Wednesday, February 10, 2021

"You Will Know" by Stevie Wonder

Song#:  3401
Date:  02/06/1988
Debut:  83
Peak:  77
Weeks:  6
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Wonder's album Characters got kicked off with the #1 R&B hit "Skeletons." Unfortunately, the funky jam wasn't the best fit for pop radio and it stalled at #19. It was the first time since 1972 that a lead single from a Stevie Wonder studio album did not make the Pop Top 10. Hoping to turn things around, this album-opening track was issued out. Once again it was a winner at R&B reaching #1. It would end up being Wonder's last single to reach the top of that chart. It also got to #16 at AC. Over at Pop, the song was nearly a non-starter spending a few minor weeks near the bottom of the chart. The lack of support at Pop had an effect on sales of the LP, which stopped at #17 on the Pop chart. Luckily, it got to #1 at R&B thanks to the pair of chart toppers and that helped the album go platinum. It was Wonder's last studio album to reach that level.

ReduxReview:  The R&B-leaning "Skeletons" wasn't what pop listeners were looking for, so this more mainstream ballad was tossed out next. It didn't fit the bill either. It was a good AC tune from Wonder, but when compared to some of his other classic tracks, it was just...meh. It was also a very odd choice to have it be the first song on the album. It certainly wasn't a tune that would grab a listener's attention right off the bat. While it is a lovely little ballad, it wasn't one of Wonder's most memorable.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  To help try and generate interest in the album, Wonder joined up with MTV to create a special called Stevie Wonder's Characters. The program featured Wonder performing songs from the album and it also featured special guests. Jody Watley and Salt 'n' Pepa made appearances as did guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vaughn may have seemed like a strange choice as a guest, but he along with B.B. King performed on a track from the CD version of Characters titled "Come Let Me Make Your Love Come Down." Plus, Vaughan had covered Wonder's hit "Superstition" on tour, a version of which appeared on Vaughan's 1986 concert LP Live Alive. It made sense then that Wonder and Vaughan performed "Superstition" on the TV special, which aired in late April of '88. What the ratings were for the program is unknown, but it seems the show didn't do much to boost sales of the album or help its singles on the Pop chart.


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