The Secret Life of Plants: a while ago i clipped a plant and put the clipping in water. I waited and waited and roots grew. I didn’t know I was going to get 2 little plants out of it. I put them in pots this week and here they are... 💕🌱🌞❤️
#TheSecretLifeOfPlants, which turns 40 this year, is arguably Stevie Wonder’s most experimental and unique album, and showed a greater musical eclecticism than before, incorporating to a far greater degree than before non-Western (African, Indian and Japanese).
The mesmerising #VoyageToIndia for instance, is just as convincingly exotic as any of George Harrison's Indian-inspired songs, magically suggesting a ship approaching Indian shores in the sunset, with a simple but very effective and hypnotic slowly accelerating groove distinguished by Ben Bridges’ skilful sitar and Stevie’s sensitive tabla-like drumming. The piece might seem willfully exotic on the album, but it works with the film and its introduction of Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, the Indian polymath and botanist.
This is the same artist who wrote “You Are The Sunshine of My Life” and “They Won’t Go When I Go”. Can you believe it?
When Wonder accepted the challenge of providing a soundtrack for the documentary, even he was surprised: «I’d always figured if I did one it would be for a film that raised society’s consciousness about black people.» Originally, the film was to use a soundtrack made in part from plants with Wonder contributing “Tree” for the end of the picture. It didn’t fit with the rest of the film, but producer Michael Braun asked Wonder to instead score the entire film. So Wonder would go in with a four-track recorder and headphones. In the left channel was Braun explaining what was happening on-screen while engineer Gary Olazabal would count down the number of frames in the sequence in his right, leaving Wonder to sketch out the score.
Six studios would ultimately be used. It was only the second album to ever be recorded digitally (Ry Cooder’s Bop Til You Drop beat it by a few months) and the first album to use a sampler in the form of the rudimentary Computer Music Melodian, which perhaps explains the special thanks given to the air traffic controllers at Dallas-Fort Worth airport and the Los Angeles Zoo.
Rather than attempt to carry on with Key of Life’s trajectory and his own heritage, Stevie had the rare cache to wander down every path, in effect making Motown his own private press label. No longer rooted to the traditions of soul, gospel or the sound of Motown that he built his legacy upon, Wonder literally branched out, reaching upward towards an undetermined new destination, exploring intuitively and fearlessly in a manner that few artists have ever managed to do in the history of popular music. #TheSecretLifeOfPlants#40YearsAnniversay
#ThisMonth in 1979 (40 years ago), Stevie’s #SendOneYourLove was released as the lead single off Wonder’s sprawling double-album/soundtrack #JourneyThroughTheSecretLifeOfPlants.
The song, a lovely ballad with Fender Rhodes, gently seductive acoustic guitar fills by Ben Bridges and a fine harmonica solo by Stevie, reached an impressive #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 the last week of the 1970s decade and stayed there for the first week of the 1980s. It also reached #5 on Billboard’s R&B chart and #1 on the AC chart. In addition, the ballad reached the top 10 in both Canada and Germany. “Send One Your Love” was the album’s only single to reach the top 40 in any country.
In 1998, the DC hip-hop group Born Jamericans scored a minor hit when they heavily sampled this song in their track “Send My Love/Send One Your Love”. #TheSecretLifeOfPlants#40YearsAnniversary