Want to Hear Stevie Wonder’s Live DEMO of the Song He Wrote for MJ, “I Can’t Help It”?

Are you ready for your musical discovery of the day?  Check out this demo of Stevie Wonder recording the classic song, "I Can't Help It", before he handed it over to Michael Jackson.  The finished "official" version of this song can be heard on Michael's 1979 album, "Off the Wall".

Our favorite part?  Stevie making up words (and random sounds) on the spot... many of which, never made it to the final version, but all served the purpose of delivering his incredible melodies to tape.

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Comments

José M*

José M* said:

FANTÁSTICO…!!!!

Tomlin

Tomlin said:

luv this it’s edgier…but you can hear why he gave the song to mj…

satta

satta said:

sounds like a live rendition remastered by the latest software, stevie performed this song a lot of times after it was given to michael. while he was still alive too.

Georg

Georg said:

Just to avoid misunderstandings:

Michael Jackson’s version has been released with ‘Off The Wall’ only 6 years after Stevie Wonder’s original recording, which can be found on ‘Innervisions’ from 1973.

James

James said:

Damn, that was incredible! Would be nice see Stevie add this to his repertoire. I’ve seen Stevie a couple of times in concert and would be very cool to him perform it.

Wes Smooth

Wes Smooth said:

Actually during the recording of “Hotter Than July” for which the Jackson5 appeared on, Michael begged Stevie for this song and in the credits Stevie thanks Michael for being a positive pain. This song was not on “Innervisions” as Georg stated, however Stevie did sing this song at the UNCF awards show.

Gijs Andriessen

Gijs Andriessen said:

This song is NOT on the 1973 record Innervisions.

Gijs Andriessen

Gijs Andriessen said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innervisions

Andrew  Woodworth

Andrew Woodworth said:

This is the worst song on the best album ever made. Never been a fan of it.

Soulshack

Soulshack said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-2LPgeFSMA

Tommy

Tommy said:

This is NOT the demo. This is merely a performance of a song he wrote.
Last FM did not exist when this song was written and is clearly referenced in the adlibbed lyrics

Sammy Jammy

Sammy Jammy said:

Pure Genius. Its call a Demo people lol.

Juan

Juan said:

The Jackson 5 did not appear on “Hotter Than July.” Only Michael – he sang back-up on “All I Do”. The Jackson 5 did appear on “Fulfillingness’ First Finale.” LAST FM is certainly NOT clearly referenced in the ad lib but it does sound like a live, “in studio” radio recording. Wonder usually ends his year In L.A. doing benefit concerts at Christmas time so I looked around for radio tie-in’s and this came up

http://www.real923la.com/pages/weekendpromo112908.html

a little more digging turned up this comment from two weeks ago by on-air talent, Wes Hall on the 2-year-old (!) posting of this track on youtube:

“Wait a second….I requested this song and performance from Stevie!!!! I have the uncut version of this! This recording is from a session he did when i was an On-Air personality on HOT 92.3 at IheartRadio in LA…about 3 or 4 years ago!!!! This is literally my copy of it!!!! He was there doing a session for Stevie Wonder’s House Full of Toys concert, and he asked for any requests. Nobody spoke up so I requested it saying, “Will you play ‘I Can’t Help It’? You wrote it for Michael. It’s my favorite!”. He said, “i ..I don’t know if I remember all the words.” Everyone laughed along with him. I said, “I’m taking it way back.” He laughed and again said, “I forgot all the words.” That’s when he played the first chord, called out the key and started playing! This is literally one of my greatest moments in life, and I’m glad the world can enjoy it, too!"

One final thought: iHeartMedia also own another station the serves Modesto, KOSO. Could Stevie have mixed it up with KOST-FM, the L.A. station that plays 24/7 Christmas music from Thanksgiving until December 26th?

Whatever the true story may be, this is probably not a demo and it certainly is not some new leak!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNZRJB952b0

Zzyzx

Zzyzx said:

Pretty sure he said “Coast FM” but I could be wrong

Wes

Wes said:

Wait a second….I requested this song and performance from Stevie!!!! I have the uncut version of this! This recording is from a session he did when i was an On-Air personality on HOT 92.3 at IheartRadio in LA…about 3 or 4 years ago!!!! This is literally my copy of it!!!! He was there doing a session for Stevie Wonder’s House Full of Toys concert, and he asked for any requests. Nobody spoke up so I requested it saying, “Will you play ‘I Can’t Help It’? You wrote it for Michael. It’s my favorite!”. He said, “i ..I don’t know if I remember all the words.” Everyone laughed along with him. I said, “I’m taking it way back.” He laughed and again said, “I forgot all the words.” That’s when he played the first chord, called out the key and started playing! This is literally one of my greatest moments in life, and I’m glad the world can enjoy it, too!

Mark

Mark said:

Zzyxx is correct. He did say what sounded like Coast FM, but it’s KOST FM, a radio station in L.A. that plays nothing but Christmas music during the holiday season.

Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson said:

To me it was always the standout song on off the wall

Yaxzon Jackson

Yaxzon Jackson said:

I’m pretty sure “24/7” is not a term that existed in the 1970s. This definitely did not predate Michael Jackson’s version.

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