STEVIE WONDER Funkafied Rainbow: Live In London, 1974 (Unreleased) + 30 Min/1974 Beat Club Live Video

Funkafied Rainbow (1974)
Wonder In The UK

Wonderful 2CD bootleg from (arguably) Stevie Wonder’s creative zenith, recorded live in London at The Rainbow, January, 1974. Legend (and the New Musical Express) has it that these tapes were recorded and mixed by Stevie for an intended live album, but the project was scrapped and the recordings have lingered in the can for almost 40 years. The sound is excellent, though… not truly release ready (at least on these unofficial copies… some of the sonics are a tad thin). But, that shouldn’t deter you, since you’ll get a rare opportunity to hear Stevie and band, live and loose, stretching out on a number of faves and jams, including the 18-minute, band-introducing opener and 10+ minute versions of “Living For The City” and “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” We’ve corrected a few song titles from the original boot’s artwork and edited the intro to “Higher Ground,” below (just the player, not the download), but you’ll figure it all out. Almost 90 minutes of unreleased Wonder.

Intro/Contusion (17:50)
Higher Ground (5:53)
Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You) (3:12)
To Know You Is To Love You (7:12)
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours (3:04)
Visions (9:58)
Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing (4:48)
Living For The City (10:59)
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (12:00)
Superstition (7:29)
Encore: (You’ve Been Better To Me Than) A Lot Of My Dreams (6:06)


Thanks to Don From Oregon for digging up this 1974 live show from Germany’s Beat Club/Musikladen, which features much of the same set list as the Rainbow show. Amazing footage, making it easy to understand why commenters are talking about Stevie blowing away The Stones in ’72. 31 minutes. SONGS: Jam, Contusion, Higher Ground, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing, I Can See The Sun In Late December, He’s Misstra Know-It-All, Living For The City & Superstition. Many thanks, Don.

16 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    October 9, 2012 - 10:36 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    Psyclist
    October 9, 2012 - 10:52 | Permalink

    Now this, this is a rare thingie… looking forward to hear that! Thx Mr. Williard

  • 3
    MS
    October 9, 2012 - 12:27 | Permalink

    Amazing…sounds fantastic. I always wondered why there wasn’t a live document of this band, which by all accounts absolutely smoked. I had an old hippie friend who saw the 1972 version opening for the Stones and swore they blew them away.

  • 4
    October 9, 2012 - 14:39 | Permalink

    I believe every musician/songwriter has a “golden era” where they operate at the peak of their talents — I agree that this was Stevie’s golden era. I have always heard a story passed around that upon getting freed from his Motown contract, Stevie went into the studio for a week with Robert Margouleff (off Toronto’s Expanding Headband) and recording the instrumental tracks for the following albums: Music of my Mind, Talking Book, Inner Visions and Fullfillingness First Finale. If it’s true, this has to be an amazing feat by anyone’s standards. There is a YouTube video named Stevie’s Wonder Men which is well worth a look. From what little I know, I believe this relationship broke up over royalties (apparently Stevie was a little shy with the $$ as well as making the duo’s contributions widely known.

    • 5
      Willard
      October 9, 2012 - 19:02 | Permalink

      Never heard that story… but I don’t know many details about his career (besides what’s heard on the albums from ’68 to ’76). Thanks JP

  • 6
    Duncan Walls
    October 9, 2012 - 16:37 | Permalink

    I was lucky enough to see Stevie a couple of times back then: once opening up for the Stones at MSG summer of 72 ( Jagger’s B-Day Party). His songs were on my 8-track all the time back then (along with Marvin Gaye and The Isleys and O’Jays in addition to all the other stuff I was listening to back then) but what sticks out in my memory from that gig and the one I saw within the year here in Rochester was his COVERS! I recall hearing ‘Lean On Me’ by Bill Withers done at one of them and something else at the other that was concurrent on the soul charts. Wish there were more live from that era. As I recall his version were true to the originals and of course, FINE. Thanks for this one. Wish a live version of ‘Keep On Running’ was included.

    • 7
      Willard
      October 9, 2012 - 19:03 | Permalink

      One of my great regrets was never seeing him during this period.

  • 8
    Ernie 45
    October 9, 2012 - 18:28 | Permalink

    Thanks for the Stevie. Major upgrade from other copies I’ve had in the past.

  • 9
    Nappyrags
    October 9, 2012 - 22:20 | Permalink

    saw him open for the Stones in Long Beach in ’72…simply amazing…thanks for this

  • 10
    October 10, 2012 - 00:13 | Permalink

    Dang, this is nice. Thanks Willard!
    For anyone interested, here is his complete video from the German show “Musicladen” in early 1975
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPFB-z2ezXk
    It’s pretty cool also!

    • 11
      Willard
      October 10, 2012 - 00:28 | Permalink

      OUTSTANDING, I’ll add it to the post. Thanks Don.

  • 12
    CM
    October 10, 2012 - 10:37 | Permalink

    Thanks Willard – this is not only great, but reminds me of how great SW was at that time = Cheers! CM

  • 13
    Leon
    October 10, 2012 - 19:11 | Permalink

    YES! Love it!

  • 14
    buzzbabyjesus
    October 14, 2012 - 10:11 | Permalink

    Nice. Thanks. This is special.

  • 15
    ate2zee
    November 24, 2012 - 23:38 | Permalink

    A belated thanks for Funkafied Rainbow. I’ve always loved Stevie Wonder’s radio hits, all the way back to his Little Stevie Wonder days. But I’ve never heard anything like Funkafied Rainbow–it’s Stevie Wonder all right but “live” & another side of him. His studio albums are amazing, but what I love about this is that it isn’t that. Jazzy, soulful, funky–it goes wherever he wants it to go. Especially loved this rendition of Superstition. Nice one, Willard.

    • 16
      Willard
      November 25, 2012 - 00:03 | Permalink

      Glad you’re diggin it.

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