First Hit #1: January 22, 1977
Bless you Stevie Wonder, for always being a highlight on the charts. Here, we have Wonder indulging in a bit of nostalgia, reminiscing about his boyhood – though I wonder how much of this boyhood is his and how much is a boyhood he’s wishing for, since he was a child star and all. Unlike a lot of nostalgic songs though, Wonder gives this a bit of force and aggression, he isn’t being wistful, he angrily wants those bygone days back again. It gives an interesting bent to the song, but more importantly, it also makes it a bit more fun and a bit better to listen to. We’ve all heard the wistful nostalgia songs, Wonder gives us something very different, taking the expected content and putting it in a new context. It’s clever, and it makes for a better song all around.
Incidentally, this was later sampled on Wild Wild West, which isn’t as good.