Some might say that there is an unwritten rule in coverdom concerning the covering of Stevie Wonder songs. I might ask those folks to qualify that statement by asking which era Stevie, because there have been those who have successfully covered every Stevie era but to me there’s always been something special and different about “That Girl”. I think it has a lot to do with the sound and when this recording was released.

“That Girl” has always seemed like that bridge between analog and digital Stevie. Stevie had already started gradually incorporating drum machines etc., into his arsenal but something about this recording sounds like a great “synthesis” (pun intended) between the signature sound he carved out in the early 70’s and the new sounds of 1982. After this to me his recordings took a very noticeable digital turn, even though they were still using analog tape, those undeniable Yamaha digital synths that Stevie began to favor have a sound that is very unique to the 1980’s.

Again, if this clip doesn’t show what can happen when an artist has quality material to work with I don’t know what will.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.