Album: Songs in the Key of Life
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Songs in the Key of Life was such a monster that Stevie Wonder didn’t even release its first single until two months after the album came out. Apparently, they waited to see which songs radio played prior to actually releasing singles, and even then, they never actually released “Isn’t She Lovely” as a single, believe it or not.
That said, they did release “I Wish” as the first single, which turned out to be a good call, as “I Wish” was an instant grabber, hooking you from the moment Nathan Watts started his impossibly funky bassline, which provided a throughline to a song that went a lot of different places.
At first, that bassline is accompanied only by Wonder’s keyboards and drummer Raymond Pounds’ (which is both a perfect drummer name and a perfect pornstar name) dead-in-the-pockets drumming as Wonder sings about a lost childhood.