The first time I listened to this I was riding in the front passenger seat on a road trip, tripping balls on mushrooms. It is, to date, one of my all-time favorite records.
Fulfillingness' First Finale is the seventeenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, released on July 22, 1974 by Tamla, a subsidiary of Motown Records. It is the fourth of five albums from what is considered Wonder's "classic period".The album was Wonder's second to top the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart, where it remained for two weeks, and also reached number one on the Billboard Soul LPs chart, where it spent nine non-consecutive weeks. At the 17th Annual Grammy Awards, it won in three categories, including Wonder's second consecutive win for Album of the Year. Retrospectively, the album was voted number 413 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000) and included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The first time I listened to this I was riding in the front passenger seat on a road trip, tripping balls on mushrooms. It is, to date, one of my all-time favorite records.
Can't believe I overlooked this album for so long. The guy who say to listen to Wonder's albums chronically are correct over the ones who just say to listen to Innervisions or Songs in the Key of Life. This album is fantastic. Doesn't have any hits, but these songs are pure genius. It just sounds incredible, with unconventional recording techniques that somehow manage to excel with the theme and Wonder's style. It's still distinctively soul, but it's really atmospheric, and you can hear the decades of influence these songs would have on neo-soul from the late 90s to modern age. Not to mention the diversity of these tracks. We go from the echoey emotional "Too Shy To Say" to the funky "Boogie on Reggae Woman", and neither sound like anything else from its time, yet both are fantastic, and that transition does not sound out-of-place. And who the hell plays the harmonica in a funk song? Who does that? Stevie Wonder, and he's been doing that since the 60s. It's so high-pitched but I'll be damned it works. And then what comes after that? I wish I knew music theory to talk about these songs. All I know is that it's weird and highly unconventional but still identifiable and sounds really good, like the Beatles. There's something that sticks out to me about every song, whether cool or unusual and yet it's aesthetically pleasing. It's odd how this is probably considered the weakest of his classic era, but I still consider this is a perfect entry. The only complaint is the lack of star tracks to tie it all together, but the two lead singles come close. Favorites: Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Creepin, They Won't Go When I Go, Bird of Beauty
I love Stevie Wonder and I feel this album is underrated in his catalog. Goes down easy all while making some genuinely heartfelt and poignant statements. No small feat. I used to put "They won't go when I go" on mixtapes and we'd get high and listen to it in silence and it would give us chills. Stevie is the real deal.
10/10 how the fuck do you not like Stevie Wonder? the man has contributed some of the greatest albums on earth to humanity
a little sesame street for me
Our second album from Stevie, and it's another great one! So many funky instrumentals here, with unusual rhythms and instrumental runs. "Boogie On Reggae Woman" is just otherworldly. As an album, not as grandiose or monumental as Song in the Key of Life, but really great nonetheless. I'll be returning to quite a few on here, they sound unlike anything I've heard before. Favorite tracks: Boogie On Reggae Woman, Bird of Beauty, You Haven't Done Nothin', Too Shy to Say, Please Don't Go. Album art: Absolutely fantastic art, wow. The piano key staircase, all the shadows and colors, this is really awesome. And I love the nod to the Grammys right there on Stevie's cheek, don't forget that this guy won like 300 Grammys in a span of about 10 years. 4/5
Jazz people love to say how great Stevie Wonder is at harmonisation and songwriting. Alas, I am not a jazzman, nor – it seems – constitutionally able to get through one of these songs unbored. More like Stevie Natural Occurrence!
So talented and soulful. There are so many weaker copies of SW out there, it's refreshing to hear the real thing.
Released between two absolute 5 star crackers (Innervisions and Songs in the key of life). First few songs seem light weight sentimental ditties, and it takes a few songs before the funky grooviness starts. Then you realise that they’ve all got under your skin and you’re humming away to some lovely love songs. Subsequent listens double down on all this and before you know it your listening to a classic Stevie album. Just a pity it falls between such giant corkers!
It’s slower than I prefer. Musically it’s there, the production is good.
I think this the weakest of the albums from Stevie's "classic period", so it suffers a bit in being compared to them. Compared to most other albums from most other artists, it's outstanding, but compared to his body of work, it's doesn't hit the same highs. For 1001 Albums, I think the average person would understand Stevie Wonder's brilliance with Innervisions and Songs In the Key of Life, so having four albums represented seems like overkill. The big singles both work: Boogie on Reggae Woman is slinky and funky, while You Haven't Done Nothin does have a Superstition vibe to it. Heaven is 10 Zillion Years Away is also a standout. The slower tracks don't have the same immediacy - Creepin isn't bad, but Too Shy to Say is pretty dull excepting the steel guitar from Sneaky Pete Kleinow. Again, I like this album, but it's never going to be my Stevie Wonder album of choice.
Compositional greatness unmatched, but the delicate baroque palette means the songs simply don't jam, and that reduces his generational reach, which is when he's at his best. Very pretty though.
It's hard to listen to Stevie and not feel good. His voice is one of the best and the message in his music is so positive, even when it's a slower tune you still need to move along with it. Incredible artist, and this was great to peek into his lesser known stuff.
