DAR Music: A Look At Destiny's Child's Discography

By @TrueGodImmortal

Beyonce is one of the greatest entertainers of this era. She is well known as one of the premier names in music today. Because of this, she has rose to a level that many haven't achieved and likely never will. However, before her solo endeavors, Beyonce made her name known as a member of one of the best female R&B groups, Destiny's Child alongside the numerous members, most notably Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Today, I wanted to look back at their discography as a group and the album and miscellanous projects they worked on over the years. Does Destiny's Child have any classics? What is their best album? Let's take a look.

*Destiny's Child (1998)

-The self titled debut album from the group would not be the major hit that every Beyonce album is now, but everyone has to start somewhere. For the foursome of Kelly, Beyonce, Latoya, and LaTavia, this album represented a small glimpse of who they were as growing women and artists, but on a more subdued level. The early period of Destiny's Child was heavily controlled by Matthew Knowles of course, so while this album is a decent listen, we never truly hear the group and their full potential, at least in my opinion. The group formerly known as Girl's Tyme would work with producers such as Wyclef Jean, Tim & Bob, Jermaine Dupri, and more to craft a solid though rather uneventful debut. Beyonce was of course the standout during this album vocally, but everyone manages to hold their own when called upon, but of course, the biggest single from this album is heavily Beyonce driven. The classic "No, No, No Part 2" was the most successful single on the album and of course, working with Wyclef, who was hot at the time, led them to success. The album would hit platinum, making Destiny's Child an important and successful act in the genre, but based on this debut, we had no idea what was to come in the future.

*The Writing's On The Wall (1999)

-This is the best album from the ladies. While I personally am not a huge fan of the group, I can definitely recognize what they've done in the genre and how impactful some of their music is. Perhaps after their debut, they found a formula that would work for them and they stuck to it, or maybe the new slew of producers they would work with were better suited for them. Whatever the case, Destiny's Child returned with their second album and in terms of the R&B charts in 1999, they dominated that and were all over radio. Their star power began increasing, with Beyonce becoming even more of a standout on this project and once they reached their peak, they honestly never looked back. With contributions from Missy Elliott, Darkchild, Chris Stokes, Dwayne Wiggins, and more, the ladies would bring us hit records like "Say My Name", "Jumpin Jumpin", the hilariously ridiculous "Bills, Bills, Bills", and "Bug A Boo", riding the staying power of these singles to amazing sales of nearly 8 million copies and multiple Grammy nominations. While TLC had firmly grasped the title of best female R&B group for the better part of the 90's, at this moment, Destiny's Child snatched the title from them and didn't seem willing to give it back. They wouldn't.

*Survivor (2001)

-It was once said that every group goes through their changes and I guess that would end up being very true for Destiny's Child. They went through multiple changes literally after the success and release of their second album. Letoya and LaTavia would depart the group and be replaced by Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams, and Farrah would end up leaving just as soon as she arrived. After that tumultuous batch of changes, the former foursome was now a trio. As a trio is how Destiny's Child is best remembered by some, and perhaps as a trio they were able to better grow musically..... maybe. Regardless, the third album from the group showed the same fire as their second one, just on a different note. Armed with another group of talented producers, the ladies would deliver with an album that seemed to preach female empowerment in spurts, and at times tackled heavier love topics, a sign of growth from the group of ladies who once made a hit single asking can a man pay their bills. This was evident on their "Independent Woman" (Part 1 and 2) single, but continued to manifest on songs like the title track and the cover of "Emotion", along with "Dangerously In Love". Of course, the group still had their playful and slightly immature music, as singles "Bootylicious" and "Nasty Girl", along with album tracks "Fancy" and "Sexy Daddy" fit into that category. Regardless, the group would end up having a very successful run with this album, earning more Grammy nominations and over 12 million copies sold worldwide, with 6 million of those coming from the U.S., which is an amazing feat to do back to back on albums in terms of sales. Despite the lineup changes, the drama, and everything surrounding the group, the ladies managed to firmly stake their claim as the best female R&B group of the time and perhaps ever, at least commercially.

*Love: Destiny (2001)

-Released as a Target exclusive, this EP really doesn't count in their catalog, but it deserves a mention at least. This EP was full of remixes and an unreleased track, and while it is nothing special, it does feature the classic "Jumpin' Jumpin" remix with Lil' Bow Wow, Da Brat, and Jermaine Dupri, in addition to the Timbaland remix of "Say My Name". The only "new" song here is "My Song", which is solid, but regardless, this EP was just a nice way to try and cash in on the success of the group even more, and to give off the exclusive feel. Shoutout to Target, I guess.

*8 Days Of Christmas (2001)

-2001 was a busy year for these ladies. With the group now being a trio, it almost felt as if the label was trying to enforce this new lineup and slowly erase the memories of what the group was prior to this. Was it working? Maybe, but when it was announced that the group had a Christmas album coming, no one really knew what to expect. Would the ladies be singing covers of classic Christmas songs or writing their own original Christmas songs? Surprisingly, it would be a little of both. While traditional Christmas songs are featured, there are actually some original tracks, including the title track, which actually became a minor hit on the charts. The ladies would take the traditional style of Christmas songs and give them an updated sound for the most part, with some legendary Christmas songs like "This Christmas", "Silent Night", and more being standouts. It is extremely hard to sell a Christmas album, but this project did manage to reach gold status, which has to be a minor win for the group.

*Destiny Fulfilled (2004)

-After Beyonce went solo and Kelly released a solo album (and I assume Michelle did as well), the group would return from a minor hiatus and dominate once again. With each member contributing to the song selection and writing process, this is probably the most fluid album in their entire catalog and their most mature release for sure. After heading down separate paths for a while, this album is essentially the coming together of a force to combine their experiences in life and everything that surrounds them. While that isn't always easy to tell on this album in terms of songs like the comical "Soldier" featuring T.I. and Lil' Wayne, as well as the frenzy paced "Lose My Breath", you could sense the growth on tracks like the beautiful 9th Wonder produced "Girl" and the smooth ballad "Cater 2 U", and the slow jam "T-Shirt". While this album wasn't their most successful overall, to me it was their most concise release, with a smaller tracklist, and more growth in their music. The album would sell 4 million copies overall in the U.S., as the group would once again dominate the charts and showcase why they are one of the greatest female R&B groups ever. Shortly after this album, they would disband formally, though they've reunited multiple times over the years at big events. They would have one last hurrah in the form of a greatest hits album, but this was the official end of the Destiny's Child saga.

*Number Ones/#1's (2005)

-The greatest hits project is one that really doesn't need much of a mention, but it was definitely (notice I decided to not include the pointless This Is The Remix project especially after including Love: Destiny) a final moment in the legacy of this legendary group. Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle would go out with a bang on their previous album and  then do a victory lap with this collection of hits and a few new tracks. Those new tracks would include "Stand Up For Love", "Check On It" by Beyonce and Slim Thug, and "Feel The Same Way I Do". While nothing here in terms of the new songs were special, this entire project chronicles the legacy and the legend of the Destiny's Child catalog.



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