Signed, Sealed, Delivered

It’s a ridiculous exercise to pick one Motown album and crown it king of the collection, but there’s certainly nothing foolish about showering praise on Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed and Delivered,” released August 7, 1970. There’s the title track, which is of course, beyond iconic, but it’s everything else that deserves special attention too. With all do respect to The Beatles, “We Can Work it Out” is a good song, but not their best. (This is not a slight to the Beatles–I love the Beatles–but I’ve got to call it like I see it). Stevie’s version is brilliant. “Heaven Help Us All” is a gospel anthem. “Sugar” is a no. 1 hit that never reached no. 1 for reasons I will never know. “Joy (Takes Over Me)” is a fierce groove that hits hard for each of its 134 seconds. And, rounding out the selection, “I Gotta Have a Song” and “Something to Say” point towards Stevie’s future releases, paving the way for Innervisions” and “Songs in the Key of Life.” The album reached #25 on the Billboard Pop Album chart and #7 on the R&B.

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