My Latest Favorite Song #16: Stevie Wonder Does the Beatles

It isn’t easy to improve on The Beatles. It takes some giant grapes to say you can do their song better than they did.

Like many Motown artists, Stevie Wonder was a Beatles fan—of sorts. “Stevie loved the Beatles, mostly Lennon and McCartney for their writing,” Wonder’s childhood best friend John Glover says in Mark Ribowsky’s Stevie biography Signed, Sealed, and Delivered. “That was where he saw their genius, not their performing—in fact, he didn’t think they performed some of their songs as well as he could do it.” That’s a sentiment that requires a lot of chutzpah, but Wonder backed it up on 1970’s “We Can Work It Out,” a track that so thoroughly reimagines the Lennon–McCartney classic that it feels like an entirely new piece of music.

Stevie delivers.


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