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Stevie Wonder — Pastime Paradise
Album: Songs In The Key Of Life
Avg rating:
7.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3134









Released: 1976
Length: 3:20
Plays (last 30 days): 4
They've been spending most their lives living in a pastime paradise
They've been spending most their lives living in a pastime paradise
They've been wasting most their time glorifying days long gone behind
They've been wasting most their days in remembrance of ignorance's oldest praise

Tell me, who of them will come to be?
How many of them are you and me?
Dissipation
Race relations
Consolation
Segregation
Dispensation
Isolation
Exploitation
Mutilation
Mutations
Miscreation
Confirmation
To the evils of the world

They've been spending most their lives living in a future paradise
They've been spending most their lives living in a future paradise
They've been looking in their minds for the day that sorrow's lost from time
They keep telling of the day when the savior of love will come to stay

Tell me who of them will come to be?
How many of them are you and me?
Proclamation
Of race relations
Consolation
Integretion
Verification
Of Revelations
Acclamation
World salvation
Vibrations
Stimulation
Confirmation
To the peace of the world

They've been spending most their lives living in a pastime paradise
They've been spending most their lives living in a pastime paradise
They've been spending most their lives living in a future paradise
They've been spending most their lives living in a future paradise
We've been spending too much of our lives living in a pastime paradise
Let's start living our lives, living for the future paradise
Praise to our lives living for the future paradise
Shame to anyones life for living in the pastime paradise
Comments (394)add comment
Child music prodigy grows up and writes beautiful music.
I've heard this a lot lately. Not to be confused with too much. Never.
 acolt wrote:


I'll see your Get-Off-My-Lawn declaration and raise you "All Along The Watchtower." 

Also all three version of this (Stevie, Coolio, and Weird Al) are amazing, which speaks to the original's genius as well as the other artists' creativity.
 
I'm going to split the difference acolt and countyman. Some artist freshen up or bring an entirely new sensibility to someone's work. But countyman has a point too. I've seen my share of vanity projects which reflect the artist's ego rather than a new interpretation.


 countyman wrote:
The youngsters on this thread will, sometime in their life, come to the realization that a cover is NEVER better than the original song.
 

I'll see your Get-Off-My-Lawn declaration and raise you "All Along The Watchtower." 

Also all three version of this (Stevie, Coolio, and Weird Al) are amazing, which speaks to the original's genius as well as the other artists' creativity.
 forthbrdge wrote:
As a 90's college kid I always wait a few bars to see if Bill will go off the deep end and play Coolio's Gangsta Paradise.

Or Weird Al's Amish Paradise...
 

Totally, gets me every time.
Congrats  to Steve. Allways on my mind
Many years later......constipation, flatulation, consternation..
I'm assuming they're talking about the Coolio 'cover' not the parody....  

 lizardking wrote:

Assuming you're referring to the Weird Al PARODY of this, though regardless, I don't see how the premise "a cover is never better than the original" could possibly be true.  Better to who?  Even artists (Prince, Dylan, etc.) have said that their songs have been covered better than their original recording.  
And in addition to the few songs mentioned as better covers, I give you the Beatles "Twist and Shout" as an example of a better cover than the original. 

Also, using a broader definition of 'cover' to include parodies and mashups, I like the originality of Chris Cornell's mashup-cover of U2's One and Metallica's One, which I think BillG's played here too - Long Live RP and great discussions like this one (should) prompt!

 
 countyman wrote:
The youngsters on this thread will, sometime in their life, come to the realization that a cover is NEVER better than the original song.
 
Assuming you're referring to the Weird Al PARODY of this, though regardless, I don't see how the premise "a cover is never better than the original" could possibly be true.  Better to who?  Even artists (Prince, Dylan, etc.) have said that their songs have been covered better than their original recording.  
And in addition to the few songs mentioned as better covers, I give you the Beatles "Twist and Shout" as an example of a better cover than the original. 

Also, using a broader definition of 'cover' to include parodies and mashups, I like the originality of Chris Cornell's mashup-cover of U2's One and Metallica's One, which I think BillG's played here too - Long Live RP and great discussions like this one (should) prompt!

Still true today for us flawed humans.
 countyman wrote:
The youngsters on this thread will, sometime in their life, come to the realization that a cover is NEVER better than the original song.
 
and I would propose
All Along the Watchtower .. Jimi cover
and maybe coincidentally
Little Wing .. Derek and the Dominos cover
2 of 10 (((

...first time on this amazing radio
 countyman wrote:
The youngsters on this thread will, sometime in their life, come to the realization that a cover is NEVER better than the original song.
 

