Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hare Krishna Top 10 (2)

2.
Stevie Wonder:
Pastime Paradise” (1976)


Soul legend and musical genius Stevie Wonder showing what he's made of. A great song with conscious lyrics striking at the materialistic and pleasure seeking society of modern times, ending with a black gospel choir (West Angeles Church Of God In Christ Mass Choir) singing We shall overcome and a choir of devotees singing the Maha Mantra in the background, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare" (from 2:37). 
Sincerity, beauty, fantastic music.


 

Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Morris 1950) is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and was a child prodigy who developed into one of the most creative musical figures of the 20th century. Blind since shortly after birth, Wonder signed with legendary record company Tamla Motown at the age of 11. By age 13, Wonder had his first major hit, 
Fingertips, a nr 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the youngest artist in its history to top it and launching him into the public consciousness. The rest is history.


13 years old

He has had 20 U.S. nr 1 hits, more than 30 U.S. top ten hits, received 22 Grammy Awards (the most ever awarded to a male solo artist), and sold more than 100 million albums. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists with Stevie Wonder at number 5. American music magazine Rolling Stone named him the 9th greatest singer of all time. He has been inducted into both the Rock And Roll and Songwriters Halls Of Fame, and  by popular vote into The SoulMusic Hall of Fame. 1999 he was awarded the Polar Music Prize, and in 2009 he became the 4th artist to receive the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award.
He has co-worked with every thinkable and unthinkable musician of any class, in all kinds of ways, duetted with Luciano Pavarotti, Julio Iglesias and Busta Rhymes, co-written songs with Paul McCartney, and toured with the Rolling Stones. 

Stevie Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr's birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.


Messenger of peace

“Pastime Paradise” is from the double album Songs in the Key of Life, released in September 1976. The album is sprawling in style, unlimited in ambition, and sometimes lyrically difficult to fathom, and was hard for some listeners to assimilate, yet it is regarded as Stevie Wonder's crowning achievement and one of the most recognizable and accomplished albums in pop music history.
The song is innovative and haunting with a prematurely modern soundpicture and conscious lyrics. To this, God conscious Stevie Wonder added a black gospel choir singing We shall overcome and a group of Krishna-devotees playing kartalas (small hand-cymbals) throughout the song and singing the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra at the end. (The devotees are Agnideva devi dasa, Baradras das, Bhakta Eddie, Bhakta Gregory, Bhakta Kevin, Cinmayi devi dasi, Duryodhana Guru devi dasa, Jayasacinandana devi dasa, Jitamrtyu devi dasi, Rukmini devi dasi, Vedavy dasa, Yogamaya dasa.)

“Pastime Paradise” has been sampled by many artists, among others hiphoppers Mary J. Blige and Coolio, and there are even more covers of it  one of the most prominent by Patti Smith from 2008. Lately it was remixed by brilliant house producer Quentin Harris, who didn't have to do much about the prematurely modern soundpicture itself.
Songs in the Key of Life became the first album of an American artist to debut straight at nr 1 in the Billboard charts, where it remained for 14 weeks. Two tracks became nr 1 single hits. The album won three Grammy Awards, one for Album of the Year, and ranks 56th on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.









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