My Record Collection 215

Stevie Wonder – started off as a teen sensation for Tamla Motown, singing breezy pop songs, but by the early Seventies he was writing and recording some innovative new music; a cross between black soul and gospel and rock, interspersed with some delicate love songs.  My first is Talking Book (1972) – a truly incredible album, starting with ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’ and ending on ‘I believe When I Fall in Love’ – but including the truly remarkable ‘Superstition’ and ‘Maybe Your Baby’.  What an album.  Innervisons followed in ’73 – and I somehow lost interest.  It is not a bad album, but it seems to have lost focus somewhat – best are ‘Living For the City’ and He’s Mistra Know-It-All’.  So, for whatever reason I stopped buying his albums.  Of course, I couldn’t resist an early greatest Hits – I Was Born To Love Her – all the early Sixties hits are here, and jolly fine to sing along to, they are.  Faves are ‘Signed Sealed Delivered’, ‘YesterMe, YesterYou, Yesteday’ and Signed Sealed Delivered’.  Great stuff.

Woody Guthrie – The father of American folk.  Purely for purists though. I have a greatest hits collection which includes ‘This Land is Our Land’  Otherwise it is very traditional early American folk – a few of the songs were sung by Dyan on World Gone Wrong. 

Yardbirds – This band came out in the early 60’s and at one time were almost as popular as the Stones.  But despite a rosta of brilliant guitarists they never quite made the big time.  They were just too fixated on the blues, rather than branching out ito a more pop sound.  Anyway, just the one album –  Greatest Hits, which is okay, best song ‘For Your Love’ – but not the greatest album.

Yazoo – A short lived but incredible combination of Alison Moyet on vocals and Chris Clarke (ex Depeche Mode) on keyboards and synths.  They were bright and breezy and just ahead of their time.  Only the one album Upstairs At Erics (1981).  And what an album it was – hardly off my record deck when it first came out.  Best songs – best tracks ‘Only You’, ‘Don’t Go’ and Midnight’ – but there isn’t a bad track on the album. Still great to listen to now.  The band split after 2 years and 2 albums; Vince to Erasure and Alison to a great solo career (see M)

Trisha Yearwood – Another very good American country singer; there are quite a lot.  Only one album  – Where Your Road Leads (1998), and very nice listening it is, without really making you sit up and say ‘Wow’.