Music News

Stevie Wonder

Even the greatest artists have difficulty staying at their creative peak, as Stevie Wonder's career demonstrates. During roughly a five-year period bookended by 1972's underrated Music of My Mind, released just prior to the stage when the hits rained down in torrents, and 1976's masterful Songs in the Key of Life, Wonder seemingly could do no wrong. His recordings were sales smashes, and he earned praise from his industry peers, who awarded him shelf upon shelf of Grammys, and critics typically resistant to lauding mainstreamers. Wonder made plenty of enjoyable tuneage prior to this glorious run and some good-to-decent stuff afterward that was often overshadowed by dreck. ("I Just Called to Say I Love You," anyone?) Still, his legend is founded on that half-decade-long phase when his passion burned brightest, generating enough heat to sustain him, and his fans, for the rest of his life.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts