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Released: July 22, 1974


Rating: 4.324 (average of 14 ratings)


Genre: R&B/pop


Quotable: “Wonder’s most personal project” – Blender Magazine


Album Tracks:

  1. Smile Please
  2. Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away
  3. Too Shy to Say
  4. Boogie on Reggae Woman
  5. Creepin’
  6. You Haven’t Done Nothin’
  7. It Ain’t No Use
  8. They Won’t Go When I Go
  9. Bird of Beauty
  10. Please Don’t Go

Sales:

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 4.5 million


Peak:

peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 2
peak on U.K. album chart 5


Singles/Hit Songs:

  • You Haven’t Done Nothin’ (8/3/74) #1 US, #30 UK, #1 RB
  • Boogie on Reggae Woman (11/16/74) #3 US, #12 UK, #1 RB


Awards:

Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of Blender’s 100 Greatest American Albums Album of the Year Grammy winner. Click to go to awards page.


Fulfillingness’ First Finale
Stevie Wonder
Review:
“Candid ‘70s soul” (Blender). “This ponderously titled but lightly executed album is Stevie Wonder’s most personal project” (Blender). “After the righteous anger and occasional despair of the socially motivated Innervisions, Stevie Wonder returned with…Fulfillingness’ First Finale” (Bush), “a relationship record” (Bush) that was “a lot more eccentric (and a much bigger success) than Innervisions” (Blender). “It’s not all introspection – ‘You Haven’t Done Nothin’’ is a solid crowd-pleaser – but there’s plenty to think about here” (Blender).

“The cover pictures his life as an enormous wheel, part of which he’s looking ahead to and part of which he’s already completed (the latter with accompanying images of Little Stevie, JFK and MLK, the Motor Town Revue bus, a child with balloons, his familiar Taurus logo, and multiple Grammy awards)” (Bush).

“The songs and arrangements are the warmest since Talking Book, and Stevie positively caresses his vocals on this set, encompassing the vagaries of love, from dreaming of it (Creepin’) to being bashful of it (Too Shy to Say) to knowing when it’s over (It Ain’t No Use)” (Bush).

“The two big singles are Boogie on Reggae Woman, with a deep electronic groove balancing organic congas and gospel piano, and You Haven’t Done Nothin’, an acidic dismissal of President Nixon and the Watergate controversy (he’d already written ‘He’s Misstra Know-It-All’ on the same topic)” (Bush).

“As before, Fulfillingness’ First Finale is mostly the work of a single man; Stevie invited over just a bare few musicians, and most of those were background vocalists (though of the finest caliber: Minnie Riperton, Paul Anka, Deniece Williams, and the Jackson 5). Also as before, the appearances are perfectly chosen; ‘Too Shy to Say’ can only benefit from the acoustic bass of Motown institution James Jamerson and the heavenly steel guitar of Sneaky Pete Kleinow, while the Jackson 5 provide some righteous amens to Stevie’s preaching on ‘You Haven’t Done Nothin’’” (Bush).

“It’s also very refreshing to hear more songs devoted to the many and varied stages of romance, among them ‘It Ain’t No Use,’ ‘Too Shy to Say,’ Please Don’t Go. The only element lacking here, in comparison to the rest of his string of brilliant early-‘70s records, is a clear focus; Fulfillingness’ First Finale is more a collection of excellent songs than an excellent album” (Bush).


Review Source(s):


Related DMDB Link(s):

previous album: Innervisions (1973) Stevie Wonder’s DMDB page next album: Songs in the Key of Life (1976)


Last updated November 11, 2008.