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Ben E. King was an American soul and R&B singer who emerged in the 1950s and quickly became one of the most acclaimed and beloved performers of his time. With his smooth vocals and emotive delivery, King helped to define the sound and style of soul music and inspired countless musicians around the world. Over the course of his career, he released a string of classic albums and songs that continue to be adored by music fans of all ages.
In this article, we will be exploring the 10 best Ben E. King songs of all time. These are the tracks that have defined the singer’s sound and style, and that continue to be recognized as some of the greatest songs in the history of soul music. From early hits like “Stand by Me” and “Spanish Harlem” to later classics like “Supernatural Thing” and “Music Trance,” we will be taking a deep dive into King’s discography and exploring what makes these songs so special.
King’s music is not just about soulful vocals and catchy melodies; it’s also about the power of music to touch our hearts and souls. His songs are filled with emotion and sincerity, and his influence can be heard in the work of countless soul and R&B musicians today. Listening to Ben E. King’s music is like taking a journey through the joys and sorrows of life, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of musicians and music lovers.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of Ben E. King or just discovering his music for the first time, this article is sure to provide insights and appreciation for the singer’s incredible body of work. So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the 10 best Ben E. King songs of all time.
1. Stand By Me
“Stand By Me” is a classic soul and R&B song recorded by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King in 1961. The song is a timeless masterpiece that has stood the test of time and remained popular over the years. The song’s lyrics speak of the importance of friendship, loyalty, and support, with a message that transcends generations. The music features a simple, yet catchy melody and King’s soulful, passionate vocals, which convey the emotions of the song’s message. “Stand By Me” has become a cultural touchstone, appearing in countless films, TV shows, and other media, and continues to inspire and connect people around the world.
2. Spanish Harlem
Spanish Harlem is a classic song by Ben E. King that celebrates the vibrant and lively culture of the Spanish Harlem neighborhood in New York City. With its upbeat tempo, catchy melody, and soulful vocals, the song captures the energy and spirit of the community, as well as its struggles and triumphs. The lyrics pay tribute to the neighborhood’s rich history, diverse population, and enduring resilience, while also expressing a sense of nostalgia and longing. Spanish Harlem has become an enduring anthem of Latin American culture and a beloved classic of R&B and soul music.
3. Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)
“Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” is a soulful and emotional song recorded by American singer Aretha Franklin in 1970. The song’s lyrics tell the story of a woman who is heartbroken after her lover leaves her, and she pleads with the DJ not to play a certain song because it reminds her of him. The music features Franklin’s powerful vocals, backed by a lively and upbeat instrumental arrangement that blends soul, R&B, and gospel influences. “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” is a classic example of Franklin’s ability to infuse her music with raw emotion and soulful passion.
4. Supernatural Thing Pt.1
“Supernatural Thing Pt. 1” is a funky and energetic disco song recorded by American singer Ben E. King in 1975. The song’s lyrics speak of a supernatural attraction between two people, with King’s vocals conveying a sense of urgency and desire. The music features a groovy bassline, funky guitar riffs, and upbeat brass arrangements, creating a danceable and infectious rhythm. “Supernatural Thing Pt. 1” is a quintessential disco hit, with its lively and infectious energy capturing the spirit of the era and inspiring countless dancefloor moments.
“Amor” by Ben E. King is a romantic ballad that was originally written in Spanish by Gabriel Ruiz and later translated to English. The song features King’s smooth and soulful vocals accompanied by a gentle acoustic guitar melody. The lyrics express the depth of love and the desire to be with someone forever. The song has a timeless quality that has made it a classic in both Spanish and English-speaking countries.
6. We Got a Thing Going On
“We Got a Thing Going On” is a classic soul duet by Ben E. King and the iconic singer-songwriter, James Taylor. The song features a funky bass line, lively horns, and the smooth harmonies of King and Taylor. The lyrics tell the story of two lovers who are in a secret relationship, trying to keep their love a secret from the world. The song’s catchy chorus and upbeat tempo make it a perfect sing-along tune, while the heartfelt lyrics make it a favorite of soul and R&B fans around the world.
7. Here Comes the Night
“Here Comes the Night” by Ben E. King is a classic R&B track that features a funky guitar riff, groovy bassline, and King’s soulful vocals. The song’s lyrics describe the anticipation and excitement of a night out on the town, with King’s smooth voice capturing the excitement of the moment. The catchy chorus and lively beat make this a favorite of fans of classic R&B and soul music.
8. Seven Letters
“Seven Letters” is a soulful ballad by Ben E. King that showcases his incredible vocal range and emotive delivery. The song features a simple arrangement with King’s vocals front and center, backed only by a sparse piano melody. The lyrics tell the story of a man who receives a letter from his former lover, and the emotions that he experiences as he reads it. The song’s poignant lyrics and King’s powerful vocals make it a classic of the soul genre.
9. I (Who Have Nothing)
“I (Who Have Nothing)” is a soulful ballad by Ben King that expresses the heartbreak of unrequited love. Originally written in Italian, the song was later translated to English and became a hit for King in the 1960s. The lyrics are simple but powerful, with King’s emotive vocals conveying the depth of his pain and longing. The soaring orchestral arrangement adds to the dramatic effect of the song, making it a timeless classic.
“Ecstasy,” on the other hand, is an upbeat, funky track that showcases King’s versatility as a musician. With its catchy melody and groovy rhythm, the song is a celebration of the joy and excitement of falling in love. King’s smooth vocals are backed by a funky brass section and a tight rhythm section, creating a sound that is both classic and modern. The lyrics are playful and romantic, expressing the rush of emotions that come with being in love. Overall, “Ecstasy” is a fun and infectious track that is sure to get listeners dancing.