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Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster
Where I'm Coming From is a 1971 album by Stevie Wonder. The album was released by Motown Records on April 12, 1971 and debuted on the Billboard Pop Albums at #62, and on the Billboard R&B Albums Chart at #10.
All nine songs were written by Wonder and Motown singer-songwriter Syreeta Wright, his first wife. It was the last album produced under his first contract with Motown Records. Including live albums, this is Stevie Wonder's fifteenth album overall, and thirteenth studio album.
Motown's founder Berry Gordy had maintained tight control over his company's productions, but as the artists' careers progressed, they began to feel the need for the allowance of social consciousness and artistic freedom in their recordings.
Stevie Wonder was one of the Motown artists, along with Marvin Gaye, who wanted to expand with new styles and musical techniques, some of which became more apparent in the earlier album For Once In My Life.
Although Wonder had begun producing his own recordings, Motown still retained control over the content of his albums. Tensions increased as Wonder approached his twenty-first birthday; his contract had a clause which allowed Wonder to void it upon becoming a legal adult.
When the president of Motown approached Wonder about renegotiating his contract, Wonder refused and asked for his contract to be voided.
Anticipating this event, Wonder took advantage of the fact that Motown would be forced to accept whatever he gave to them, and was able to produce Where I'm Coming From without any outside interference from the company. In particular, the song "I Wanna Talk To You", which portrayed a racially-charged dialog between a black man and an old southern white man (Wonder portrayed both characters) is also a covert reference to his breakaway from Gordy and Motown (particularly apparent in the ad-libbed line "I'm gonna take my share...!")
Where I'm Coming From, which departed drastically from the Motown Sound employed in previous Stevie Wonder albums, yielded the U.S. number-eight hit single, "If You Really Love Me".
The soft ballad "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer" (a predecessor to the later recording "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You?)") was also successful. Much of the rest of the album was social commentary and war-themed songs.
The album foreshadows Wonder's "classic period" albums with its production approach and range of material. Wonder further developed the use of the Hohner clavinet that was to be fully explored on the classic period albums. Like Wonder's earlier albums, several tracks on Where I'm Coming From use Motown studio musicians the Funk Brothers, and also make use of string orchestras.
Released at around the same time as Marvin Gaye's What's Going On album, with similar ambitions and themes, they have been compared; in a contemporary review by Vince Aletti in Rolling Stone, Gaye's album was seen as successful, while Wonder's album was seen as failing due to "self-indulgent and cluttered" production, "undistinguished" and "pretentious" lyrics, and an overall lack of unity and flow.
01. "Look Around" – 2:45
02. "Do Yourself a Favor" – 6:10
03. "Think of Me as Your Soldier" – 3:37
04. "Something Out of the Blue" – 2:59
05. "If You Really Love Me" – 3:00
06. "I Wanna Talk to You" – 5:18
07. "Take Up a Course in Happiness" – 3:11
08. "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" – 2:53
09. "Sunshine in Their Eyes" – 6:58
1. Stevie Wonder
2. Stevie Wonder
3. Stevie Wonder
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"Gin Blossoms" is an American rock band formed in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona. They first came to notice with the song "Hey Jealousy" from their first major label album, ''New Miserable Experience'' (1992), but this achievement was coupled with the firing and eventual suicide of the song's author and band co-founder Doug Hopkins, prompting the title of their follow-up album, ''Congratulations I'm Sorry'' (1996). After a series of charting singles, the band broke up in 1997. They reunited in 2002 and released a fourth album, ''Major Lodge Victory'', in 2006, and a fifth, ''No Chocolate Cake'', in 2010.
In late 80’s Gin Blossoms started to grow a huge following as the #1 local music draw in Phoenix and certainly were the hometown hero’s of their favorite hang, Tempe, Arizona. Gin Blossoms indelible jangle-pop sound was evolving during radio’s diverse mix of hair bands and grunge music superstars like Nirvana. After the Phoenix New Times chose them the cities best rock band, they qualified to play at the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin Texas in 1989. That same year, College Music Journal dubbed them the “Best Unsigned Band in America” and added an invitation to perform on MTV’s New Music Awards in New York City.
Taking their name from a caption on a W.C. Fields photo, Gin Blossoms signed a record deal with A&M and recorded their first EP “Up And Crumbling” in 1991. But, it was not until their breakout record “New Miserable Experience” in 1992 that their rise to fame began. “New Miserable Experience” kept the band on the charts for almost 3 years with singles “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” “Until I Fall Away,” “Mrs Rita,” and “Found Out About You.” The album took the airwaves by siege and held MTV hostage with multi cross-over hits in 4 different radio formats. It was this record that rocketed the band into the mainstream going on to sell over 4 million copies making the band a 90’s radio mainstay. In 1995, Robin Wilson, Jesse Valenzuela and veteran composer Marshall Crenshaw wrote the bands 4th of 9 sound track inclusions; “Til I Hear It From You.” The smash hit was released as a Gin Blossoms single and it appeared on the platinum sound track for the film Empire Records.
