Fulfillingness' First Finale

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Fulfillingness' First Finale
Studio album by Stevie Wonder
Released July 22, 1974
Recorded Record Plant Studios
Westlake Recording Studios
(Los Angeles)
Media Sound
Electric Lady Studios
(New York City)
Genre Soul, Funk
Length 42:33
Label Tamla
Producer Stevie Wonder, Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil
Stevie Wonder chronology
Fulfillingness' First Finale
Songs in the Key of Life
Singles from Fulfillingness' First Finale
  1. "You Haven't Done Nothin'"
    Released: August 1974
  2. "Boogie On Reggae Woman"
    Released: November 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Billboard (favorable)[2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]
The Daily Vault (A)[4]
Q 4/5 stars[5]
Rhapsody (favorable)[6]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[8]
Yahoo! Music (favorable)[9]

Fulfillingness' First Finale is a landmark album by Stevie Wonder, released on July 22, 1974; one of the albums from his "classic period".[10] It is his seventeenth studio album overall. According to Billboard magazine, it was Wonder's first studio album to top the Pop Albums chart where it remained for two weeks, while it was his third album to top the R&B/Black Albums chart where it spent nine nonconsecutive weeks.[11]

Subsequent to the epic sweep and social consciousness of Innervisions, this set projected a reflective, decidedly somber tone. The musical arrangements used in several songs while masterly could be considered sparse in comparison to others among his 1970s masterworks, evident especially in the bleak "They Won't Go When I Go" and understated "Creepin'". While largely a stripped down, more personal sounding record, Wonder had not completely foregone social commentary on the world around him. The No. 1 hit "You Haven't Done Nothin'" launched a pointed criticism of the Nixon administration[citation needed] bolstered by funky clavinet, drum machine, and a Jackson 5 cameo.[citation needed]

Fulfillingness' First Finale won Grammy Awards for Best Male Pop Vocal, Best Male Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance (for "Boogie On Reggae Woman"), and Album of the Year in 1974. When Wonder took two years to record his follow-up album, Songs in the Key of Life, this broke his consecutive Grammy streak and led to Paul Simon's famous quote thanking him for not releasing an album in 1975 (when Simon won the Album of the Year award for Still Crazy After All These Years).

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Smile Please"   Wonder 3:28
2. "Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away"   Wonder 5:02
3. "Too Shy to Say"   Wonder 3:29
4. "Boogie On Reggae Woman"   Wonder 4:56
5. "Creepin'"   Wonder 4:23
6. "You Haven't Done Nothin'"   Wonder 3:29
7. "It Ain't No Use"   Wonder 4:01
8. "They Won't Go When I Go"   Wonder, Yvonne Wright 5:59
9. "Bird of Beauty"   Wonder 3:48
10. "Please Don't Go"   Wonder 4:07
Total length:

Side One[edit]

  1. "Smile Please" – 3:28
  2. "Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away" – 5:02
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Hohner clavinet, drums, Moog bass
    • Paul Anka – background vocal
    • Syreeta Wright – background vocal
    • Shirley Brewer – background vocal
    • Larry "Nastyee" Latimer – background vocal
  3. "Too Shy to Say" – 3:29
  4. "Boogie On Reggae Woman" – 4:56
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, Fender Rhodes, piano, harmonica, drums, Moog bass
    • Rocky Dzidzornu – congas
  5. "Creepin'" – 4:22

Side Two[edit]

  1. "You Haven't Done Nothin'" – 3:22
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, Hohner clavinet, bass drum, hi-hat, cymbal
    • Reggie McBride – electric bass
    • The Jackson 5 – background vocals
    • Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil – synthesizer(s)
    • Horns, drum machine – uncredited
  2. "It Ain't No Use" – 4:01
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, drums, Moog bass
    • Lani Groves – background vocal
    • Minnie Riperton – background vocal
    • Deniece Williams – background vocal
  3. "They Won't Go When I Go" (Wonder, Yvonne Wright) – 5:58
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, piano, T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer
  4. "Bird of Beauty" – 3:48
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, Fender Rhodes, Hohner clavinet, drums, percussions, Moog bass
    • Bobbye Hall – cuíca
    • Shirley Brewer – background vocal
    • Lani Groves – background vocal
    • Deniece Williams – background vocal
    • Sergio Mendes - Portuguese lyrics[12]
    • Drum machine - uncredited
  5. "Please Don't Go" – 4:07
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, piano, Fender Rhodes, harmonica, handclaps, drums, hi-hat, Moog bass
    • Michael Sembello – acoustic guitar
    • The Persuasions – background vocal
    • Shirley Brewer – background vocal
    • Deniece Williams – background vocal

Cover versions[edit]


  • "Boogie On Reggae Woman" - Later recorded by Marcus Miller for Silver Rain in 2005
  • "You Haven't Done Nothing" - Later recorded by Curumin for "Achados e Perdidos", in 2005

Chart positions[edit]

Billboard Chart information by Billboard VNU eMedia


Year Chart Position
1974 Soul Albums 1
Top LP's & Tape


Year Single Chart Position
1974 "You Haven't Done Nothin'" Billboard Hot 100 1
"Boogie on Reggae Woman" 3
"You Haven't Done Nothin'" Hot Soul Singles 1
"Boogie on Reggae Woman" 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Billboard review
  3. ^ Robert Christgau review
  4. ^ The Daily Vault review
  5. ^ Q review
  6. ^ Rhapsody review
  7. ^ Rolling Stone review
  8. ^ Rolling Stone review
  9. ^ Yahoo! Music review
  10. ^ Some observers count six classic albums, some count five and others count four.
    Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All music guide: the definitive guide to popular music (4 ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 447–448. ISBN 0-87930-627-0. 
    Cramer, Alfred William (2009). Musicians and composers of the 20th century 5. Salem Press. p. 1645. ISBN 1-58765-517-9. 
    Brown, Jeremy K. (2010). Stevie Wonder: Musician. Black Americans of Achievement. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 1-60413-685-5. 
  11. ^ "Fulfillingness' First Finale - Stevie Wonder". AllMusic. 1974-07-22. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  12. ^ "Bird of Beauty" partial Portuguese lyrics provided by Sergio Mendes

External links[edit]

Preceded by
461 Ocean Boulevard by Eric Clapton
Billboard 200 number-one album
September 14–27, 1974
Succeeded by
Bad Company by Bad Company