Stevie Wonder - vocals, piano, keyboards; Shirley Brewer - backing vocals; Scott Edwards - bass; Jim Gilstrap - backing vocals; Lani Groves - backing vocals; Loris Harvin - backing vocals; Terry Hendricks - backing vocals; Trevor Laurence - saxophone; Ollie Brown - drums, vocals; Steve Madaio - trumpet; Ray Parker, Jr. - guitar; Greg Phillinganes - keyboards; Denny Morouse - saxophone
Stevie Wonder had spent a good portion of 1972 opening for The Rolling Stones on their Exile On Main Street Tour; and the experience gave Wonder the impetus to bring his music to a huge, diverse fan base. He was now equally comfortable performing in front of smaller, intimate groups of soul music fans and large, predominantly white rock audiences. And both loved Wonder back with equal enthusiasm.
This recording came on the heels of Talking Book, Wonder's breakthrough 1972 album. While on this tour, he was writing the material that would eventually appear on 1973's Innervisions. This recording does suffer from an overpowering backup band that seems to get in the way of Wonder's talented playing and vocals during some of the songs.
In general, this is a very powerful live recording, and it remains a testament to the enormous talent of Stevie Wonder. When grouped together, it is amazing how many monumental songs he has written and recorded: "What's Going On," "For Once In My Life," "If You Really Love Me," "Superwoman," "Sign Sealed Delivered," the always infectious "Superstition" and "My Cherie Amour," here fused with an instrumental version of the Marvin Gaye classic,
Rare highlights include Wonder's astonishing version of "Me & Mrs. Jones," which is clearly as good as the Billy Paul original. Also, check out Stevie's version of Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind," clearly the funkiest flavor of protest folk song you're ever likely to hear.
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