[ARTIST: STEVIE WONDER] [SONG: CREEPIN’]
“Creepin'” is from Stevie Wonder’s 1974 album, “Fulfillingness’ First Finale”, and is fundamentally not a typical 1970’s Stevie Wonder song. This is a beautiful, easygoing love song, far from “Superstition” and “Sir Duke”, but still with that classic Stevie Wonder touch that makes it inexpirable. The cover artwork for “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” tells a story of the past, but also predicts what may lie ahead.
The cover design was done by Robert Gleason, and the front depicts a staircase of keyboards going up into the sky. Stevie Wonder himself is standing on one of the steps, symbolizing the present day. Just like the album title says, Wonder has now reached a place of fulfillment, culminating with this album. But this is only a “first finale”, suggesting that it is by no means a final destination, and that many more finales are waiting up ahead. The African animals are a reminder of Wonder’s origin, and the Taurus is his zodiac. In 1973, while working on the album, Wonder sustained severe head injuries in an auto accident. This is depicted through a heavy log sticking out of the broken window of the red car. Right next to the “Little Stevie Wonder” there is a girl holding coloured balloons, and the four grammophones each represent an album (this was Stevie Wonder’s fourth Motown album with full artistic control).
The back cover shows the Grammies and Gold Records that Wonder had received, as well as the Motor Town Revue tour bus. Two of Stevie Wonder’s biggest heroes, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy, are also included. On the top are the covers for Wonder’s three earlier albums. The woman kissing Stevie Wonder on the cheek is his mother, Lula Mae Hardaway. The young Stevie holding a harmonica is most likely a hint back to “Fingertips“, his first big hit, which was mostly an instrumental piece featuring the harmonica and only very few lyrics.
Stevie Wonder plays all the instruments himself on “Creepin'”. The background vocalist is Minnie Riperton, famous for having a vocal range of more than 5 octaves and also one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer from which she died in 1979.
In 1975, Stevie Wonder received 4 Grammy Awards for “Fulfillingness’ First Finale”, one of them being “Album of The Year” which he had also won the previous year for “Innervisions”. It would take Stevie Wonder 2 more years to finish recording his follow-up album, “Songs In The Key Of Life”, which led to Paul Simon, when receiving the Grammy for “Album of The Year” in 1976, thanking Stevie Wonder in his acceptance speech for not releasing any album that year. Wonder took his third “Album of The Year” Grammy in 1977 for “Songs In The Key Of Life”.
The Jazz Saxophonist Stanley Turrentine did an interpretation of Creepin’ on his album “Wonderland – Music of Stevie Wonder”. The song has also been covered by Luther Vandross in 1985, and later Jamie Foxx did his version on a Luther Vandross tribute album.