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Updated by DJ Rob on May 18, 2020
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Stevie Wonder’s 70 Best Songs - a 70th Birthday Celebration!

On May 13, Motown legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Wonder turned 70 years young, and tributes occurred everywhere on the internet as DJs and fans alike took to his incredible, career-spanning song catalog to dance and stroll down a platinum-paved memory lane.

Djrobblog commemorates the occasion by putting together the list of a lifetime - the 70 Best Stevie Wonder Songs...Ever!

Check it out below and see where your favorites rank - or if they don’t (there wasn’t enough room for even a third of Stevie’s complete catalogue of hits and album cuts).

Oh, and these are the blogger’s opinions, of course, and you’re sure to have your own views, so feel free to express them with individual song votes - or visit djrobblog.com and leave a comment in the source article for this list.

Scroll and enjoy!

Source: https://djrobblog.com/?p=10746

70. “I Don't Know Why”

Album: For Once In My Life (1968). The countdown kicks off with this number that goes from a slow and simmering start to a rousing finish that sees 18-year-old Stevie giving a full-on confessional by song’s end. That’s some grown man stuff right there.

69. “Have A Talk With God”

Album: Songs in the Key of Life (1976). Warning: there are at least a dozen songs from Stevie’s landmark album ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ on this list. Here’s the first, one of several times the pop and soul legend invoked spirituality in his music.

68. “Stranger on the Shore of Love”

Album: In Square Circle (1985). Any soul song that has an accordion intro deserves major props. When it’s a Stevie Wonder song, well, that just makes it extra special! It’s hard not to like this gorgeous, sophisticated love song after just a few listens (plus it’s one of my mom’s favorites).

67. “I Love Every Little Thing About You”

Album: Music of My Mind (1972). Stevie’s first of two albums released in 1972 is sometimes included in his “classic album” period, along with Talking Book (1972), Innervisions (1973), Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974) and Songs in the Key of Life (1976). Truth is, ‘Music of My Mind’ should ALWAYS be included. And this song is just one reason why. Check out the multi-tracking of Stevie’s voice throughout, which included some funny ad libs at the song’s end.

66. “These Three Words”

Album: Jungle Fever (Soundtrack, 1991). This song may seem sappy and simple, but that’s only because it is. It’s simply about the importance of saying those three words that we all need to hear from time to time. Stevie has a way of reminding us of life’s simplicities, and making it resonate as only he could.

65. “Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer”

Album: Where I’m Coming From (1971). Put simply, if you’ve lost a loved one recently - for whatever reason - don’t play this one. You’ll likely be in tears before Stevie sings his last note.

64. “Skeletons”

Album: Characters (1987). “Skeletons” was Stevie’s 20th and last No. 1 single on the Billboard R&B chart and his last top-40 hit on the pop chart. Who could have known that both of those fates would play out when we first heard it?

63. “We Can Work It Out”

Album: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours (1970). Few people would be bold enough to take on a Beatles classic in the year of their breakup, and refashion it into a funkier soul classic that ranks right up here with some of Stevie’s best.

62. “It Ain't No Use”

Album: Fulfillingness' First Finale (1974). This highly under-appreciated tune from Stevie’s first No. 1 album in eleven years told of a dying relationship - one that both parties were young enough to recover from and find new loves should they be so inclined.

61. “Too High”

Album: Innervisions (1973). Stevie explored his jazz influences on this stellar track from what is arguably his best album from the classic period. I’ll leave that argument for another day. Meanwhile, just listen to the many components of this opening track: Stevie’s commentary of the effects of illicit drug use, the chirpy background vocals, the instrumental breaks. Classic stuff indeed.

60. “Maybe Your Baby”

Album: Talking Book (1972). This slice of early-‘70s funk is heavy on Stevie’s new instrument of choice at the time: the clavinet. It’s a dark-horse entry that makes the list not because people include it among his classics - they don’t - but because I remember hearing it so much as a kid, that it left an indelible mark. One of the many songs that Stevie showed his versatility with multiple voices and ad-libs, especially as the song finishes (he even manages to get in an expletive at the 6:25 mark).

59. “Ebony and Ivory”

Album: Tug of War (Paul McCartney, 1982). Stevie Wonder teamed with the omnipresent Paul McCartney for this schmaltzy tune about black and white unity and got his biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Ironically, it was the same year he achieved his biggest soul chart hit with an entirely different tune (see No. 17 on this list). By the way, stop hating - “Ebony and Ivory” isn’t really THAT bad.

58. “If It's Magic”

Album: Songs in the Key of Life (1976). In this track, Stevie uses simple analogies while asking if love is so great, why don’t we treat it as such. Yet the song’s real beauty is not in its lyrics, but in late harpist Dorothy Ashby’s stringed instrument contribution. There aren’t many black females making careers as harpists, and Stevie found a way to immortalize Ashby on perhaps the greatest album of the ‘70s.