I give you "Nothing Compares 2 U "by Sinnead O'Connor.  Even Prince said it was no longer his song.
My best song ! 
The youngsters on this thread will, sometime in their life, come to the realization that a cover is NEVER better than the original song.
 fredGarvin wrote:
Stevie at the top of his game
 
9 kids.... 9!!!  Top of his game indeed. (P.S. - Love the wiki window on the player site)
 saellig668552 wrote:
This is a clear, flat und pure   T E N

perfection
 

As is most of the Songs collection.  
This is a clear, flat und pure   T E N

perfection
My favorite song.    
I can never not hear the Weird Al version when I hear this song now.
How did I never know about this?  shame on me.  
As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain.
I look at my wife and see she is very plain...

Amish Paradise - Weird Al
 forthbrdge wrote:
As a 90's college kid I always wait a few bars to see if Bill will go off the deep end and play Coolio's Gangsta Paradise.

Or Weird Al's Amish Paradise...
 

same. 
Can sum up this track in one word Sublime. Hang on thats 9... Dooh!
Simply put, imho this collection as a whole is a great American songbook.  Top notch in every way. Off the charts. A 1976 work but like it was composed and released this year. Brilliant. 
As a 90's college kid I always wait a few bars to see if Bill will go off the deep end and play Coolio's Gangsta Paradise.

Or Weird Al's Amish Paradise...
 Grammarcop wrote:
Know how they say that behind every great man is a woman? In the case of Stevie Wonder, it was Sylvia Moy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/arts/music/sylvia-moy-songwriter-who-worked-with-stevie-wonder-dies-at-78.html?_r=0
 
Thanks for that. 
Smart guy and Always timely.
One of my "deserted island" albums! 
Thoughts and Prayers to all of Paradise California in this tough time. I hope Paradise is not a pastime.
Fantastic LP. 
Stevie at the top of his game
 (Banned) wrote:
defaction
 
. . . is not a word.
 thewiseking wrote:
constipation, eructation, inflammation

 
defaction
 rhw wrote:

No need to shout, Grandpa. 

 
you are correct (sorry!)
oh oH OH OH OH
i like this a lot
{#Dancingbanana_2}
 DocStrangelove wrote:
SO MUCH BETTER THAN RAP

 
Harmonies mostly missing in Rap, not so with this tune off a great album.
constipation, eructation, inflammation
 rhw wrote:

No need to shout, Grandpa. 

 
L0L
Too much repit...ation for my taste.  Still gets my 8 vote though.
AMISH PARADISE!

Weird Al if you missed it , one of his best! Bill please play it dude
The horror, the horror...
 DocStrangelove wrote:
SO MUCH BETTER THAN RAP

 
No need to shout, Grandpa. 
SO MUCH BETTER THAN RAP
 bm.deavenport613 wrote:

But the cover wouldn't even be,  without the original. I like both versions, and Weird Al's parody. But gotta give props to Mr. Wonder.

 
You should google on youtube gansters paradise with stevie and coolio..its a live version and both songs mixed together {they perform together}. its great!
{#Sunny}
 lethias wrote:
1st time hearing this song in my life. I guess the original never managed to get to my country.

 
You must not listen to RP often... feels like one of the ONLY Stevie songs that gets played.... over and over.....
Know how they say that behind every great man is a woman? In the case of Stevie Wonder, it was Sylvia Moy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/arts/music/sylvia-moy-songwriter-who-worked-with-stevie-wonder-dies-at-78.html?_r=0
1st time hearing this song in my life. I guess the original never managed to get to my country.
So overplayed… Next! 
 thewiseking wrote:
constipation, inflammation...
 

 
... masturbatioooooooon.  This song forces me to sing out immaturely.
As i walk through the valley where I harvest my grain, I take a look at my wife and realize she's very plain...
 springof63 wrote:

That'll be 'Gangster's Paradise', (playing on my iTunes right now). Its weird for me to find myself prefering it to the original, but i think i do. Now i'm trying to figure out why!

