Musicians often cover songs made famous by another singer, but it’s rare for a Grammy Award-winning singer to re-record another artist’s entire album. Macy Gray’s latest album, Talking Book, is a remake of Stevie Wonder’s album by the same name, some 40 years later.
Gray worked on the album with producer Hal Wilner, who came up with the idea to approach such uncharted territory.
“We were talking about ideas for cover songs and [Wilner] goes, ‘You know, what you should do is a whole album. Everyone remakes movies, but no one remakes albums,’” Gray said during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The fact that 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Talking Book, which includes such classic songs as “You Are the Sunshine Of My Life” and “Superstition,” was just “the craziest coincidence,” says Gray.