Watch Soul At Its Finest With Stevie Wonder’s 1974 “Living For The City” Live
via Musikladen / Youtube
The song “Living for the City” was released as a single from Wonder’s album Innervisions in 1973. He handled all instrumentation for the studio recording, as well as writing all its lyrics. Lyrically, the song tells us the tragic fate of a young black man who, after relocating from Mississippi to New York City, faces racism and false accusations of wrongdoing. He was taken into custody and given a ten-year prison term. This song and the album it was featured on were both Grammy Award winners in 1974.
While explaining the songs he made in his album, Wonder reflected that the most honest he went into making a song’s lyrics happened in “Living for the City,” given that the existence of racism and prejudice to black people still exist. “I think the deepest I really got into how I feel about the way things are was in ‘Living For The City,’” Wonder said. “I was able to show the hurt and the anger. You still have that same mother that scrubs the floors for many, she’s still doing it. Now, what is that about? And that father who works some days for 14 hours. That’s still happening.”
The video below shows us a genuine performance of Stevie Wonder with a set of musicians during their 1974 visit to the German TV show Musikladen. Apart from the musician’s set of the song “Living for the City,” he also took time to promote the material found in his Innervisions album, such as “Higher Ground” “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” and “He’s Misstra Know-It-All.” A few Wonder classics were also performed such as “Superstition” and a version of “I Can See The Sun In Late December.”