 
But the cover wouldn't even be,  without the original. I like both versions, and Weird Al's parody. But gotta give props to Mr. Wonder.
Please play weird al gansta paradise and then cooilio next a trifecta of Im stoned
 Ahnyer_Keester wrote:
CAN NOT hear this and not think of Weird Al's Amish Paradise. One of his finest parodies yet.

 
Came here to say this.  Love both songs.

one of the best  of this album! always in my mind since 1978
Bo.

Ring.

 
Good song, mind you amish paradise is even better {#Biggrin}
constipation, inflammation...
 
Yep, i definitely prefer the Coolio - 'Gangsters Paradise' version and i think it may be 'cause the Coolio version completely omits the 'any-old-word-ending-in-A-TION' bit of the original, which grates a bit now. i think that's it (for me) anyway.
 rgabriel wrote:
Sasha2001 wrote:

Am I the only one who was a little disappointed (after the first three bars) that this wasn't the Coolio song?

 
No. I got the same feeling. :-)
I really think that a cover may be better than the original. And many of them really are... {#Smile}

 
That'll be 'Gangster's Paradise', (playing on my iTunes right now). Its weird for me to find myself prefering it to the original, but i think i do. Now i'm trying to figure out why!
 kingart wrote:

Then you likely won't be hearing it any more. 
 

 
I ... I think he might pull through.
Sasha2001 wrote:

Am I the only one who was a little disappointed (after the first three bars) that this wasn't the Coolio song?

 
No. I got the same feeling. :-)
I really think that a cover may be better than the original. And many of them really are... {#Smile}


Refreshing original ... with a human-infused drama (violins, yes?, and contrabass) {#Boohoo}  
 d48m02h1918 wrote:
Song: 8
Entire Album: 10

{#Good-vibes} 

 
I agree, a great song from my all-time #1 album
 Proclivities wrote:

I guess it's a matter of semantics.  "Sampled" is the correct term for Coolio's "work" since Stevie Wonder is credited as a co-writer; "ripped off" would be if Wonder were not credited.  "Completely Ripped Off" would be if Coolio had re-released Stevie Wonder's recording without changing anything in it, and declared it his own work.  I agree though, it is funny, even ridiculous, that Coolio was bothered by Yankovic's cover.

 
As I recall he wasn't upset that Al "ripped him off" rather he was upset that the serious subject matter of his song (young black lives being destroyed by the gangsta lifestyle) was being turned into a joke.

At any rate he got over it. Hugsta Paradise 
 FourFortyEight wrote:
I am sick to DEATH of this song.

 
Then you likely won't be hearing it any more. 
 
 scrubbrush wrote:
Weird Al cover of Coolio song that "sampled" (completely ripped off, in this case) Stevie Wonder.

The  funny part of the saga was when Coolio got mad at Weird Al for "ripping him off."

 
I guess it's a matter of semantics.  "Sampled" is the correct term for Coolio's "work" since Stevie Wonder is credited as a co-writer; "ripped off" would be if Wonder were not credited.  "Completely Ripped Off" would be if Coolio had re-released Stevie Wonder's recording without changing anything in it, and declared it his own work.  I agree though, it is funny, even ridiculous, that Coolio was bothered by Yankovic's cover.
Song: 8
Entire Album: 10

{#Good-vibes} 
I am sick to DEATH of this song.
As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain.....  {#Roflol}
Cool Bill...this is the song that I thought of while listening to Tricky
 Beastie wrote:
There wasn't a single track in the three records of this production that were "fillers," or that didn't belong with the rest. For those of us that bought it right after release, "Songs in the Key of Life" was legendary. Still is.

 
Stevie is, was, &  always will be,  a  " WONDER "
{#Yes} DD rabbi_phil wrote:



nope....this one

 
one very odd kat, Bill is.....
 easmann wrote:

(Giggle)

Fermentation
Vaporization
Distillation
Imbibe libation
Inebriation 

 
Too many syllables in "Imbibe" perhaps drink libation?
There wasn't a single track in the three records of this production that were "fillers," or that didn't belong with the rest. For those of us that bought it right after release, "Songs in the Key of Life" was legendary. Still is.
 Biscobret wrote:

Actually your post is what is pathetic. 

All "rock" songs use the same seven fucking chords, pathetic!  Most of them - well above half - use a I-IV-V pattern - just like the rest, always in 4/4 time, with verse X4, X2, then chorus, possibly a bridge, and repeat.  What formulaic bullshit, right?

