May 222023
byrne vincent bam

When we put together our 50 Best Stevie Wonder Covers Ever list last year, you know what song was never in contention? “Chemical Love,” off Wonder’s 1991 soundtrack for the Spike Lee drama Jungle Fever. Because, other than a couple random YouTubers, it’s the rare Stevie tune that basically no one has covered.

Until now.

A decade on from their joint album Love This Giant, David Byrne and St. Vincent are still occasionally collaborating. A few weeks ago, they performed the first-ever notable cover of “Chemical Love” at a Brooklyn Academy of Music event honoring Byrne alongside the real estate attorney Claire Wood and — wait for it — Spike Lee, the man who directed the movie for which Wonder wrote the song. “We kind of wanted to tie Spike into this somehow, so this is a song from Jungle Fever,” Byrne said by way of intro. “It takes a little bit of nerve for us to do it.

Watch a too-brief clip of their “Chemical Love” cover before.

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