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Kenney Dennard Publisher

Top 20 R&B/Soul CD's of All Time

by Kenney Dennard

After a huge discussion and lots of arguing, we have come up with a list of the top 20 Greatest R&B/Soul CD's of all time. They are in order from 20 to 1. You may not agree down to the tee with the numbering, but I'm sure you will agree with the list. All CD's released in the last 5 years are exempt.

usher album

20. Usher - Confessions (2003)
On Usher's 4th CD he took his talent's to the limits in song and dance. Selling over a million albums in the first week, almost every single was a hit.
Yeah, Confessions, Caught Up, Burn, My Boo


tlc album

19. TLC - Crazy Sexy Cool (1994)
Back in 1994, after a lot of controversy involving Left Eye, TLC released their sophmore album and broke all types of records.
Creep, Waterfalls, Red Light Special, If I Was Your Girlfriend


rick james

18. Rick James - Street Songs (1981)
On this, Rick's 5th album his career skyrocketed. At this point in his career he was light years ahead of Prince. He brought funk to Motown.
Superfreak, Fire and Desire, Give it to Me Baby, Ghetto Life


toni braxton

17. Toni Braxton - Toni Braxton (1993)
Babyface was in his zone. When he wrote and produced for Toni and released the first single on the Boomerang Soundtrack, they shook up the world.
Another Sad Love Song, Breathe Again, Seven Whole Days, Love Should Have Brought You Home Last Night


luther vandross

16. Luther Vandross - Give Me the Reason (1987)
Luther had been putting out hits for years but on this album he finally began to write most of his songs. This was his second Multi-platinum album.
Give Me the Reason, There's Nothing Greater than Love, Stop to Love, So Amazing


anita baker

15. Anita Baker - Rapture (1987)
Anita had put out music before but when she released this album, she caught the whole world's ear.
Rapture, Sweet Love, Same Ole Love, Mystery


ray charles album

14. Ray Charles - The Genuis of Ray Charles (1959)
Complimented by members of Count Basie's and Duke Ellington's bands, Ray Charles delivered one classic after the other on this album at age 27.
It Had to be You, Let the Good Times Roll, Deed I Do


michael jackson off the wall

13. Michael Jackson - Off The Wall (1979)
Michael had hits before but after working with Quincy Jones on The Wiz, the two collaborated and began to make history. No one had a clue as to what was to come next.
Don't Stop till You Get Enough, Rock With You, Working day and Night


bobby brown dont be cruel

12. Bobby Brown - Don't be Cruel (1989)
Bobby Brown definitely had his 10 minutes of fame. All between 1989-1990. After leaving New Edition he had already released an album that barely sold. but once getting with Teddy Riley, he shook up the world for almost 2 years with hit single after hit single.
Don't Be Cruel, My Perogative, Roni, Every Little Step, Rock Witcha


keith sweat

11. Keith Sweat - Make it Last Forever (1989)
On Keith's first solo album, he also latched on to Teddy Riley and rode straight to the bank.
Make it Last Forever, I Want Her, Don't Stop Your Love, How Deep Is Your Love, Right and A Wrong Way to Love


whitney houston

10. Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston (1985)
Definitely Whitney's best album. This release made her an overnight superstar. It would be years before she came down off of the high this album resulted.
You Give Good Love, Saving All My Love for you, How Will I Know, Greatest Love of Al


janet jackson control

9. Janet Jackson - Control (1986)
Janet was all grown up and wanted the world to know she was not just Michael Jackson's baby sister. This, her second album, took her to superstardom.
Control, What Have You Done For Me Lately, Nasty, The Pleasure Principle, Let's Wait Awhile


james brown apollo

8. James Brown - Live at the Apollo (1963)
This was a landmark album recorded at Harlem's Apollo theatre in 1963 at Brown's expense. It spent 66 weeks on the Billboard Pop Charts, peaking at #2. Radio Stations would play one side of the album at a time on the air. The record sold out in stores across the country.
Try Me, Think, I Don't Mind, Night train


mary j blige

7. Mary J. Blige - My Life (1994)
Although Mary's 1st album, "What's the 411," was a smash, this album is considered by most, her best from beginning to end.
I'm Going Down, My Life, Be Happy, You Bring Me Joy


r kelley

6. R. Kelly - 12 Play (1993)
R. Kelly almost made Bump and Grind Music it's on genre with this album. This is bonified baby making music.
Bump and Grind, Seems Like You're Ready, Your Body's
Calling, 12 Play, Sadie


aretha franklin

5. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved A Man (1967)
Breakthrough album by Aretha Franklin that established her a superstar. She remade Otis Redding's "Respect" and made it a number 1 song, followed by a host of other hits.
Respect, I Never Loved a Man (The Way that I Love You),
Dr. Feel Good, Do Right Woman Do Right Man


prince purple rain

4. Prince - Purple Rain (1984)
Prince could do no wrong in 1984 after releasing a number one movie and soundtrack. This was definitely his peak although he stayed around years after.
When Doves Cry, Let's Go Crazy, Purple Rain, Take Me With You, I Would Die 4 U


stevie wonder key of life

3. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
After Marvin Gaye found success with "What's Going On," label head, Berry Gordy Jr allowed Stevie to write and produce his own record as well. This double album was the outcome.
Sir Duke, Isn't She Lovely, I Wish, Knocks Me Off My Feet, As


marvin gaye

2. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (1971)
Marvin declared not to record if Berry Gordy Jr wouldn't let him write and produce for himself. Berry cringed when hearing the idea of a protest album but agreed thinking if Marvin fails he will have learned something and he can get back to doing pop records written by others like, "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and "How Sweet It Is." Marvin did his thing and did it well. He would write and produce all of his records after this album stayed on the charts for months and broke all types of records outselling any Motown record to that date.
What's Going On, Mercy, Mercy, Me,
Makes Me Wanna Hollar, God is Love


michael jackson thriller

1. Michael Jackson - Thriller (1983)
When Michael called Quincy to record their second collaboration, he had all intentions on making the best record in history. He came, He saw, He conquered. Thriller is the top grossing album of all time and introduced the world to his fancy footwork and made music videos a must for good music.
Thriller, Billie Jean, Beat It, The Girl is Mine
Want to Be Starting Something, PYT



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