This week’s second example of what I term as the “Refab Four” comes from Stevie Wonder’s 1970 “Signed, Sealed, and Delivered” album. It was a little gutsy for Motown to release a cover of a number one Beatles’ hit just six years after the original. Gutsy, but smart, as Wonder’s version was a Top 15 hit on the pop charts – peaking at #13. It also was an R&B hit charting at #3.
Wonder’s version contains two characteristics of his hits of this era: a clavinet and a chromatic harmonica. The clavinet sounds as though it has a bit of overdrive on it, as it is distorted. Wonder’s version of this Beatles’ classic is different enough to be quite interesting.
Strangely enough, I don’t remember hearing this one when it debuted and only discovered it recently. Radio in 1971 was still more individualized and it was not unusual to hit and miss certain songs which were charting elsewhere and to hear songs that no one heard as they were local hits.
If you would like to know more about this song, see my post from last year at http://zeegrooves.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-beatles-we-can-work-it-out.html.