Monday, June 7, 2021

Musical Monday - I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: October 20, 1984 through October 27, 1984.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: October 13, 1984 through November 3, 1984.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: September 8, 1984 through October 13, 1984.

If there is anything that demonstrates that success on the pop charts is mostly determined by the preferences of suburban moms, it is the fact that this song is Stevie Wonder's best-selling single. Wonder has had a long and prolific career, churning out musical masterpiece after musical masterpiece - Fingertips, Part II, Uptight (Everything's Alright), Superstition, Master Blaster (Jammin'), Sir Duke, and so many more. And yet, this milquetoast love ballad is the most successful song he ever wrote or recorded. To be clear, this isn't a bad song, it is just that compared to his greatest works, I Just Called to Say I Love You is just ordinary at best. It is, to be blunt, the epitome of Mom-pop.

This song was also on the soundtrack to The Woman in Red, which, once again, highlights the connection between pop music success and the movie industry. This song won an Academy Award as a result, although the movie - a mostly unfunny Gene Wilder vehicle featuring Kelly LeBrock and Gilda Radner - was simply not very good.

Previous Musical Monday: What's Love Got to Do With It by Tine Turner
Subsequent Musical Monday: Missing You by John Waite

Previous #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Let's Go Crazy by Prince
Subsequent #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run) by Billy Ocean

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Let's Go Crazy by Prince
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Purple Rain by Prince

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Careless Whisper by George Michael
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Freedom by Wham!

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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