Beautiful, happy music. I feel like music is rarely just purely happy, but Stevie Wonder always hits it right.
I'm surprised I missed out on this one back in my wider music nerd phase, but I'm sad I did - this was extremely good. "They Won't Go When I Go" is an absolute classic.
Surprisingly not so good.
I tend to score Stevie's albums on the strength of the iconic hits with their ground-breaking keyboard licks while holding my nose for the syrupy ballads. In this case "Boogie on Reggae Woman" is great, "You Haven't Done Nothin" borrows heavily from "Superstition" but there are too many over produced ballads.
solid, and a good WFH mood
Really great album. Not super familiar with Stevie.
Schön funkig, macht Spaß.
Very very good
I believe this is the only album in stevie’s classic period of albums that I haven’t heard! Glad to finally add it to the list of growing albums I’ve heard before I kick the bucket :)!
One of his classics
Glas, atmosfera, emocije, instrumenti… jako mi se se svidjelo
En given klassiker. Det är starkt det är coolt.
another great work!
Musicas para atender pacientes em processo psicoterapeutico. Som ambiente! Adorei
Pretty phenomenal. Catchy and beautiful instrumentals and incredible vocals + lyrics, not much more I could ask for. 9/10
Feel good Stevie Wonder!
Loved this album - only heard Inner Visions from this period
It's Steve Wonder! He's 5 star himself!
Whew, that was a ride! Is it as good as Songs in the Key of Life? No. But is it an excellent album? Absolutely yes. Not to mention, it's better than approximately 95% of albums I've listened to so far on this list. And for that, it gets 5 stars.
This is one of the most beautiful albums ever made. As one of my dad's favourite albums I've heard it many many times. I can't put my finger on it, but somehow it hits my emotions quite badly and therefore I find it hard to listen to this album frequently.
Lots of great songs here that were brand new to me!
Brilliant album. While no hits, this album's whole sound is amazing.
Stevie can do no wrong in this household, son. Listen to your mother. Do your chores.
Slightly prefer predecessors Talking Book and Innervisions, which I felt had a bit more energy to them, but this was still a very good album.
Music of my mind - talking book - innervisions - this album - song in the KoL: should all be on this list.
Stevie Wonder is one of the towering giants of music in any period. His run of albums in the 70s defies belief. One of my all-time favourite songs, They Won't Go When I Go, is on this album. Stunning musicianship, perfect vocals, groove for days, watertight arrangements. It's all here.
You know, Songs in the Key of Life and Innervisions get more attention than Fulfillingness' First Finale, but this really is a splendid album. It's got everything you love in a Stevie Wonder album. It's warm, soulful, sweet, musically diverse, gorgeously arranged, and technically pretty perfect. It's also so much fun to listen to. This one is going into my regular rotation. I absolutely love it. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away, They Won't Go When I Go, Boogie On Reggae Woman, You Haven't Done Nothin', Please Don't Go, Too Shy to Say, It Ain't No Use, Bird of Beauty, Smile Please, Creepin'
Feel good album, soul/funk, outdoor party
ALTO DISCO PARA ESCUCHAR MIENTRAS SE TRABAJA EN LA COMPU
I haven't heard this one but I do like Stevie so happy to check it out. Starts lovely and pretty calm. Gets going with You Haven't Done Nothin', which is the kind of Stevie Wonder I like best. They Won't Go When I Go is quite powerful. Overall a really interesting album with lots to like. Grew on me the more I listened. Initially a 4 but a 5 by the end of the day.
Incredible music. On a full Stevie binge now.
Fantastic, perhaps perfect. Stevie is such a treasure, I love pretty much all of his work, and this is no exception. Absolutely wonderful
Very funky, fantastic voice. A bit too chill and soft for my taste, though.
очень очень приятненько
This is Stevie Goddamn Wonder. Of course it's five stars. The man is a musician beyond musicians. Innovative, talented.
I don't know Stevie Wonder had a so called 'golden period' I just thought he was a genius throughout his life. But Boogie on Reggae Woman is a real and endless genius of a song within a fabulous album
amazing soul record. stevie is able to balance funky and upbeat tracks with blissful and quaint ones. fav tracks: smile please, heaven is 10 zillion light years away, too shy to say, boogie on reggae women, you haven’t done nothin, they won’t go when i go, bird of beauty,
Lovely album. Damn-near divine.
The synth work and sounds are stellar. Stevie is working the arrangements hard.
I love Stevie Wonder but I don't know this record, even though it's in his imperial period. It's a gem, quite understated and beautiful. I know best track, You Haven't Done Nothing, though, obvs
Primero al que le doy 5 ☆ Es suave, sencillo, emotivo y tiene ritmo siendo conciso y justo en su cantidad de tracklist
Muy divertido este disco. Relajante, divertido, bailable. Stevie Wonder es un excelente cantante. Me encantó.
It's not Stevie's greatest album, but it's still amazing. I was hovering over giving it a 4, but They Won't Go When I Go tips this into yet another masterpiece.
