Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Stevie Wonder - Send One Your Love (1979)

Send One Your Love
b/w Send One Your Love (Instrumental)

Released: November 1979 (Motown)
Written by: Stevie Wonder
Produced by: Stevie Wonder
Album: Stevie Wonder's Journey Through "The Secret Life of Plants"

 U. S. Billboard Charts:
 Hot 100 4

Man, this thing is smooth. Admittedly, I, like most Stevie fans, were disappointed in the mostly instrumental album that followed Wonder's landmark album, Songs in the Key of Life.  And this single is way more adult contemporary than funk.  Still, it's Wonder writing a memorable ascending melody over descending chords beautifully provided by electric piano and background vocals.  Love that contrary motion.  Plus, I love a sweet Stevie Wonder harmonica solo.  The song has been covered several times, most recently in the smooth jazz genre where it fits perfectly.

I haven't seen the movie that Stevie's album was based on; I will put that on my to do list (it's available here). But based on context, I'm assuming that Stevie isn't necessarily singing to another human being, but maybe a plant of some sort.  This quote from the 2006 book The Sound of Stevie Wonder: His Words and Music by James E. Perone probably explains it better than I can:
This gentle ballad finds Wonder suggesting a return to the romanticism of the past: a time in which love was expressed both by the giving and receiving of flowers and the metaphorical flowers of the heart. Although "Send One Your Love" works as a romantic love song - undoubtedly there were couples at the time for which it was "our song" - the jaded listener might describe it as too sappy.
Count me as among the unjaded, then.

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