Wrong - knowing how a song is constructed has nothing to do with realizing the art in it.  It is the art - the feeling - that is important to me.  Sure, I like me some great playing, too, but I also love me some good sampling.

That fucking van Gogh - putting oil on canvas!  What a shlock!  What a farce!  I call bullshit!







 
If you like rap crap why do you listen to this station I must wonder.  I am sure there is good music out there that is marketed as rap.  As I have stated here at RP many times art is whatever you think it is.  Let me tell you why I think rap is pathetic.  It is misogynistic and often hateful.  It is not original.  It borrows (samples) and I think this is just a trick of recycling older songs.  But most of all, which you seem to concede, is that its appeal is emotional.  Punk Country Heavy Metal and other similar types of music also appeal to base emotions.  These are mainly for group solidarity, identity, and lifestyle.  These appeal to people who dont really care about the musical aspect but more the lyrical and other aspects of the act (what the performer wears and drives and how they talk what products they buy sell endorse WHO THEY HATE how loud it is how much they gyrate on stage how driving the beat is). This is facism.
Fermentation
Vaporization
Distillation
Inebriation 
I hear "bathtime paradise"...bubbles, candlelight, wine. {#Kiss}
 hencini wrote:
Stevie Wonder cover of Weird Al. Far out. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg 

 

Weird Al cover of Coolio song that "sampled" (completely ripped off, in this case) Stevie Wonder.

The  funny part of the saga was when Coolio got mad at Weird Al for "ripping him off."
 1wolfy wrote:
I'd rather sit here listening to this fine tune than get on the 405 south...oh wait...now I can do both...see ya
 
Yeah, baby!  Nothing like the RP app coupled with an unlimited data plan, eh?
Stevie Wonder cover of Weird Al. Far out. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg 
I'd rather sit here listening to this fine tune than get on the 405 south...oh wait...now I can do both...see ya
 garrettb wrote:
Would love to hear some of the more "recent" Stevie songs from Time2Love and Conversation Peace - some excellent stuff there.

 

You gotta upload it! I've never even heard of those albums... he lost me after "Hotter Than July"
 MikeszCZ wrote:
They've been spending most their lives listening to a radio paradise
 
Bump, and chuckle, chuckle.
Would love to hear some of the more "recent" Stevie songs from Time2Love and Conversation Peace - some excellent stuff there.
I thought this was the acoustic gangsters paradise at first LOL.
 Biscobret wrote:
Actually your post is what is pathetic. 

All "rock" songs use the same seven fucking chords, pathetic!  Most of them - well above half - use a I-IV-V pattern - just like the rest, always in 4/4 time, with verse X4, X2, then chorus, possibly a bridge, and repeat.  What formulaic bullshit, right?

Wrong - knowing how a song is constructed has nothing to do with realizing the art in it.  It is the art - the feeling - that is important to me.  Sure, I like me some great playing, too, but I also love me some good sampling.

That fucking van Gogh - putting oil on canvas!  What a shlock!  What a farce!  I call bullshit!
 
The post of the year - right here. Thank you
 rdo wrote:

Two sad but true confessions.  The Coolio song is the first version I had heard until RP.  It was perhaps the only Rap song I had liked.  Now, I know it's not original, but a pathetic "sample" or cover like a lot of Rap. Rap is pathetic. 

 
Actually your post is what is pathetic. 

All "rock" songs use the same seven fucking chords, pathetic!  Most of them - well above half - use a I-IV-V pattern - just like the rest, always in 4/4 time, with verse X4, X2, then chorus, possibly a bridge, and repeat.  What formulaic bullshit, right?

Wrong - knowing how a song is constructed has nothing to do with realizing the art in it.  It is the art - the feeling - that is important to me.  Sure, I like me some great playing, too, but I also love me some good sampling.

That fucking van Gogh - putting oil on canvas!  What a shlock!  What a farce!  I call bullshit!






 Spiderwoman wrote:
First play the original, then play the rap song that sampled from it. Like, how about Ann Peebles and Missy Elliot's I Can't Stand The Rain. I do love me some rap!

 
Only if we get to play the Weird Al version after that!
First play the original, then play the rap song that sampled from it. Like, how about Ann Peebles and Missy Elliot's I Can't Stand The Rain. I do love me some rap!
 t00lur wrote:
romeotuma = Bill
 

This makes me truly sentimental...

love this song... sigh...
 
