Our Top 10 Natalie Cole Songs list takes a look at music royalty. Natalie Cole was the daughter of the late great Nat King Cole. She had a successful career in her own right. She has sold over 30 million records worldwide. Some of her hits singles include “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Inseparable,” “Our Love,” “Unforgettable,” “I Live For Your Love,” “Pink Cadillac,” “Jump Start,” “I’ve Got Love on My Mind,” “When I Fall in Love” as well as others. She has several top 10 r&b hits and she had some crossover hits. Natalie Cole won nine Grammys, three NAACP awards as well as other awards. In addition to singing, she pursued an acting career. She hosted a talent show called Big Break in 1990. It was a competition for singers and musicians. She appeared on the TV shows I’ll Fly Away, Touched by an Angel, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Grey’s Anatomy. She starred in the movies Lily in Winter, De-Lovely and Livin’ for Love: The Natalie Cole Story. She won an NAACP award for her role in that movie.
Natalie Maria Cole was born February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015. She was born into music royalty. Her father is the late great Nat King Cole. Her mother was singer as well. She got her first start in the entertainment business when she sang on her father’s Christmas album The Magic of Christmas. After she graduated from college, she started singing in nightclubs. The club owners embraced her because she was Nat King Cole’s daughter. They were disappointed when she didn’t sing the type of songs her father sang during his career. She recorded demo records that helped her land her recording contract.
She released her first album Inseparable in 1975. The album debuted at number one on the r&b charts and number 18 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Inseparable,” “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “I Can’t Say No” and “I Love Him So Much.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. She should have been on top of the world because she had a hit album. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for Natalie Cole. She hit hard times because she battled a bad drug addiction. Her drug problem led to her arrest in 1975. She ended up working with a prostitute to get money for drugs. She could have let that setback keep her from recording, but she persevered.
Natalie Cole released the next album Natalie in 1976. The album peaked at number three on the r&b charts and number 13 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Sophisticated Lady (She’s a Different Lady),” “Mr. Melody,” “Good Morning Heartache,” “Not Like Mine” and “Can We Get Together Again.” Unpredictable was released in 1977. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number eight on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the songs “I’ve Got Love on My Mind,” “Party Lights,” “This Heart,” “Be Mine Tonight” and “Your Eyes.” The album sold over one million copies.
Thankful also came out in 1977. The album peaked at number five on the r&b charts and number 16 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Our Love,” “Annie Mae,” “Just Can’t Stay Away,” “Lovers” and “Nothing Stronger Than Love.” I Love You So was released in 1979. It peaked at number 11 on the r&b charts and number 52 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “I Love You So,” “You’re So Good,” “The Winner,” “Standby” and “Sorry.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. Don’t Look Back came out in 1980. The album peaked at number 17 on the r&b charts and number 77 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the songs “Someone That I Used to Love,” “Stairway to the Stars,” “Don’t Look Back,” “Hold On” and “I’m Getting Into You.”
Happy Love came out in 1981. The album peaked at number 37 on the r&b charts and number 132 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “These Eyes,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “I Can’t Let Go,” “Love and Kisses” and “Across the Nation.” I’m Ready was released in 1983. It peaked at number 54 on the r&b charts and number 182 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the songs “I’m Ready,” “Where’s Your Angel,” “Too Much Mister,” “Keep it On the Outside” and “I’m Your Mirror.” Dangerous came out in 1985. The album peaked at number 48 on the r&b charts and number 140 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the songs “Dangerous,” “A Little Bit of Heaven,” “Love is On the Way,” “Secrets” and “Opposites Attract.”
Everlasting was released in 1987. The album peaked at number eight on the r&b charts and number 42 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Pink Cadillac,” “Jump Start,” “I Live for Your Love,” “In My Reality,” “Split Decision” and “When I Fall in Love.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. Good to Be Back was released in 1989. The album peaked at number 21 on the r&b charts and number 59 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the songs “Miss You Like Crazy,” “I Do,” “Good to Be Back” “Starting Over Again” and “Safe.” Unforgettable…with Love was released in 1991. The album was a standard of cover songs by Nat King Cole. The album peaked at number five on the r&b charts and number one on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Unforgettable,” “Mona Lisa,” “Paper Moon,” “This Can’t Be Love,” “Almost Like Being in Love” and “Our Love Is Here to Stay.” The albums sold over seven million copies.
