Top 10 Stevie Wonder Albums

Stevie Wonder Albums

Photo: Antonio Cruz/ABr, CC BY 3.0 BR <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Stevie Wonder albums list presents ten of the finest albums from of the greatest musicals geniuses of our lifetime. There are not many people alive on the planet who have never heard of Stevie Wonder. This brilliant artist broke into the music scene at the very young age of eleven when he was signed by Motown Records. At the time he was known as Little Stevie Wonder. He would record for the label singing other artists songs until the late 1960s when he began penning his own. His most legendary period would occur in the mid 1970s when he released a series of number one albums that would clean up at the Grammy Awards every year. He is regarded as one of the greatest musical artists of all time. Stevie Wonder has released twenty three studio albums and over one hundred singles. Below is a list and a review of ten of the best Stevie Wonder albums ever released.

# 10 – Up-Tight

We open up our top 10 Stevie Wonder albums list with one of Stevie Wonder’s early albums entitled Up-Tight. There were so many great Stevie Wonder albums released in the 1960s, it became tough to choose only a couple because we needed to leave space for his legendary 70s albums. This is a different sounding Stevie Wonder than the one that won all those Grammys in the 1970s. Up-Tight was Stevie Wonder’s fifth studio album. The album was released in 1966. The Up-Tight album was recorded on the Tamla label which was a sub label of Motown records.

Stevie Wonder is surrounded by A list musicians and vocalists on this great soul album. The Temptations joins Stevie Wonder on the  spirited song “Contract on Love.” Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops shares lead vocals with Stevie Wonder on the standard “Teach Me Tonight.” Once again Motown’s hit studio band The Funk Brothers are utilized as the smoking band on the album.  The album’s big hit single was the title track “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).” This was one of the earliest Stevie Wonder songs in which he received writing credit. The song hit number one on the US Billboard R&B Charts in 1966.

# 9 – Hotter Than July

Continuing with our top 10 Stevie Wonder albums list we jump many years ahead in time to the grand Hotter Than July album. This fantastic record was viewed as sort of a comeback album for Stevie Wonder. The album was released in 1980. They loved this one in the United Kingdom where it became Stevie Wonder’s most successful album he ever released in the UK. The album was a top 10 hit in the US on The Billboard Hot 200 albums charts. The records stand out track ann big hit single was the reggae funk infused single “Master Blaster (Jammin’).” Other  standout tracks included Stevie Wonder’s’ tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. entitled “Happy Birthday,” and the grooving song “I Ain’t Gonna Stand for It.”

# 8 – A Time To Love

In the number eight spot on our Top 10 Stevie Wonder albums list we present the album A Time To Love. The album was released in 2005. It had been ten years since Stevie Wonder had released a studio album.The album featured some big time musical guests including En Vogue singing backing vocals on the smoking track “So What the Fuss.” The recording also featured the legendary Prince on guitar.This was a heartfelt album released by Stevie Wonder who had lost his wife to cancer a year before its release. The album’s standout track “From the Bottom of My Heart” won Stevie Wonder a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

# 7 – In Square Circle

In the number seven position on our top 10 Stevie Wonder albums list is the terrific album entitled In Square Circle. The album was released in 1985. This very successful album wound up being Stevie Wonder’s twentieth studio album. The album hit number one on the US Billboard R&B Charts. In Square Circle also won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. It was a top ten album on the US Billboard Hot 200 Album Charts. Five singles were released from the album. The standout tracks included the mesmerising single “Overjoyed,” and the  electrifying pop nugget  “Part-Time Lover” which delivered Stevie Wonder another number one single.

# 6 – My Cherie Amour

Landing in the number six spot on our top 10 Stevie Wonder albums list we present the wonderful album My Cherie Amour. Everyone remembers the single, but there are probably some that don’t realize that was also the title of Stevie Wonder’s eleventh studio album and final album release of the 1960s. The album was released in 1969. My Cherie Amour is an interesting album in Stevie Wonder’s catalogue as he covers a vast variety of songs and styles from Broadway’s Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers “Hello Young Lovers,” to The Doors Light My Fire. This is a fun record with Stevie Wonder playing some great keys along with the legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson and the grooving Funk Brothers drummer Benny Benjamin.

