tevie Wonder followed Talking Book with an album that reinforced the music community's belief that here was a creative genius who was just beginning to reveal how great his true potential was. Innvervisions was the first album on which Stevie wrote every song by himself. And with the exception of a few guest musicians, he once again played virtually every instrument on the LP.
Prior to the debut of Innervisions on Billboard's album chart, Stevie Wonder started a tour of America. On August 6, 1973, while travelling from Greenville, South Carolina, to Durham, a truck loaded with logs slammed on its brakes in front of the care Stevie was riding in. Several logs spilled out of the truck and crashed through the windshield of Wonder's car. Dozing in the passenger seat, Stevie was directly in the line of fire.
Despite the assurances of doctors at the hospital in Winston-Salem that Stevie would regain consciousness, he remained in a coma for a week. Stevie's close friend and public relations person, Ira Tucker, recalled what he did for his friend in a 1974 issue of Esquire: "I knew that Stevie likes to listen to music really loud and I thought maybe if I shouted in his ear, it might reach him. The doctor told me to go ahead and try, it couldn't hurt. The first time I didn't get any response, but the next day I went back and I got right down in his ear and sang "Higher Ground".... His hand was resting on my arm and after a while, his fingers started going in time with the song. I said, 'Yeah! This dude is gonna make it.'"
Although the doctors stressed the need for rest and relaxation, it wasn't long before Stevie was working on new music from his hospital bed. By early 1974, he was back on stage. He jammed with Edgar Winter at New York's Bottom Line and surprised fans of Elton John when he joined Elton on stage in Boston for a rendition of the Stones' classic "Honky Tonk Women."
Fully recovered by mid-July, Stevie was as active as ever. His Fulfillingness' First Finale LP became his first number one album since Little Stevie Wonder-the 12-Year-Old Genius in 1963. The first single from the album, "You Haven't Done Nothin'," featured the Jackson Five on backing vocals, and Wonder actually introduces the group in the song, 'Jackson Five, sing along with me..." With all six Motown stars singing away, the single entered the Hot 100 at number 93 on August 3, 1974. Thirteen weeks later, Stevie Wonder had his fourth number one single.
- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.
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