Lists

Five world-changing albums that wouldn't have existed if blog buzz determined greatness

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Stevie Wonder - Talking Book (1972)

Although Wonder would become the youngest artist to top the Billboard charts thanks to his 1963 single, "Fingertips Pt. 2", at the age of thirteen, his introduction to Motown records came in 1961, when label owner Berry Gordy inked a deal to secure the talents of Little Stevie Wonder.

Being a musical prodigy who overcame a debilitating physical disability wasn't enough to propel Wonder to fame though. His first single, "I Call It Pretty Music, But the Old People Call It the Blues" in 1961 was only released regionally around Detroit, and his first two albums, The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie and Tribute to Uncle Ray, failed to bring about the commercial success implied by the buzz surrounding the young musician (who was referred to by Motown executives as the eighth wonder of the world, which is where he found his new surname). Not even the novelty of a blind teen could propel the success of the records.

Even after his chart topping success in the mid '60s, and dropping "Little" from his name, Wonder still had to battle Motown for the creative control necessary to release Talking Book, which was a departure from his previous hits.

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Patrick Rodgers