After its release at the end of September by Motown Records, Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life reached the #1 spot on The Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart on Oct. 16, 1976, where it would reign for the remainder of the year and into 1977 (it would get toppled on Jan. 15 by Eagles’ Hotel California … however, Songs in the Key of Life would return to #1 for one additional week on Jan. 29).
This was Wonder’s 18th album, coming 26 months after Fulfillingness’ First Finale. Songs in the Key of Life was a double-LP of 17 songs that included a four-song EP (in the original packaging). Wonder ran the gamut of musical genres, from R&B and soul to reggae and pure pop ballads, even classical and Spanish music influences. Lyrically the compilation touched on love songs, childhood reminisces, as well as political-social themes.
The album concluded with “Another Star,” an eight minute and 24 second celebration that featured jazz flautist Bobbi Humphrey (she appears about six minutes in), George Benson on guitars and vocals, and Raymond Maldonado on trumpet (to name just three who contributed to the jam). http://youtu.be/K9KKBvWTdMQ