Up-Tight Everything's Alright by Stevie Wonder

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Up-Tight Everything's Alright by Stevie Wonder
Up-Tight Everything's Alright by Stevie Wonder

Album Released: 1966

Up-Tight Everything

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1.Love A Go Go2:46
2.Hold Me2:35
3.Blowin' In The Wind3:46
4.Nothing's Too Good For My Baby2:39
5.Teach Me Tonight2:38
6.Uptight (Everything's Alright)2:55
7.Ain't That Asking For Trouble2:49
8.I Want My Baby Back2:49
9.Pretty Little Angel2:12
10.Music Talk2:56
11.Contract On Love2:06
12.With A Child's Heart3:08


Perhaps it's hard to imagine nowadays, but back in 1965 the "Uptight" single, the song around which this album was built, was a kind of comeback for Stevie Wonder (formerly with 'Little' prefixed to it).

Since the live version of "Fingertips Pt. 2", there had been no more major hits for the child prodigy, but luckily intervention came by in the guise of Sylvia Moy, co-writer and (un-credited) producer for "Uptight", who helped Wonder get back on track, until his popularity as an album artist really took off in the early-70's.

In several ways, Up-Tight is the perfect example of a 1960's Motown album, containing the classic sonic palette and vibe of the most successful music factory of its era, but also containing its main deficiencies, the main one being that it's too formulaic. Because Berry Gordy set an immensely high standard for the 'hits' his writers had to come up with, he also milked those winners for all they were worth.

Up-Tight is no different, as it's a cash-in on the success of the title track and - to a lesser degree - "Nothing's Too Good for My Baby" (a rip-off if there's ever been one) and "Ain't That Asking for Trouble".

The risk of releasing too much material is of course that you'll rip yourself off, which is the case with "Love a Go Go", which blatantly cops the horn melody from the 1964 hit "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & The Vandellas. "Uptight" still stands proudly among many other tracks from that era though - the time when Motown reached its peak (1966 also brought "Tracks of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by The Temptations, and "Reach Out, I'll Be There" by The Four Tops).

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by Reviewer: Guy Peters (blogging at Guy's Music Review Site)

Stevie Wonder's fifth album started the breakaway from his 'Little Stevie' days to becoming a 'real' musical artist. He co-wrote five of the songs, as well as contributing piano, organ, harmonica, and drums, which is all very impressive for someone who was just fifteen at the time (turning sixteen when it was released).

Highlights are the sprightly opener "Love A Go Go", with its brass introduction owing more than a bit to Martha and The Vandella's "Dancing in the Street", the title piece, and - most of all - the rousing "Nothing's Too Good for My Baby".

The tepid cover of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" is less engaging, and marks one of the few Dylan covers where I prefer the original (alright, Peter, Paul and Mary beat them both), and the second half's collection of soul pieces is pleasant more than remarkable, although it's interesting to hear the change in his voice.

The second-to-last song "Contract On Love" has Wonder coming across like the kid he was, but "With A Child's Heart" almost sounds like he's jumped forward ten years.

Although Up-Tight doesn't end up being anything brilliant, it's the three effervescent songs mentioned earlier that really do it for me. The album is certainly a step toward the greatness with which he would eventually bless the musical world.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor