Song remakes have been the norm in contemporary music since Bad Boy invented the remix back in the ’90s, but Macy Gray is taking remaking and remixing to a whole new level with her latest project. The 45-year-old decided to recreate Stevie Wonder’s entire “Talking Book” album which coincidentally is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Macy talked about how the project came about, saying:
“We were talking about ideas for cover songs and [Hal Wilner, the producer] goes, ‘You know what you should do is a whole album. Everyone remakes movies, but no one remakes albums.’
“I thought that was a wild idea so I was like, ‘Yes!’ I picked ‘Talking Book’ ‘cause that’s one of my favorite records and I know it inside out.”
“Talking Book” is the 15th album from Stevie that brought us favorites like “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” which earned the Motown singer his first Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocals. Other hits were “You and I,” “I Believe,” and of course, “Superstition.” You know people will disown you if you ruin a classic by one of their favorite artists, not to mention singers will shade the mess out of you if you eff up one of their songs. Macy said she was definitely conscious of that when taking on this project.
“I was just really nervous [about] if [Stevie] was going to like it or not,” she confessed. “I don’t know how he feels about it yet. I’m scared to ask him.”
A rep told The Hollywood Reporter that Macy’s camp has since reached out to the Motown Legend to get his thoughts but so far they haven’t gotten a response. As of yesterday the “Talking Book” remake hit shelves so even if Stevie doesn’t respond to the track remakes, his fans, and Macy’s, now have a chance to weigh in on the project. Hopefully her take on Stevie’s songs measured up to the original. Do you think Macy has what it takes?