# 5 – Music Of My Mind

At the halfway point on our top 10 Stevie Wonder albums list is an album that we feel is the crossover album from his Motown style days to his classic period in the mid 1970s. He’s not there yet on this album, but you can hear the start of it all. Stevie Wonder’s Music Of My Mind was released in 1972. It was Stevie Wonder’s fourteenth album. The biggest change on the record is that that Stevie Wonder plays most of the instruments himself which delivers a very different feeling groove in the music from his previous efforts. It’s tough to duplicate the groove of a Jammy Jamerson, but Stevie Wonder has his own feel which begins to jell on this great album.

# 4 – Talking Book

At the number four spot on our top 10 Stevie Wonder albums list we take a turn to the beginning of what many believe to be Stevie Wonder’s most significant musical period of his career in the 1970s from 1972 to 1976. The big time number one albums and multiple Grammy Award wins all begin with the Talking Book album. This phenomenal album was released in 1972. It would be the first of four straight Stevie Wonder albums to hit number one on the US Billboard Album R&B Charts. The album hit number three on the Billboard Top 200 Albums charts.

Talking Book would become Stevie Wonder’s first Gold selling album. The Talking Book album spawned two massive Stevie Wonder hit singles in the songs “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “Superstition.” Many people may not remember that Stevie Wonder toured with the Rolling Stones just before this album was released. What a show that must have been.

# 3 – Innervisions

While Talking Book was an incredible album these next three get even better. It’s almost hard to put them in any order because they are some of the greatest musical albums ever released. Up next is the stunning Innervisions album. Stevie Wonder’s brilliant musical work was released in 1973. It would become his second straight number one album on the US Billboard Album R&B Charts. The album hit number four on the Billboard Top 200 Albums charts. Innervisions would also be Stevie Wonder’s second straight Gold selling album

The musical highlight of the album among many has to be the groundbreaking single “Living for the City.” The very cinematic tale of hard luck with its infectious bass line and incredibly passionate vocals was released as the second single from the album. They had no choice but to release it number two because there was no way they were not releasing the funk filled spectacular recording “Higher Ground,” as the album’s debut single.This song’s furious keyboard lick was simply to die for. Another funk burner from the record that need to be mentions was the ragin “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing.” Of course in the middle of all the groove Stevie Wonder composed and recorded one of the most beautiful ballads of the decade in the song All In Love Is Fair.

# 2 – Fulfillingness’ First Finale

After just releasing two stunning albums, Stevie Wonder stepped right back up to plate showing the world that there was still so much more to come. In 1974 Stevie Wonder released the outstanding album Fulfillingness’ First FinaleThis one was on equal ground as Inversions and maybe just even a little bit stronger. Some of the best and most funk filled soulful songs of his career were released on this album including the songs “Boogie On Reggae Woman” and the political charged “You Haven’t Done Nothin.'”

Fulfillingness’ First Finale would become Stevie Wonder’s most successful album up to that point in his career. It would become his first number one album on the Billboard Top 200 albums charts and also become his first album to go platinum in sales. To top it all off, Fulfillingness’ First Finale won the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year in 1974. You can’t really do any better than that in the music business. Two years later, Stevie Wonder would very much do so……

# 1 – Songs In The Key Of Life

Have you vere heard the expression “yeah that album won a lot of awards but it was still no Songs In The Key Of Life. Yeah you probably have, and if you haven’t heard that expression, let me tell you why so many people have used it. Stevie Wonder released his epic two record set Songs In The Key Of Life in 1976 to what would become the most successful and highly awarded album in history. There were a lot of great albums released in 1976, but none of them came close to knocking this baby down.

Songs In The Key Of Life was nominated for seven Grammy Awards. It wound up winning four Grammy Awards including the highly regarded trophy for album of the year. It would become Stevie Wonder’s first album to go Diamond in sales. Seven amazing singles were released from the album including songs that would become classics such as “I Wish,” “Isn’t She Lovely,” “Sir Duke,” “Another Star,” and “As.” The album hit number one on album charts around the world and stay on many of them in the number one position for multiple weeks. It is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. 

Top 10 Stevie Wonder Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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  1. James September 29, 2021

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