It’s 40 years this month since Stevie Wonder released not just arguably his greatest ever album, but an LP which is regularly listed as being one of the greatest by any artist of any era. Innervisions was astoundingly already Stevie Wonder’s 16th studio album when it was released by the 23 year old prodigy in August of 1973.
Most famous for possibly the funkiest spiritual of the decade Higher Ground (did the Red Hot Chili Peppers know it was “He” with a capital H when they covered it in the late 80s?), Innervisions also boasted the cinematic Living For The City, the joyous Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing and the slow-burning anger of He’s Misstra Know It All. All those songs were hits, so I thought I’d dig out an album track for Innervisions’ 40th birthday, another funky spiritual entitled Jesus Children Of America.
Always one for a fairly broad interpretation of Christianity, Jesus Children Of America mentions both Mother Mary and transcendental meditation and stands alongside Higher Ground and the following year’s Heaven Is 10 Zillion Lights Away and They Won’t Go When I Go as Wonder’s strongest entries into genre of secular artist spirituals.
Speaking of which, Wonder is reportedly fulfilling a promise he made to his late mother and is soon (which in more recent Wonder years could mean “within the decade”) to release an album of gospel songs as well as another album of secular material. In the meantime, here is Jesus Children Of America: