#315Albums is a list of 315 albums that appear on both the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, as well as the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book, edited by Robert Dimery. At its best, it is a representation of some of the greatest music ever released; at its worst, it is a journey through the history of music that the majority see as important, influential, and/or relevant. If nothing else, these albums are worth experiencing at least once to get a better understanding of music, which is why we are working to complete all #315Albums.

No. 019

“It’s Wonder’s music, his spirit, that dominates here and seems to fill up the room. It’s his voice — also beyond mere words, into pure expression — that snatches you up. And won’t let go.”

Artist: Stevie Wonder
Album: Songs in the Key of Life
Released: 1976
Label: Tamla
Rolling Stones Ranking: 57

I had my mind blown today while listening to Songs in the Key of Life when “Pastime Paradise” started up. I did a literal double take when the beat to Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” (and, of course, Weird Al’s “Amish Paradise”) started up on my Stevie Wonder album. I had no idea that Coolio sampled Wonder’s work for that song. Wonder’s version, though not as catchy as Coolio’s, was still great. In fact, I didn’t realize that Wonder was the artist behind a number of the songs on this album that I have known for years. “‘Isn’t She Lovely” and “Sir Duke” immediately spring to mind. Overall, Songs in the Key of Life was impressive, but twice as long as any other album I’ve covered in this journey so far. For that reason alone, I don’t see this as one I would come back to very often. His singles, though, are classics, and will always get me singing along.

Cinefessions’ #315Albums Rating: 68%

Image and quote courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine.