Top 10 Ben E. King Songs

Ben E. King Songs

Photo: annulla from Brooklyn, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Ben E. King songs list looks back at the songs of one of rock and roll’s most iconic voices. There is no argument that when one thinks of Ben E. King, the song “Stand By Me,” is usually the first one that pops into mind. That classic song stands as just one of the highlights of Ben E. King’s solo career. Before he launched his solo career in 1961, Ben E. King was known as the lead singer in the classic group The Drifters. That group had many hits featuring the silk vocals of Ben E. King. Our top 10 Ben E. King songs list will just focus on the material Ben E. King released as a solo artist. The Drifters songs will be included in an article just focused on the Drifters music. We hope you enjoy this top 10 Ben E. King songs list. The man released an abundance of material in the 1960s and 70s. It was tough to only pick ten

# 10 – Ecstasy

We open up our top 10 Ben E. King songs list with a great song from his legendary album Don’t Play That Song. Although the background vocals on this one come off a little too creepy for some, Ben E. King’s lead vocals on this one are quite splendid. The song was written by Doc Pomus and Phil Spector. Ben E. King’s song “Ecstasy,” was released as a single to moderate chart success. It peaked in the 50s on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard R&B Charts in 1962.

 

# 9 –  I (Who Have Nothing)

Continuing with our top 10 Ben E. King songs list we turn to a dramatic ballad entitled “I (Who Have Nothing). The song was written by Carlo Donida and Giulio “Mogol” Rapetti. This one will make you shiver and weep. It was released as a single by Ben E. King in 1963.  It became a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

# 8 – Seven Letters

Ben E. King’s “Seven Letters,” is one of the unheralded gems on this top 10 Ben E. King songs list. The song was written by Ben E. King and also stood as the title track to his 1965 album entitled Seven Letters. This is a sweeping, grooving ballad that showcases one of the best vocals Ben E. King ever laid down on vinyl. Make sure you take a listen to this one.

# 7 – Here Comes the Night

Ben E. King’s album Don’t Play That Song was an album with with highly addictive grooves that helped set the standard for rock and roll soul with a moonlight feel if you get what I mean. “Here Come The Night,” was another classic Ben E. King song released on his spectacular Don’t Play That Song album. The song was released as a single and broke the Billboard Top 100 in 1961 peaking at number 81.

# 6 – We Got a Thing Going On

This fantastic duet with Dee Dee Sharp was released as a single on Atco Records in 1968. The song did not chart on the U.S. Billboard R&B charts and it hovered around the 120s on the Billboard Mainstream tracks. Nonetheless, this is just one of those forgotten gems that we felt deserved a spot on our top 10 Ben E. King songs list.

# 5 – Amor

As we merge into to the second half of our top 10 Ben E. King songs list, we turn to a much loved Ben E. King song titled “Amor.” This one was special to many people. One of those songs that wedding bands and lounge groups made a big part of their repertoire. The song goes back to the 1940s when it was written by Gabriel Ruiz, Ricardo López Méndez and Sunny Skylar. It was first made into a hit by Bing Crosby. The song became a top 20 hit for Ben E. King in 1961.

# 4 – Supernatural Thing Pt.1

Well where did this one come from? Ben E. King’s comeback in 1975 defined a completely different sound from the music he had previously released. This was a funk dance tune that sounded like nothing Ben E. King had ever recorded. And man was it successful. “Supernatural Thing Pt.1,” was Ben E. King’s first big hit in almost fourteen years. The song was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking all the way up to number five. Amazingly, for the first time since the release of “Stand By Me,” went to number one on the U.S. Billboard R&B Charts in 1961, Ben E. King reached that height again with “Supernatural Thing Pt.1,” as it also hit number one on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1975.

# 3 – Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)

Ben E. King’s “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” served as the title track to Ben E. King’s  fabulous and legendary album Don’t Play That Song. The album was released in 1962. The record contained many of Ben E. King hit singles including what would become his trademark song in “Stand By Me.” The song “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” was released as the fifth single off the record as some of the other single’s had been released before the album was issued. The song had an impact on many 1970s musical artists including Bruce Springsteen who often referenced the song in some of his recorded work and live concert appearances.

# 2 – Spanish Harlem

The classic Ben E. King song “Spanish Harlem,” was released by Ben E. King in 1960. The song was issued on his album also entitled Spanish Harlem. The song became Ben E. King’s first top 10 hit as a solo artist. The song hit number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. “Spanish Harlem,” was written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector. The song would become one of the great standards released in the 196os. It was covered by many artists over the years. Aretha Franklin had a big hit with the song in 1971. Other great versions were recorded and performed by Leon Russell, Laura Nyro, Santo & Johnny and Neil Diamond. There are also great versions of Bruce Springsteen performing the song as well as Led Zeppelin.

# 1 – Stand By Me

We close out our Top 10 Ben E. King songs list with not only Ben E. King’s most popular song, but one of the most popular songs to come out of the 1960s. A timeless song released in 1961 and written by Ben E. King King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller. There are not many people on the planet that have not heard this one. The song was released in 1961. It quickly became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number four. On the U.S. Billboard R&B charts the song went straight to number one. While the song maintained its popularity through the 1960s and 1970s, it received another boost of popularity when it was used as the title track and theme song to the 1986 film Stand By Me.

Top 10  article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020

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