Take a Look came out in 1993. It peaked at number 14 on the r&b charts and number 26 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Take a Look,” “I Wish You Love,” “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “Crazy He Calls Me,” “Cry Me a River,” “Let There Be Love” and “Undecided.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. Stardust came out in 1996. It peaked at number 11 on the r&b charts and number 20 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the songs “Stardust,” “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “When I Fall in Love,” “Love Letters,” “He Was Too Good to Me,” “Pick Yourself Up” and “If You Could See Me Now.” The album sold over one million copies. Snowfall on the Sahara came out in 1999. The album peaked at number 64 on the r&b charts and number 163 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “A Song For You,” “More Than You’ll Ever Know,” “Gotta Serve Somebody” and “Stay With Me.” She went on to record more albums throughout her career.
Natalie Cole was a successful, but underrated recording artist. People probably thought she rose to fame because of her father’s name, but that wasn’t the case. She managed to become a star in her own right. She has several hit singles and albums to prove her success. She is an award-winning artist. She faced her demons after the death of her father, but she was able to persevere. She had to compete with the likes of Whitney Houston, Regina Bell, Melba Moore, Stephanie Mills, Phyllis Hyman, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle as well as others and she was able to have a successful career. She left the world too song, but her legacy lives on through her music. Our Top 10 Natalie Cole Songs list will feature her best songs.
# 10 – Pink Cadillac
The first song on our Top 10 Natalie Cole Songs list is “Pink Cadillac” from the Everlasting album. The song has a dance, pop and r&b sound. The raunchy song is about a woman’s private area. She talks about tempting men with her “Pink Cadillac.” Bruce Springsteen originally composed and recorded this song. He didn’t think it would be appropriate for a woman to record the song. It’s strange that a woman chose to take on the chance and record a song about a woman’s private area. She was up for the task and recorded the song. She kept the theme of the song the same as Springsteen’s version. She sang it from a woman’s perspective.
This song is on her comeback album. She had a couple of valleys when her music wasn’t selling the way it was when she first came on the music scene. She was determined to have another hit and it came with the Everlasting album. This track was one of the hits on the album that helped her gain a new fanbase. The track has an 80s sound. The horn and drums drive the beat. This song will get you on the dance floor immediately. Her version is a pop song. Bruce Springsteen’s version is a rock song. In his version, the guitar and drums drive the beat. You can dance to his version, but Natalie Cole’s version is better for dancing. She kept the style the same, but she managed to make the song her own.
# 9 – Jump Start
The next song on our Top 10 Natalie Cole Songs list is “Jump Start” also from the Everlasting album. The song has a dance and pop sound. The metaphoric song is about love. It’s another automobile reference similar to our previous entry. She wants her man to “jump start” her heart. This was also on her comeback album. The jam is a party song that’s guaranteed to get you on the dance floor. It has a classic 80s sound. The upbeat jam has a thumping drumbeat.
The song is also synth-heavy which gives it the classic 80s sound. It has a classic sound without being too dated. You can tell it’s an old school song, but it can still be appreciated today. The melody is a combination of Midnight Star’s “Midas Touch,” Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract,” and Pebbles’ “Mercedes Boy.” If you listen to it closely, you may be able to hear the similarities in the beats. She’s outside of her comfort zone with this track. She was known for singing r&b and jazz music so this track gave her a chance to spread her wings.
She proved she could handle singing crossover music. The song was a hit for the singer and it makes sense. The music is excellent and very dance friendly. Let’s get to her vocals. She sounds like she’s having fun while singing the song. Her voice blends well with the track. The music isn’t too loud for her voice so she blends in with it.
# 8 – When I Fall in Love – virtual duet with Nat King Cole
The romantic song is from the Stardust album. The song has a standard sound. The tender track was originally on her Everlasting album as a solo track. The version we wanted to include on our list is the version she did that included her father’s vocals. Natalie Cole didn’t want to cover her father’s songs, but she ended up doing them anyway. She covered this ballad twice. With the magic of technology, she was able to create the opportunity to sing with her father. It’s a very touching performance between a father and his daughter.
