The 10 Best Stevie Wonder Albums Ranked
Throughout Stevie Wonder’s career, he has continually achieved phenomenal success and broken records. Many people consider him a musical genius, and he has shaped several genres of music and influenced the music of other artists. Stevie Wonder began his career in the early 1960s as a child prodigy, signing to a record label at the age of just 11. He released his first single, ‘Fingertips,’ in 1963, and when it topped the Billboard Hot 100, he became the youngest artist ever to top the chart, as he was just 13. Despite being blind since shortly after his birth, Wonder has released 23 studio albums, three soundtrack albums, four live albums, and 11 compilation albums. He also released 101 singles. Over his career, Stevie Wonder has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. Here we have ranked the 10 best Stevie Wonder albums.
10. Up-Tight (Everything’s Alright) (1966)
Stevie Wonder struggled to get a break in the Motown music industry that he desperately desired, as he was so different that they did not know what to do with him. In an effort to improve his success, he decided it was time to take charge of his own career. He started writing his own tracks and decide to produce his own album. The result was the 1966 album ‘Up-Tight,’ which was his sixth album. It was an instant success, and he achieved the results he desired. Wonder co-wrote the title track, which was inspired by gospel and soul music.
9. A Time to Love (2005)
Stevie Wonder has proven he can withstand the test of time and appeal to new generations, as one of his most successful albums was ‘A Time to Love.’ It was his 23rd studio album and the last album released by Wonder. The first single released from the album was ‘So What’s the Fuss,’ which featured En Vogue and Prince. He also released a single featuring his oldest daughter called ‘Positivity.’
8. Signed, Sealed & Delivered (1970)
‘Signed, Sealed & Delivered’ was Stevie Wonder’s 12th studio album, and it was released in 1970. Wonder released several singles from this album, including ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,’ ‘Never Had a Dream Come True,’ and ‘Heaven Help Us All.’ The album also featured his cover version of the Beatles’ track ‘We Can Work It Out.’
7. Hotter Than July (1980)
‘Hotter Than July’ was predominantly written, produced, and arranged by Stevie Wonder, and he recorded the music in Wonderland Studios in Los Angeles, which he had only recently acquired. The album was Wonder’s 19th, and it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America a year after its release. Four of the singles from the album were top ten singles in the UK, and the album peaked at number two in the UK charts, making it Wonder’s most successful album in the UK.
6. Where I’m Coming From (1971)
Wonder’s 13th studio album was ‘Where I’m Coming From,’ which was released in 1971. The album features nine tracks, all of which were written by Wonder in collaboration with his first wife, Motown singer-songwriter Syreeta Wright. Two of the tracks were released as singles. These were ‘If You Really Love Me’ and ‘Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.’
5. Music of My Mind (1972)
Released in 1972, ‘Music of My Mind’ was Wonder’s 14th studio album. It was the first album that he recorded after signing a new contract with Motown, and the contract allowed Wonder to have full artistic control over the music he released. Music critics have described this album as being the first album of Wonder’s classic period. In addition to providing both lead and backing vocals on the album, Wonder also played multiple instruments, including drums, piano, Rhodes piano, harmonica, synthesizer, Moog bass, clavinet, talk box, handclapping, and bongos. ‘Keep On Running’ and ‘Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You_ were the two charting singles from the album.
4. Talking Book (1972)
‘Talking Book’ was the second studio album Stevie Wonder released in 1992 and his 15th studio album. The album is defined by Wonder playing the keyboard on most of the tracks. Some music critics refer to this album being the turning point in Wonder’s career, as he changed from being a young prodigy to becoming an experimental and independent artist. One of the singles he released from the album was ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life,’ which was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned Wonder a Grammy Award. Another single from the album was ‘Superstition,’ which also became an award-winning song.
3. Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974)
‘Fulfillingness’ First Finale’ was Wonder’s 17th studio album and his 19th album overall. When it was released in 1974, Wonder was at the height of his classic period. The album won three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. Stevie Wonder was the sole writer of nine of the ten tracks on the album, and he co-wrote ‘They Won’t Go When I Go’ with Yvonne Wright.
2. Innevisions (1973)
‘Innervisions’ was Wonder’s 16th studio album, and it was released in 1973. By the time Wonder released this album, his music had become more mature. Many people consider this album as a big influence on the soul and black music that followed. Wonder used the ARP synthesizer throughout the album, and he also played all the instruments on six out of the nine tracks. On this album, the tracks cover a diverse range of social issues, including systematic racism and drug abuse, although there are also love songs. Rolling Stones ranked this album at number 23 on the list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
1. Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
According to The Guardian, Stevie Wonder’s best album was the 1976 album ‘Songs in the Key of Life.’ It was his 18th studio album, and it was released as a double LP with a four-song bonus EP. The album won the Album of the Year Award at the 19th Grammy Awards, and it was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2005. The lead single from the album was ‘I Wish,’ which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The second single released from the album, ‘Sir Duke,’ also topped the charts.