Stevie Wonder

You Are the Sunshine of My Life

Song Review by

In 1970, Stevie Wonder came up with a chord progression on the electric piano that appealed to him. It was a peculiar riff that revolved around the A flat/B flat scales. Shaping it into the classic ballad "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," the singer/songwriter/producer saved it until he began recording tracks that would become his Talking Book LP. It's unusual in that the first vocals heard are not those of Wonder, but those of singers Jim Gilstrap ("Swing Your Daddy") and Gloria Barley. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" went to number one pop, number three R&B, and number one adult contemporary in the spring of 1973. Nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year, it won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The Talking Book album stayed at number one R&B for three weeks, going to number one pop, and also yielded "Superstition," "Maybe Your Baby," and "You and I."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Talking Book 1972 Motown 2:59
No Image 1973
Various Artists
Original Musiquarium I 1982 Motown 2:51
No Image 1983
Various Artists
No Image 1985
Various Artists
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Motown Year By Year: The Sound of Young America, 1973 1995
Various Artists
Motown 2:52
Song Review: A Greatest Hits Collection 1996 Motown 2:56
At the Close of a Century 1999 Motown 2:59
Ballad Collection 1999 Motown / Universal International 2:52
Motown Chartbusters, Vols. 7-12 [Box Set] 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 2:54
Motown Chartbusters, Vol. 8 2001
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:54
The Definitive Collection 2002 Motown 2:52
The Complete Stevie Wonder 2005 Motown / Universal 2:50
Number 1's 2007 Motown 2:57
Christmas & Hits Duos 2008 Motown 2:57
Motown 50 Fanthology 2008
Various Artists
Universal 0:00
Motown: The Complete #1s 2008
Various Artists
Motown 2:51
Motown 50 Fanthology 2009
Various Artists
Motown 2:55
Motortown Review 2009
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:54
The Definitive Collection [Universal] 2014 Motown 2:50
202 Motown Songs: The Complete #1's
Various Artists
Island / Def Jam / Universal Music 2:52
The Greatest Love Songs of the '70s
Various Artists
Time Life 2:53