The production is so brilliant that it appears as if they sang the song together. His half of the song was recorded in the 50s while her half was recorded later. It sounds as if they recorded it at the same time. The music has a jazz sound to it. It sounds like there’s a big orchestra playing the music. The music is elegant and emotional and will touch your heart. There are saxophone and violin solos that will blow you away. The Coles’ voices were meant to be together. They sound amazing together. It’s amazing that she was able to keep it together while recording this song with her father’s voice in the song. This song is a masterpiece. It became one of her signature songs. It’s sad to know that they are no longer with us.
# 7 – This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)
The carefree song is from the Inseparable album. The song has an r&b, soul and gospel sound. The joyful song is about a love that will last forever. This song was her first number one r&b hit. The song was the first of five consecutive r&b hits. The song was recorded in the 70s and was revived over the years when it appeared in movies and TV commercials.
The music has an upbeat sound. It cleverly mixes r&b and gospel music together. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. It has crossover appeal. The music will put you in a trance. It’s the type of song that will make you smile while you listen to it. The song is very horn and piano friendly. You will be hooked as soon as you hear the piano chords begin. You can tell she is in a cheerful mood while she’s singing the song. She sings the song in a higher key than her other songs. Her voice sounds pretty and angelic. She takes vocal risks on the track. She belts after the bridge of the song. She races through the verses with such ease. She scats at the end like a true jazz singer. Her voice is stacked when she sings the chorus. She sounds like two people. She harmonizes very well.
# 6 – Unforgettable – virtual duet with Nat King Cole
The emotional song is from her Unforgettable…with Love album. The song has an r&b and jazz sound. The loving song is about having unconditional love for someone. The love doesn’t have to between a couple. If you take the romantic elements out of the song, it could be about The Cole family. It could also be about friendship. Anyone could relate to this song if they have someone in their lives that they love unconditionally. This is another virtual duet with her late father. This song is the biggest hit of Natalie Cole’s career. It’s one of her signature songs.
Natalie Cole didn’t want to record love ballads, but she changed her mind. She decided to redo her father’s songs and include him in them. She kept the lyrics of the song the same. The producers did an amazing job with this track just like with “When I Fall in Love” because it sounds like they recorded the song together. Their voices blend together effortlessly. It was touching to hear them sing this song together. They took the romantic aspect out of the track and it became a song about love between a father and his daughter. His velvety vocals will send chills up and down your spine. She sounds angelic on the track. Her voice sounds creamy and smooth on this tender ballad. Their voices sound magical and soulful together.
# 5 – I’ve Got Love on My Mind
The next song on our Top 10 Natalie Cole Songs list is “I’ve Got Love on My Mind” from the Unpredictable album. The song has an r&b beat. The passionate song is self-explanatory. She tells the story about a woman who has love on her mind. She thinks about being in love all of the time. The music has a smooth and cool vibe. The music is simple. It’s a piano-laden track with a thumping drumbeat to add tempo. There is a guitarist who is a genius. The person’s solo is definitely worth checking out. This quiet storm ballad is excellent for the bedroom.
It’s a quiet storm jam that’s still on the radio today. The song was recorded in the late 70s, but it still sounds relevant today. Natalie Cole’s vocals are superb. There’s not enough space to write how great she sounds. She has a soulful voice that will move you. She hits incredible high notes effortlessly. She starts the song off softly and seductively. Her range is extraordinary. She can sing in her lower register and her higher register and still sound amazing. The background singers do a great job singing the chorus. They are trying to give her a run for her money so it’s a battle at the end for control of the song. Everything about this song works.
# 4 – Inseparable
The sentimental song is from the album of the same name. The song has an r&b and jazz sound. The contemplative song is a ballad about not being able to stay away from her lover. This is one of her first hit songs. The track is from her groundbreaking album. It helped put her on the map. This track was guaranteed to get her out of the shadow of her famous father. It helped propel her career. The lyrics are beautiful and romantic. The songwriters created a moving track that managed not to sound too sappy. The song is perfect to use for a wedding. It is also an excellent choice for the bedroom. She may not have wanted to record ballads, but she has a voice for them. The music is perfect for quiet storm radio.
