In the 1980s, musicians started to put synthesized sounds at center stage in their performances. This gem of classic footage brings us back to the 1985 Grammy Awards, during which Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones, Herbie Hancock, and Stevie Wonder joined forces for a synthesizer spectacular. The late John Denver kicks things off.
Awesome Stevie Wonder
The fantastically talented Luca Stricagnoli performs a beautifully multilayered fingerstyle cover of Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, offering up a proper nod to Stevie Wonder’s original Pastime Paradise. The percussive accessory Luca is wearing on his thumb is the Guitar Ring.
We can feel it all over. One of the funkiest songs ever written has got to be Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke. Recently, the members of the the artist collective known as Apartment Sessions turned in a rousing, appropriately brass-heavy performance of the track on NYC’s J Train, lead off by the soulful lead vocals of Aneesa Folds.
While the audio leaves a lot to be desired, it’s still awesome to see this performance where Stevie Wonder heard the reggae band Lesterfari and Kings Music gigging outside of an LA health food store, and joined them for an impromptu rendition of Bob Marley’s Waiting in Vain.