Part of Wonder's "classic period", and all five albums released during that period live up to their reputation. This might be one of the less notable releases of that time, and it still has absolute anthems like "They Won't Go When I Go", and funky little numbers like "It Ain't No Use". Always a fantastic listen.
Awesome example of Stevie’s Classic period. Made me incredibly excited to listen to other albums from that period.
This is Stevie Wonder’s third album in his classic 4 album masterpiece run where he could do no wrong. FFF is my favorite of the four. I’m not sure why this album didn’t do as well as the albums that came before and after. The songs have some great melodies and the track flow on here sends the listener through a wide range of emotions on each side (or every 5 tracks for you digital listeners). Just listen to that segue from “Too Shy to Say” into “Boogie on Reggae Woman.” I didn’t look it up but “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” feels like it’s directed towards Nixon, who resigned around the time of the album’s release. “They Won’t Go When I Go” sounds like it might be the most personal song on here with its Baroque style piano and funeral dirge-like chord progression. The album popped on my feed a few days ago but this review took so long because I couldn’t stop listening to it. Here’s to another easy 5 stars.
A wonderful listen. Although there aren't any of Wonder's better known 'hits' on this album, it just shows the depth of ability.
Pretty fucking great.
Really solid, and shows that Stevie really has a signature sound across his discography.
This list has really given me an appreciation for just how excellent a run of albums Stevie had. Stupendous shit once again.
Am I being too generous with my 5 star ratings lately? Maybe. But this is Stevie Freaking Wonder. When he sings "smile please", I actually want to smile.
love Stevie Wonder and this album is really funky
Sublime recording from an artist on an incredible run of ground breaking, popular and critically acclaimed albums. Curiously that no tracks became hits but nevertheless makes for a cohesive and satisfying album with complex but beautiful arrangements. Creepin’ which features Minnie Riperton is a particular highlight. An enduring, powerful and delightful album.
I LOVE me some Stevie
Of Stevie's 5 "Golden Age" albums (Music of My Mind through Songs in the Key of Life), this is probably my least favorite, and still is a no-doubt 5 star album. Just a credit to how incredibly gifted a musician and songwriter Stevie Wonder is, and how high he flew in the 70s.
Oh how I love me some Stevie
Great album, birds of prey and boogie on reggae woman
Understated and underrated album from Stevie’s classic period of 72’ to 76’ where everything he touched turned to gold. Wedged in between ‘Innervisions’ and ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’, ‘Fulfillingness' First Finale’ is generally downbeat and often plaintive and pensive compared to the two bookends, but no less excellent, and perhaps the record from his golden period that rewards repeated listening the most.
Stevie got pretty gospel on this album and I just ate it up. Legitimately one of the most talented musicians ever. 9/10
So here we have one of Stevie's great but not stratospherically good albums. Feels odd to damn a record like this with faint praise but when an artist creates three of the greatest albums of all time that's the burden on their other work. In the 'Stevie's other work' canon, this is maybe my joint second favourite with Hotter Than July, but there's something about Music of My Mind (absent here, oddly) which places it above them. This is still really good, you may argue he was starting to run out of songs but in two years there's a double album called Songs in the Key of Life, so....nope. And honestly such thoughts are further dismissed as ridiculous once the album gets going, as after a few slightly less than stellar early tracks (excl. Smile Please) we are back to pure gold. So many low key classics here that reward repeat listening.
W did not get all the way through because the boy I might have maybe not likely but most probably fell in love with invited the girl he likes to his church and although that may not mean a lot it means a lot to me because just about 7 months ago he did the same thing to me. I am a witness of my own replacement. So, now I am going to go listen to boygenius lol live love laugh I love this so much.
Oh, a Stevie Wonder album released between '71 and '76? Easy answer: certified classic.
As of today, I have a favourite Stevie Wonder album. This is the fourth and final one on this list and number 4 of 5 during Wonder's 1972-76 classic period. Talking Book is good, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life are great, but this is perfection. A mix of tempos, themes and styles, but every track is a beautifully crafted work of genius and the record is perfectly sequenced with the changes of pace coming at just the right times. An underrated masterpiece. Rating: 5/5 Playlist track: Boogie On Reggae Woman Date listened: 24/05/23
mmmm good shiet
"Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away" is great, sounds just as good as many tracks in *Songs in The Key Of Life*. Christ, three tracks in and I forget that a lot of modern love song standards were made by Stevie ("Too Shy to Say" is definitely a radio and cover staple, and I didn't realize that it was his). Brilliant album.
I was surprised but I got kinda bored with this. I dislike his tone but his control is incredible. I like when people sing like they are an instrument. Overall, still a masterpiece.
wasn’t really familiar with this album beyond reggae woman (such a great song) Cool instrumentation, this has got to be the only record with a pedal steel and a cuica. Brilliant songwriting/harmony as always Cool changes on they won’t go and I love the panned vocal interludes Haven’t done nothing is classic stevie So is the harmonica solo on please don’t go (that song is a real bop)
Fufillingness Great Stevie Wonder album. Favorite songs: Boogie on reggae woman -all Stevie! You haven’t done nothing Birds of Beauty Too shy to say (love the pedal steel on this) 5
This is simply divine Stevie best of the best my favourite album.