This Day in 1973: Stevie Wonder Live Debuts "Living For The City"

On this day in 1973, prodigious singer songwriter Stevie Wonder played an album preview show at NYC’s Rainbow Room. This was a few weeks ahead of the release of Innervisions, his 16th studio album, for which he would win his first five (of twenty five!) Grammys.
Stevie opened the 10-song set by debuting “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,” a Latin soul song with a distinct summer vibe. He followed that with another track from Innervisions, “Higher Ground,” although he had first performed that song in June of 1972. It’s his 5th most-performed song to date. He previewed another album track, “Visions” which had its debut at a show in England just months before. 
That night also saw the live debut of “Living For The City,” one of the first soul songs to address systemic racism and inequality. 
"I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow
And that it motivates you to make a better tomorrow
This place is cruel nowhere could be much colder
If we don't change, the world will soon be over
Living just enough, stop giving just enough for the city”

The song won two Grammys and has been, to date, covered by more than 50 artists including Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and Prince. 
Stevie closed the show by playing a lesser known track, “(You've Been Better To Me Than) A Lot of My Dreams,” a song that was never officially released and never played beyond February of 1974.
Check out the full setlist for the show:
Stevie Wonder setlist
Listen to audio of that NYC show here:

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Last updated: 6 Aug 2020, 01:01 Etc/UTC