Fulfillingness' First Finale

Fulfillingness' First Finale

by Stevie WonderStevie Wonder


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After the righteous anger and occasional despair of the socially motivated Innervisions, Stevie Wonder returned with a relationship record: Fulfillingness' First Finale. The cover pictures his life as an enormous wheel, part of which he's looking ahead to and part of which he's already completed (the latter with accompanying images of Little Stevie, JFK and MLK, the Motor Town Revue bus, a child with balloons, his familiar Taurus logo, and multiple Grammy awards). The songs and arrangements are the warmest since Talking Book, and Stevie positively caresses his vocals on this set, encompassing the vagaries of love, from dreaming of it ("Creepin'") to being bashful of it ("Too Shy to Say") to knowing when it's over ("It Ain't No Use"). The two big singles are "Boogie on Reggae Woman," with a deep electronic groove balancing organic congas and gospel piano, and "You Haven't Done Nothin'," an acidic dismissal of President Nixon and the Watergate controversy (he'd already written "He's Misstra Know-It-All" on the same topic). As before, Fulfillingness' First Finale is mostly the work of a single man; Stevie invited over just a bare few musicians, and most of those were background vocalists (though of the finest caliber: Minnie Riperton, Paul Anka, Deniece Williams, and the Jackson 5). Also as before, the appearances are perfectly chosen; "Too Shy to Say" can only benefit from the acoustic bass of Motown institution James Jamerson and the heavenly steel guitar of Sneaky Pete Kleinow, while the Jackson 5 provide some righteous amens to Stevie's preaching on "You Haven't Done Nothin'." It's also very refreshing to hear more songs devoted to the many and varied stages of romance, among them "It Ain't No Use," "Too Shy to Say," "Please Don't Go." The only element lacking here, in comparison to the rest of his string of brilliant early-'70s records, is a clear focus; Fulfillingness' First Finale is more a collection of excellent songs than an excellent album.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/21/2000
Label: Motown
UPC: 0601215735628
catalogNumber: 157356
Rank: 8866

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stevie Wonder   Primary Artist,Harmonica,Keyboards,Vocals,Various
Deniece Williams   Vocals,Background Vocals
Paul Anka   Vocals,Background Vocals
Jackson 5   Vocals,Background Vocals
Persuasions   Background Vocals
Minnie Riperton   Vocals,Background Vocals
Michael Sembello   Guitar
Bobbye Hall   Percussion,Bongos,Conga,Quica
Sneaky Pete Kleinow   Pedal Steel Guitar
Shirley Brewer   Vocals,Background Vocals
Malcolm Cecil   electronics
Jim Gilstrap   Vocals,Background Vocals
Lani Groves   Vocals,Background Vocals
James Jamerson   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Larry Latimer   Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals
Robert Margouleff   electronics
Reggie McBride   Bass
Syreeta Wright   Vocals,Background Vocals
Bobbye Porter   Bongos,Conga
Dennis Williams   Background Vocals
Rocky   Conga

Technical Credits

Malcolm Cecil   Programming,Engineer
Robert Margouleff   Programming,Engineer
Gary Olazabal   Engineer
Stevie Wonder   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Yvonne Wright   Composer
Mathieu Bitton   Reissue Package Design
Joan Decola   Engineer

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