Fulfillingness' First Finale

Fulfillingness' First Finale is the seventeenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, released by Motown on July 22, 1974. It is the fourth out of five albums from what is considered his "classic period".[2][3][4]

Fulfillingness' First Finale
Fulfillingness' First Finale.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 22, 1974
GenreProgressive soul[1]
ProducerStevie 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

Subsequent to the epic sweep and social consciousness of Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale projected a reflective, decidedly somber tone. While masterly, the musical arrangements used in several songs could be considered sparse in comparison to others among his 1970s masterworks, especially in the bleak "They Won't Go When I Go" and understated "Creepin'".

Though Fulfillingness' First Finale was largely a stripped down and more personal sounding record, Wonder had not completely foregone social commentary on the world around him. The Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "You Haven't Done Nothin'" launched a pointed criticism of the Nixon administration bolstered by clavinet, drum machine, and a Jackson 5 cameo.

Fulfillingness' First Finale was Wonder's second album to top the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart, where it remained for two weeks. It also reached number one on the Billboard Soul LPs chart, spending nine non-consecutive weeks there.[5] Fulfillingness' First Finale won three Grammy Awards at the 16th Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The album was voted number 413 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[6] It was also included in the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [8]
The Austin Chronicle     [9]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[10]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [11]
The Great Rock Discography7/10[12]
Los Angeles Times    [13]
Q     [14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [15]
The Village VoiceB+[16]

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.

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Stevie Wonder, except "They Won't Go When I Go", written by Wonder and Yvonne Wright.

Side one
  1. "Smile Please" – 3:26
  2. "Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away" – 5:01
  3. "Too Shy to Say" – 3:31
  4. "Boogie On Reggae Woman" – 4:54
  5. "Creepin'" – 4:17
Side two
  1. "You Haven't Done Nothin'" – 3:27
  2. "It Ain't No Use" – 3:58
  3. "They Won't Go When I Go" – 5:59
  4. "Bird of Beauty" – 3:46
  5. "Please Don't Go" – 4:06


"Smile Please"

"Heaven Is 10 Zillion Years Away"

  • 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

"Too Shy to Say"

"Boogie On Reggae Woman"

  • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, Fender Rhodes, piano, harmonica, drums, Moog bass
  • Rocky Dzidzornu – congas


"You Haven't Done Nothin"

  • 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 – synthesizers
  • Horns, drum machine – uncredited

"It Ain't No Use"

  • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, drums, Moog bass
  • Lani Groves – background vocal
  • Minnie Riperton – background vocal
  • Deniece Williams – background vocal

"They Won't Go When I Go"

  • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, piano, T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer
  • Bob and Malcolm - programming Moog

"Bird of Beauty"

  • 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
  • Sérgio Mendes - Portuguese lyrics[17]
  • Drum machine - uncredited

"Please Don't Go"

  • 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

Selected cover versionsEdit


Weekly chartsEdit

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


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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kendall, Jo (May 5, 2019). "Record Collection". Prog. Retrieved January 23, 2021 – via PressReader.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Cramer, Alfred William (2009). Musicians and composers of the 20th century. 5. Salem Press. p. 1645. ISBN 978-1-58765-517-3.
  4. ^ Brown, Jeremy K. (2010). Stevie Wonder: Musician. Black Americans of Achievement. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-60413-685-2.
  5. ^ "Fulfillingness' First Finale - Stevie Wonder". AllMusic. July 22, 1974. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  6. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2006). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 154. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  7. ^ Dimery, Robert (December 5, 2011). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus. ISBN 978-1-84403-714-8.
  8. ^ Allmusic review
  9. ^ Moser, Margaret (May 19, 2000), Review: Innervisions. The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: W". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 9, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  11. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  12. ^ a b "Fulfillingness' First Finale". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  13. ^ Hilburn, Robert (April 1, 2000). "Motown Releases Remind Us of Stevie Wonder's Impact". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  14. ^ Q review
  15. ^ Nathan Brackett and Christian David Hoard (eds), Rolling Stone review, The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, p. 885.
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 24, 1974). "Consumer Guide (49)". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  17. ^ "Bird of Beauty" partial Portuguese lyrics provided by Sergio Mendes

External linksEdit