WordPress will say otherwise, but today marks two months that I’ve been writing this bloggy thing here. For those just tuning in, FOREVER YOUNG: MY LIFE STUCK IN THE 80s is part autobiographical, part singles chart nerdiness, and all about the 80s, and my love for the decade.
And sometimes I need inspiration to choose what song will be my “song of the day”; sometimes I don’t need inspiration at all, and a song will pop into my head. With the exception of my debut post and the David Bowie tribute post 10 days later, I almost always don’t know what I’ll be writing about that day. I like that. I tend to be a bit predictable with certain things in my life, so it’s nice to have that spontaneity every day, and it’s nice to be able to share these posts every day. I’ve really been enjoying this – hope you have too!
Today’s “song of the day” – “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” by Stevie Wonder – was one of those songs that just happened to pop into my head, and I’m awful glad it did (not to mention almost anything’s better than getting THE LOVE BOAT theme stuck in my head, which happens way more often than it should).
Stevie Wonder had been recording music for 20 years before the late, great Bob Marley inspired this gem from Stevie’s 1980 album, HOTTER THAN JULY. Stevie and Bob had been touring together that year, and “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” (the first single released from the album) was a huge hit.
Just eight days after its release, “Master Blaster” debuted on the BILLBOARD Hot 100. Here in the U.S., it spent 3 weeks at No. 5 on the Hot 100 at the end of 1980 and 7 weeks at No. 1 on BILLBOARD’s R&B chart. The song’s merging of Soul and Reggae resonated around the globe as well, spending 4 weeks at No. 1 in New Zealand, 2 weeks at No. 1 in Austria, Sweden and Switzerland, and reaching the Top 10 in (at least) the U.K., Belgium, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Norway.
I chuckle a little bit about it now, but when I bought this 45 (as I did often back in 1980), I loved the cover art for the single. It read, CAUTION – EXPLOSIVE (1) Lay flat on turntable, (2) Turn up volume, (3) Stand back.
Though I laugh about the 7” single cover art now, in more than 35 years, one thing has remained the same – “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” may not have been Stevie Wonder’s biggest hit, but it’s truly one of his best, and the folks who put that single’s cover art together were right – it WAS explosive. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be jammin’ until the break of dawn…