The simple melody consists of the piano, horn, violin and bass. The musicians are geniuses. The musical arrangement is elegant and classy. It’s hard to believe the song was recorded in the 70s. The song is still being played on quiet storm radio today. What can we say about Natalie Cole’s vocals? She flourishes throughout the song. Her sweet voice soars to incredible heights. She uses excellent control because she belts and knows when to pull back without taking a breath. The only complaint about the song is that it ends too abruptly. It’s a song that you will want to continue so you can enjoy her vocal seduction.
# 3 – Our Love
The tender song is from the Thankful album. The track has an r&b and soul sound. The emotional song is a celebration about the love she has for the man in her life. The lyrics are in her comfort zone because she is known for singing songs celebrating love. There are other artists who tend to sing about relationships that have gone wrong, but she likes to embrace love. She wants to express how love should be. The lyrics are beautiful and don’t sound too sappy. The lyrics will reach your soul and make you feel things. The music is hypnotic. The song would make the perfect wedding song. You will be hooked as soon as the piano chords begin.
The musical arrangement is fire. The music features the piano, violin, horn and drums. The musicians keep the instrumentation simple and sweet. It has the right balance so that you can focus on the music as well as her vocals. Natalie Cole was battling personal demons while she was recording her music. She used drugs throughout her career, but it didn’t take a toll on her vocals. She sounds phenomenal on the song. Her vocals are pristine and gorgeous. She has excellent phrasing on the track. She holds incredible notes at the end of the song. She holds one note and turns it into a run at the end of the track. She held the note in perfect pitch. A less talented singer might have had trouble pulling the note off, but she came through with flying colors.
# 2 – I Miss You Like Crazy
The yearning song is from the Good to Be Bad album. It has an r&b and adult contemporary sound to it. The longing song is about her feeling lonely and missing the one she loves. She misses the person badly. She wants to see the person right away. This track is the biggest hit from this album. It was an adult contemporary hit so it had crossover appeal. The lyrics can resonate with anyone who is missing someone they love. It doesn’t have to be a love song. It could be about anyone in your life. Unfortunately, the lyrics could apply to her since she’s no longer with us.
The lyrics are more poignant now that she’s gone. The heartfelt lyrics will make you melt. It’s impossible to listen to this track and not feel emotional. If you have lost someone, the lyrics will mean something to you. The music is dreamy and mesmerizing. It has the classic 80s ballad sound, but it’s still relevant today. She sings the song in a subtle way. She doesn’t go overboard belting in the track. She keeps her vocals simple. It was a great choice to do that because it gives you a chance to focus on the lyrics. Her phrasing is excellent and her breathing is perfection. She could have belted throughout the track, but she chose not to go that route.
She had moments when her vocals soared a little, but she held back on the track. The song is flawless. It could have been number one on our list if it weren’t for the one we chose. It was a toss up between the two tracks for the number one spot.
# 1 – I Live For Your Love
The number one song on our Top 10 Natalie Cole Songs list is “I Live For Your Love” from the Everlasting album. The song has an r&b and adult contemporary beat to it. This is the longest charting song of her career. The gorgeous ballad is about living for someone’s love. The lyrics are stirring and magnetic. The music is sparkling and enjoyable. Here is some trivia about the song. Whitney Houston inspired this track. The writers wanted to give Natalie Cole a song that could compete with Whitney Houston They were going after the same fanbase so it made sense that she would have a song that could compete with the power diva.
The writers created the right song for her because this is the type of song Whitney Houston would have recorded. Her vocals aren’t as powerful as Whitney Houston’s, but they are outstanding nonetheless. She didn’t hold her notes all the way through without using vibrato while Whitney Houston would have held it without using it. With that said, Natalie Cole sounds like an angel. She holds your attention from beginning to end. She draws the listeners in and makes you want to sing along with her. The chorus of the song is an earworm. It will stay in your head long after the song is done. This is a song you will want to hear over and over again. It deserves to be a hit song and number one on our list. This song is flawless and everything about it works.
Top 10 Natalie Cole Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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