girl 4:58 36,789
6 Superstition 4:08 567,303
7 Big Brother 3:33 38,537
8 Blame It On The Sun 3:25 38,152
9 Lookin' For Another Pure Love 4:43 21,611
10 I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever) 4:53 59,118

About this album

After releasing two “head” records during 1970-71, Stevie Wonder expanded his compositional palate with 1972’s Talking Book to include societal ills as well as tender love songs, and so recorded the first smash album of his career. What had been hinted at on the intriguing project Music of My Mind was here focused into a laser beam of tight songwriting, warm electronic arrangements, and ebullient performances — altogether the most realistic vision of musical personality ever put to wax, beginning with a disarmingly simple love song, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (but of course, it’s only the composition that’s simple). Stevie’s not always singing a tender ballad here — in fact, he flits from contentment to mistrust to promise to heartbreak within the course of the first four songs — but he never fails to render each song in the most vivid colors. In stark contrast to his early songs, which were clever but often relied on the Motown template of romantic metaphor, with Talking Book it became clear Stevie Wonder was beginning to speak his mind and use personal history for material (just as Marvin Gaye had with the social protest of 1971’s What’s Going On). The lyrics became less convoluted, while the emotional power gained in intensity. “You and I” and the glorious closer “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)” subtly illustrate that the conception of love can be stronger than the reality, while “Tuesday Heartbreak” speaks simply but powerfully: “I wanna be with you when the nighttime comes / I wanna be with you till the daytime comes.

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  • Akayz7

    not as good as Innervisions but very sweet.

    26 Jun 7:14pm Reply
  • DickBigems

    We have the aftermath of the relationship and all the self-doubting that can present itself when love ends on "Blame It on the Sun", then "Looking for Another Pure Love" which is basically about moving on, and finally "I Believe" which basically starts the cycle of love all over again, Stevie almost naively thinking that when this next new love comes in his life it'll last forever. Yet it's already acknowledged in the album (specifically on "You & I", but other songs as well) that romantic love is usually kind of temporary thing and there's no telling if and how long it'll last. But that's the kind of naivete that's required for people to continue getting into relationships, otherwise why would someone want to fall in love, if they just figured or knew it was going to end in such heartbreak.

    18 Mar 9:49pm Reply
  • DickBigems

    Talking Book is perhaps Stevie's most personal album, at least as far as emotional accounts of his life go. It's an album about romantic love, a good portion of it dedicated to material about love on the decline, with many of the lyrics having a kind of bleak outlook to them - probably fair to say this had something to do with his divorce at the time to Syreeta Wright (who actually co-wrote some of these songs). Yet for all these disheartening accounts in the album, Stevie still manages to maintain the hopeful and optimistic parts that going into love as well, with songs such as "You are the Sunshine of My Life" and "I Believe", and even the tentative "You & I". The album is great because it manages to chronicle basically all the ups and downs of romantic love, the joy and cheerfulness that it can bring as well as the emptiness and loneliness that can come when it ends (or looks like it's going to end). And the last three tracks are sequenced perfectly for that very reason.

    18 Mar 9:44pm Reply
  • Cazweigun

    Such a great album.

    16 Feb 11:13am Reply
  • Frazerman

    An incredible artistic breakthrough for Stevie.

    14 Feb 11:03pm Reply
  • grandfunk49

    Great album!

    5 May 2013 Reply
  • brandosoul

    Happy 40th to "Talking Book!" Mr. Wonder, thank you for this perfect masterpiece.

    28 Oct 2012 Reply
  • DickBigems

    @hotterthanjuly - Fulfillingness' First Finale received positive reviews and a Grammy. I wouldn't go as far to say it's overlooked, but I'd agree that it deserves just as much recognition as those other three albums - "Talking Book, Innervisions, and Songs in the Key of Life".

    13 Jul 2012 Reply
  • TeenageRiot-

    "I'm black, therefore, I can't be racist" - hotterthanjuly

    12 Jul 2012 Reply
  • TeenageRiot-

    "It's not a race thing, it's a CULTURAL thing" Isn't it funny how racists always seem to use that 'culture not race' argument. "They've always been white males. Every single one." - So you have read EVERY review in existence by a white male on Stevie Wonder? Fat chance, buddy. And there you go again spouting opinions as if they are fact: most critics argue that x albums are better than this one, but they are wrong because I say so. Did it ever occur to you that music is subjective and people interpret the meaning of it differently, or are you just so full of your own self-importance that you failed to realise that other people can hold an opinion contrary to yours? It's not hard to see why most of the last.fm community hate you. Copy this.

    12 Jul 2012 Reply
  • Akayz7

    Dude, race is NO LONGER what makes an opinion more or less worthy, "white people don't like Fulfillingness' First Finale" has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • DeathOfCool

    why must there be racism in this shoutbox? :/

    7 May 2012 Reply
  • javiikiller

    First time I listen this album and all I can say is that it's really great. I'll be listening it a lot.

    7 Mar 2012 Reply
  • granpubah

    ragi ya nuts 2nd best stevie album! lol

    26 Feb 2012 Reply
  • roiboi

    absolutely amazing!

    28 Oct 2011 Reply
  • RaquelTogepi

    353 plays in your library

    24 Jul 2011 Reply
  • mrshankly_

    am I dead? why does this sound better than..everything? if I'm not I'll kill myself for sleeping through his set at Bonnaroo last year. Or be fair and just blame it on that Tennesse sun.

    12 Jun 2011 Reply
  • gsm007g

    1972...Music was A lot more different.....all it was ....was music....Now it's...well thank God for....Two Words: Stevie Wonder....that's It!

    27 Mar 2011 Reply
  • ChatTypeman

    This was always like Stevie's Pet Sounds to me.

    14 Dec 2010 Reply
  • waxear

    Why, oh why isn't modern music produced like this?

    3 Oct 2010 Reply
  • All 51 shouts

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