57. “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday”

Album: My Cherie Amour (1969). Stevie closed out the 1960s with some witty wordplay on this top-10 hit on both the pop and soul charts - a recurring theme that would become even more prevalent during the ensuing decade.

56. “You And I”

Album: Talking Book (1972). A lot of Stevie’s ballads made this list, including this classic from ‘Talking Book’ that set the stage for many ballads to come. Even though the song begins “Here we are...on Earth together...” you get the feeling Stevie is singing from outer space with his use of reverb on the vocals.

55. “You've Got It Bad Girl”

Album: Talking Book (1972). File this as another tune from Stevie’s classic period that got plenty of plays in my childhood. What elevates this one are the scattered backing vocals that Stevie employs throughout. They’re random, poetic flourishes that take what is an otherwise simple track and give it great depth.

54. “Jesus Children of America”

Album: Innervisions (1973). It may sound like Stevie’s got a Jesus-freak vibe going with this track from ‘Innervisions,’ but it also gets in a dig at evangelism and asks, “are you standing for everything you talk about?” Hmmm...

53. “Lately”

Album: Hotter Than July (1980). There’s no shame in the fact that this classic was a bigger hit for the ‘90s group Jodeci in 1993 than it was for Stevie in 1981 - at least here in America. In fact, when Jodeci’s MTV Unplugged version reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts, it joined the ranks of songs like “Until You Come Back to Me (Thats What I’m Gonna Do),” “Tell Me Something Good” and “Lovin’ You,” songs Stevie either wrote or produced but became huge hits for other artists.

52. “Black Man”

Album: Songs in the Key of Life (1976). Stevie’s multi-culturally history lesson was as much a commentary on diversity as it was on the contributions made by the various ethnicities he referenced. If the student-readings that come near the end sound angry as the song comes to a close, would you blame them? Stevie’s point was that society tended to shortchange people of color when it came to recalling world history and it was time their roles were recognized. Point made.

51. “Summer Soft”

Album: Songs in the Key of Life (1976). In “Summer Soft,” the two seasons winter and summer become anthropomorphisms, each with the ability to whisper and talk and even kiss (in summer’s case). Both take on the role of heartbreakers in a song that - just like the seasons - you almost never wanted to end.

50. “It's Wrong (Apartheid)”

Album: In Square Circle (1985). Stevie added to his legacy as a potent force for social change with this multilingual tune from 1985. Except, he didn’t need dramatized crime scenes (“Living in the City”), vague references to politicians (“You Haven’t Done Nothin’”; “He’s Misstra Know It All”), or deceptively happy melody and lyrics (“Happy Birthday”). On “It’s Wrong (Apartheid),” Stevie got right to the point with an unambiguously sung English lyric that added a chorus of South African exiles answering in Xhosa: ''You know apartheid's wrong (Qha)/ Like slavery was wrong (Qha)/ Like the Holocaust was wrong (Qha)/ It's wrong (Qha), wrong (Qha), wrong (Qha).''

49. “Ribbon In The Sky”

Album: Original Musiquarium I (1982). This classic ballad had a disappointing chart run in the fall of 1982, peaking at No. 54 on the Hot 100. But it did squeak into the top ten on the soul chart because, well, it’s Stevie.

48. “Fun Day”

Album: Jungle Fever (Soundtrack, 1991). Stevie ushered in the ‘90s with another soundtrack - this one for Spike Lee’s ‘Jungle Fever.’ “Fun Day” was another in Stevie’s long line of uplifting songs, one that always left you feeling better for having heard it.

47. “Send One Your Love”

Album: "Journey Through ‘The Secret Life of Plants’” (1979). In recent years, critics have re-evaluated Stevie’s first soundtrack album, this after not fully appreciating his vision when the album came out 41 years ago. The only hit single from it reached the top five on both the soul and pop charts in 1979/80. Here it is, with a dozen roses.

46. “If You Really Love Me”

Album: Where I'm Comin' From (1971). Stevie cleverly alternated between uptempo, beat-driven choruses and slowed-down, piano-driven verses for this classic top-10 hit in 1971.

  • DJ Rob

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    Hi, I'm DJ Rob, owner and author of the music blogsite djrobblog.com. I live in Chicago, IL and have been doing the blogsite since January 2015. It features articles about music news, history and trivia - both old and new. The features I enjoy doing the most are my djroblists. I've done dozens of lists ranking everything from blue-eyed soul singers to Prince's greatest songs. I only recently started converting them to listly to increase interaction with my readers. Take some time to enjoy them and let me know what you think! And check out djrobblog.com when you can!

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