CAN NOT hear this and not think of Weird Al's Amish Paradise. One of his finest parodies yet.
Coolios.
Boy...do I hear where Adam Levine gets his inspiration!
As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain
I take a look at my wife and realize she's very plain
 Proclivities wrote:

What is a 'Coolio'?  Isn't that an ethnic slur for that was once a term for an indentured servant/manual laborer in The Orient?
 
Two sad but true confessions.  The Coolio song is the first version I had heard until RP.  It was perhaps the only Rap song I had liked.  Now, I know it's not original, but a pathetic "sample" or cover like a lot of Rap. Rap is pathetic. 
 t00lur wrote:
romeotuma = Bill
 


nope....this one
,,,a solid 9 for all the memories come along with this song......
Oh man, Stevie had great music spilling out of his fingers and toes in the 70's. He could barely get it down on tape fast enough.

Love this. And the album is still peerless. 
 WonderLizard wrote:
Cover (Talking Book:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Innervisions:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Fulfillingness' First Finale:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Songs in the Key of Life:Stevie Wonder)

There are few runs of sheer, unadulterated genius like Stevie's four albums made between 1972 and 1976. For those of us who loved him as a pop artist, these works revealed his depth as a musician and his prowess as a composer. Similar runs—with similar attributes (musical depth and masterful composition)—IMHO include the likes of The Beatles, Joe Jackson, and Steely Dan with Prince and Beck close enough.
 
agreed.  those album covers are all so familiar. I must have played them to death.   thanks for the shot of nostalgia...

another similar run was elton john's during those same years...
I love Stevie but this song (lyrics and melody) brings new meaning to the words "repetitive" and "monotonous."
 Sasha2001 wrote:
Am I the only one who was a little disappointed (after the first three bars) that this wasn't the Coolio song?
 
What is a 'Coolio'?  Isn't that an ethnic slur that was once a term for an indentured servant/manual laborer in The Orient?
It seems that I have loved this song my entire life...
romeotuma = Bill
 smokingpikachu wrote:
Love this song but kinda wish RP would play the Coolio version just for fun.
 
Would you like to listen to Albinoni's Adagio played in reggae stile? Just for fun?
Love this song but kinda wish RP would play the Coolio version just for fun.
Heavenly music! Stevie reached out his soul and God touched it.
I actually prefer the Coolio version. But I like this one too {#Biggrin}
there is a reason Coolio covered/copied/knicked/plagiarized this song.   imitation is the best form of flattery.  
 2nd!

    WonderLizard wrote:
Cover (Talking Book:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Innervisions:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Fulfillingness' First Finale:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Songs in the Key of Life:Stevie Wonder)

There are few runs of sheer, unadulterated genius like Stevie's four albums made between 1972 and 1976. For those of us who loved him as a pop artist, these works revealed his depth as a musician and his prowess as a composer. Similar runs—with similar attributes (musical depth and masterful composition)—IMHO include the likes of The Beatles, Joe Jackson, and Steely Dan with Prince and Beck close enough.
 

 Sasha2001 wrote:
Am I the only one who was a little disappointed (after the first three bars) that this wasn't the Coolio song?
 
I guess you´re on your own.
This album shook the world.
 yes, you fool.

Sasha2001 wrote:
Am I the only one who was a little disappointed (after the first three bars) that this wasn't the Coolio song?
 


 Sasha2001 wrote:
Am I the only one who was a little disappointed (after the first three bars) that this wasn't the Coolio song?
 
yes
Am I the only one who was a little disappointed (after the first three bars) that this wasn't the Coolio song?
Cover (Talking Book:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Innervisions:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Fulfillingness' First Finale:Stevie Wonder)Cover (Songs in the Key of Life:Stevie Wonder)

There are few runs of sheer, unadulterated genius like Stevie's four albums made between 1972 and 1976. For those of us who loved him as a pop artist, these works revealed his depth as a musician and his prowess as a composer. Similar runs—with similar attributes (musical depth and masterful composition)—IMHO include the likes of The Beatles, Joe Jackson, and Steely Dan with Prince and Beck close enough.
Stevie is awesome...

my feelings for him, tho, are summed up perfectly by Jack Black in the movie "High Fidelity":

"Rob, name the top five musical crimes perpetuated by Stevie Wonder in the '80s and '90s.
Go. Sub-question: is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins, is it better to burn out or fade away? "