Tuesday Heartbreak

Album: Talking Book (1972)
Play Video


  • The likely days for heartbreak seem to be Saturday and Sunday, when work is done and couples can get down to the business of breaking up. Or maybe even on Monday after a weekend that doesn't go so well. But this heartbreak is on a Tuesday, making it more of a routine, workaday split. This doesn't make it any easier for Wonder, who still wants to be with the lady but now can only do so in his dreams.
  • "Tuesday Heartbreak" is an album track from Talking Book, which Wonder released at the beginning of one of his most creative periods. He was just 22 but had been in the business for a decade - he landed his first #1 hit, "Fingertips (Part 2)," in 1963 when he was just 13.

    At 21, Stevie demanded complete creative control from Motown Records, and the label obliged. With his newfound freedom and vast resources, Wonder surrounded himself with great musicians outside the Motown family and became a bit of a mad scientist in the studio, working with a synthesizer contraption built to spec.

    On this song, he played all the instruments except the alto sax solo from David Sanborn. Wonder played drums, Clavinet, Fender Rhodes piano, and Moog bass.
  • Wonder worked on the Talking Book album while he was on tour as the opening act for The Rolling Stones in the summer of 1972. On the road, Motown made sure he had a studio available to him at all times because inspiration could strike whenever. When it did, his engineers Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil (who built his synth contraption) would summon his band to the studio, often at very odd hours (being blind, Wonder didn't keep to standard biorhythms).

    According to David Sanborn, wonder called for the band the morning of their first show on the tour: June 3, 1972 in Vancouver. The night before, they partied with the Stones, so they were a bit bleary.

    "They played a new tune down and I played along with it a little bit to find my way," he told the New York Times. "At the end of that fiddling around, I said, 'OK, I'm ready to do one.' And Stevie came on the intercom and said, 'No, no, that's great.' Later, the record came out, and there I was. It was my run through - I'm learning the song on the solo that I'm playing."
  • The female vocalists are Deniece Williams and Shirley Brewer. Williams had a #1 hit in 1978 with her Johnny Mathis duet "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late," and another on her own in 1984 with "Let's Hear It For The Boy."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Which Songs are About Drugs?

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Holly Knight ("The Best," "Love Is A Battlefield")

Holly Knight ("The Best," "Love Is A Battlefield")Songwriter Interviews

Holly Knight talks about some of the hit songs she wrote, including "The Warrior," "Never" and "The Best," and explains some songwriting philosophy, including how to think of a bridge.

Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennittSongwriter Interviews

The Celtic music maker Loreena McKennitt on finding musical inspiration, the "New Age" label, and working on the movie Tinker Bell.

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"They're Playing My Song

"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.

Yoko Ono

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

David Gray

David GraySongwriter Interviews

David Gray explains the significance of the word "Babylon," and talks about how songs are a form of active imagination, with lyrics that reveal what's inside us.