1996 saw the final record of the decade for Gin Blossoms “Congratulations I’m Sorry.” The album brought two more hits; "Follow You Down" which spent ten weeks in the Top Ten and "As Long As It Matters" which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by a Duo or Group. “It was pretty cool to lose a Grammy to the Beatles.
Who else would you want to lose out to” say’s Jesse. The album rocketed into Billboard's Top Ten and a year of touring helped push the record past 1,500,000 in sales. In 5 years, the band released 2 EP’s, two LP’s and over 12 singles that fueled record sales to over 7 million. Their blend of Pop & Rock, now known as Jangle-Pop, became a musical force that helped define the sound of 90’s radio.
In 1997, while at peak success and after numerous appearances on late night TV such as Letterman, Leno, Arsenio Hall, Saturday Night Live, The Grammy’s, and endless touring, the group disbanded and began a four year hiatus. It was not until a 2001 New Years Eve performance in Tempe that the members reformed and began touring and recording again. “Since 2001, we have been performing over 120 shows a year. This is what we most enjoy doing” say’s Wilson. “It’s our job and I know all of us are really grateful that we can earn a living making records and entertaining people on the road. We’re doing something we really love! I don’t know many people that can say that when they go to work everyday.”
In 2005, former A&M president Al Cafaro resigned the band and partnered to record their 3rd full length album in over 10 years. “Major Lodge Victory” landed on Billboards 200 and was the # 10 Indie album of the year. Released on August 8th, 2006, it included hits “Learning The Hard Way” and the appropriately titled “Long Time Gone.” Billboard magazine called this gem “an effortless triumph of melodic perfection.”
“This was a really fun record to make” say’s Scotty. “We assembled some of the old team together and recorded at Ardent Studios with John Hampton again. Ardent is a legendary studio, and were comfortable there – it was a lot of fun.” Back in chart bloom, Entertainment Weekly reviewed “Major Lodge Victory” by saying; “Hardly a half-hearted cash-in, this comeback LP marks a solid addendum to Gin Blossoms multi-platinum peak output.”
Their most recent album, 2010’s “No Chocolate Cake”, lands Gin’s back on the singles chart again with “Miss Disarray” and the album shot straight to # 1 on Amazon, hitting Billboard’s top 200 at # 73 and the Indie chart at #14. Because the band members no longer live in the same city—Wilson divides his time between Tempe and New York, Valenzuela is in Los Angeles. Putting the sonic pieces of No Chocolate Cake together presented an exciting new challenge for the band. While Wilson contributed a handful of songs, the bulk of the material chosen for the 11 track set was written by Valenzuela either solo or with different collaborators, including Danny Wilde of The Rembrandts (the Blossoms guitarist first worked with Wilde on The Rembrandts’ song “Long Walk Home”).
“In the old days, we used to joke that there was something for everybody in this band,” says Wilson. “There’s just something about the way we play and sound together, but in the end, it’s really about the quality of the songs. If you’re a band and want to sustain a career, no matter what you look like or how you play, you’ve got to have great songs. So it’s those songs and the sound we make…my voice, the guitars, tempos, that add up to something indefinable.”
Over the years, Gin Blossoms have toured over 25 different Countries including a five city tour of Iraq in 2010. “It was so much fun to entertain our troops. It’s really insightful to see first hand how our troops live in a combat zone. It really helped to broaden my understanding on the sacrifices they make to protect us at home and abroad. I hope all Americans understand how important it is for us to extend our thanks” says Robin.
Gin Blossoms are currently writing a brand new record and hope to finish in time for a 2013 release. “We never rush the writing of a new record” says Jesse. “There’s something to be said for having a level of experience where you instinctively know what works. The best ones are those that feel like they’ve already been there, as if they are just waiting to naturally emerge. I think it’s the quality of the songs we have and Robin’s voice. It’s also a matter of trust. I know when I bring in a song that Robin will know how to sing it, Scotty will know how to play it and Bill will know the groove. I wouldn’t work with guys I had to tell what to do. The key is to not try so hard.”
2013 will bring the band to over 100 cities, a 5 Artist rock cruise, international shows and perhaps a brand new album – stay tuned!
Live at Canyon Club 2003
01. Follow You Down
02. Mrs. Rita
03. Hands Are Tied
04. Competition Smile
05. Seeing Stars
06. Cajun Song
07. Idiot Summer
08. Day Job
09. As Long As It Matters
10. Just South of Nowhere
01. Lost Horizons
02. Pieces of the Night
03. Found Out About You
04. Hold Me Down
05. Until I Fall Away
06. Til I Hear It From You
07. Allison Road
08. Hey Jealousy
09. Rocket Man
10. I Need To Know (Cut)
Part 1: Gin Blossoms
Part 2: Gin Blossoms
Part 1: Gin Blossoms
Part 2: Gin Blossoms
Part 1: Gin Blossoms
Part 2: Gin Blossoms