Macy Gray channels Stevie Wonder for her next project, a reinterpretation of the living legend's classic album "Talking Book." The Oct. 30 release of the 429 Records/Savoy Label Group project coincides with the 40th anniversary of the original recording.
The hits "Sunshine of My Life" and "Superstition" are among the 10 Talking Book tracks that Gray re-imagines in collaboration with producer Hal Willner (Lou Reed, Metallica). Following its release on Oct. 28, 1972, the multi-platinum album peaked at No. 3 on the pop chart and No. 1 on the R&B albums chart. It also led to three Grammy Awards for Wonder, including best R&B song for "Superstition."
Stevie Wonder in the Studio, 1973
Describing her "Talking Book" reinterpretation as a "love letter" rather than a tribute album, Gray tells Billboard via email, "It's one of my favorite albums. I've never heard a whole album remake before. Thought I'd try one …"
Currently in Australia as she continues her 2012 worldwide tour, Gray will appear in director Lee Daniels' ("Precious") forthcoming film, "The Paperboy." The movie stars John Cusack, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron.
Earlier this year, Gray released her 429 Records debut, "Covered," featuring covers of such songs as Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" and Radiohead's "Creep. The collection was the follow-up to the singer's 2010 Concord album "The Sellout," which peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard 200.