On this day in music history: January 22, 1977 - “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 5 weeks on January 15, 1977. Written and produced by Stevie Wonder, it is the fifth number one pop and twelfth R&B chart topper for the Motown superstar.
Wonder will come up with the idea for “I Wish” during Motown’s annual 4th of July company picnic. He will go to Crystal Studios in Los Angeles immediately following the picnic, and compose the majority of the song on the spot. Backed by his band Wonderlove, they will cut the basic track that day. While laying down the basic tracks, Stevie will use an ARP 2600 synthesizer to play a counter melody throughout the song, using the monophonic (only note at a time can be played on it, and not chords) keyboard to layer the individual notes of a chord on tape.
Initially, the song’s lyrics have a more serious and darker tone. When he realizes that they are counteractive to the songs’ uplifting groove, he will turn it into a fond remembrance of his childhood growing up in Saginaw, MI. Released as the first single from the landmark album “Songs In The Key Of Life”, “I Wish” will become an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #40 on Decoember 4, 1976, it will climb to the top of the chart seven weeks later.
“I Wish” will return to the top of the chart, in when Will Smith samples a portion of the original track for the title song to the film “Wild, Wild West” in 1999. Digital Underground will also sample the song for a remixed version of their single “No Nose Job” in 1991, as well as being covered by smooth jazz saxophonist Najee in 1995.
It’s Time to Get Paid!
I recently contributed to Everett's thesis research. Here are some things I said about music writing. Photo of me shaking my ass on the hood of
WhitesnakeRayon Moon’s car apropos of not much. Just thought it was a fun photo to share with you. Carry on.
What is the role of the music…