can’t believe it. That song was all right but, I mean, he deserves something even better than that. I feel that there will never ever be an award great enough to give Ray Charles. He’s opened the door, so many hearts . I really feel that .
On the album, Songs in the Key of Life, a song called “Kikulaela” in Zulu … Zulu’s a language in the southern part of Africa. And it says, “Kikulaela,” which is,
“I am singing.” “Kikulaela egufsasa
kea kula ungo tando kea kula ding e
langa utando lia busa tika lae le guile shaba wa tu,” which says, “I am singing of tomorrow, I am singing of love. I am singing that some day love will reign throughout this world of ours. I am singing of love from my heart.”
RATW: What else from among your best?
STEVIE: I think “Visions,” “I Was Made to Love Her,” which kind of speaks of my first love to a girl named Angie, who was a very beautiful woman. She’s married now. Actually, she was my third girlfriend but my first love. I used to call Angie up and, like, we would talk and say, “I love you, I love you,” and we’d talk and we’d both go to sleep on the phone. And this was like from Detroit to California, right? You know, mother said, “Boy, what you doing —get off the phone!” Boy, I tell you, it was ridiculous …
RATW: Are there any other favorites that come to mind?
STEVIE: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”–I had fun doing that. “Superstition’s” my tune and “Living for the City.” I guess the Talking Book album and the Inner Visions album. One of my favorite songs on this album is “If It’s Magic” and “As.” I think the words to “As” are the best words that I’ve ever written.
RATW: Songs in the Key of Life has been one of those albums that will be remembered in music history—one of the albums that people waited for with a tremendous degree of interest. It’s a statement about your sense of perfection as an artist, not releasing anything until you’re totally pleased with it. Are there any other reasons why it was so long in production?
STEVIE: That’s really the reason why. I get into a thing sometimes where I want to give the public the latest thought, the latest feeling that I have experienced. And