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DAR Music: 5 Legendary Four Album Runs

By @TrueGodImmortal


In hip hop, three album runs are often discussed and categorized for determining the best of the best. Often times, you'll notice artists like Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, and others mentioned for their runs album wise and today, we wanted to look at the R&B/Soul genre and pick out the greatest FOUR album runs, which sounds impossible doesn't it? The truth of the matter is, there are a select few artists who have released four consecutive albums that are classics or albums that are close to it. Which artists did we select and which four albums for each? Read on to find out.

*Stevie Wonder
(Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, Songs In The Key Of Life)


-Stevie had an epic run and if this were an article on the greatest music run ever, I would have to crown Stevie with that title and I would add in albums like Music Of My Mind and Hotter Than July, but for the sake of this discussion, we have to talk his amazing four album run that truly showcased his production and music making prowess. To me, Innervisions is the best album here, but Talking Book and Songs In The Key Of Life are classics and while Fulfillingness isn't flawless, it is a great listen from start to finish with only minor mishaps. Still, Stevie in the 70's was untouchable next to Marvin and this run was one of the greatest, if not the greatest (to me it was the greatest ever).

*Marvin Gaye
(What's Going On, Let's Get It On, I Want You, Here My Dear)


-This was the obvious choice for the four album run because Marvin owned the 70's without question. His music was honestly some of the greatest we had ever heard, and starting with the 1971 classic What's Going On, Marvin embarked on one hell of a journey. The crazy part is, if you wanted to include the 1972 soundtrack for Trouble Man, that definitely could apply here as well. For me, I chose What's Going On, Let's Get It On, I Want You, and Here My Dear, all four of which are classics. What's Going On is a socially aware classic, Let's Get It On is a bedroom classic, and the other two are just classics overall, with Here My Dear being a divorce album that shocked me in how good the quality was. Overall, these albums were pivotal to Marvin being a legend and one of the all time greats.

*Prince
(Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999, Purple Rain)


-It is tough to do a four album run for Prince and not include my favorite album from him "Sign O' The Times", but the truth is, earlier in his career, Prince was on a true roll. While Controversy isn't one of my favorites from him necessarily, it is a very good album and the same can be said for the underrated Dirty Mind. 1999 and Purple Rain are back to back classics and quite possibly top 5 in the extensive catalog of Prince, so this definitely makes sense for inclusion on the list. I could go on and on, but the fact remains, this group of four albums was the greatest run for Prince in his career. 1999 and Purple Rain are the best of the four, but all four are vital to his catalog.

*Michael Jackson
(Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous)


-If you ask me, this is the greatest four album run of all time. There is no collection of four consecutive albums that really could go beyond this set of four. MJ was in another world and on another level with these four albums and many people debate over which album is the greatest. While I debate between Off The Wall and Bad, Thriller is the highest selling album and the most popular of them all, so in essence, perhaps THAT is the greatest album of the four. Dangerous is the most underrated of the four albums, but is still a classic. Simply put, MJ has the greatest four album run of all time.

*R. Kelly
(12 Play, Self Titled Album, R., TP-2.com)


-So, off all the artists to choose from, I just had to choose the controversial artist to end this short list right? Well, to be fair, I thought for a while about some other artists that were from an era prior and while that led me to some decent options, I don't think there was any option better to choose than R. Kelly because he has one of the best four album runs ever. First, the classic 12 Play, which is regarded as one of the greatest albums in the genre ever, alongside the self titled sophomore album that I still personally feel is his best work. His next album in the four album run was the double album R., which is either a classic to you or an extremely ambitious album, but I loved it personally. TP-2.com is a different story, but it was still a classic album in many circles and probably my second favorite album from R. Kelly. As a person, R. Kelly is what he is, but as an artist, he has the best four album run since the 90's, and deserves to be on this list.

-True

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