Stevie Wonder Albums Ranked Worst to Best
Few artists have had the impact Stevie Wonder had in the '70s.
His legacy started a decade earlier, when Motown tried to shape the 11-year-old blind singer and harmonica player into a junior version of Ray Charles. But, as you'll see in our list of Stevie Wonder Albums Ranked Worst to Best, his legend and influence grew in the '70s.
That's the decade when, arguably, no other artist racked up a string of classic records in such a short span: five years, five essential LPs – and he even skipped 1975!
It took more than a dozen albums before he hit his creative stride, but that doesn't mean those early works should be passed over. Almost from the start, Wonder gave fans a reason to seek out his records – whether for any of the hit singles that anchored most of those LPs or for his soulful interpretations of Beatles and Bob Dylan songs.
But he took a huge turn in the early '70s, just as other Motown artists like Marvin Gaye and the Temptations did, by working outside of the factory system. He almost literally became a one-man band at times, playing keyboards, drums and other instruments on entire songs all by himself. He got socially conscious too, as songs like "Higher Ground" and "Living for the City" detailed the post-Civil Rights struggle he and other black people still faced.
Through it all, he was a music visionary who inspired other artists from across the board – rock and soul to pop and jazz – to take chances, both personally and professionally. At the height of his career he made an experimental soundtrack record that incorporated the sounds of nature among ambient synth noises – a bold move from one of the 20th century's most innovative artists that still somehow hit the Top 5 and spawned a hit single. The following list of Stevie Wonder Albums Ranked Worst to Best is filled with such moments.