My sister and I loved Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life growing up. Back then, we each had our own favorite songs. And since my sister and I are two different people, those favorites didn’t exactly line up. Even on the song “Ordinary Pain,” we didn’t even like the same parts of the song (she liked the first half; I preferred the second). But despite our differences, there were certain songs we did agree on. “Sir Duke.” “I Wish.” “Knocks Me Off My Feet.” “As” (my personal favorite). And “Another Star,” the Flashback Friday song for today.
There aren’t too many songs in the universe that would take George Benson, perhaps the greatest jazz guitarist of his generation, and make him sing “la la la la la la la la la” for most of an eight minute song. Not only that, you barely hear the thing that made him famous in the first place: his guitar! There also aren’t too many songs that would take jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey and give her over two minutes to take the song home (unless they were her own songs). And then you have that horn section, the timbale break, and Stevie with tons of energy…even scatting out the final notes of the song.
Oh and did I mention: it’s fun to dance to! But I’ll get to doing that later on.
“Another Star” was actually released as a single in 1977, but only reached #18 on the R&B listings, and #32 on the Pop chart. It was a smash on the dance listings, peaking at #2. But what I remember most about this song is my sister and I, grooving away as the album came to a close (it was the last song on the fourth side of the double record set). By the time the song was over, we both could agree that it was one of the greatest albums Stevie Wonder ever produced—even if we didn’t like the same songs from it.
Enjoy today’s Flashback Friday song, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.