Top 50 Baby Music Albums
Humans are hardwired to love music. It holds a place in us that almost nothing else can reach. As anyone who has seen a grin of delight spread across a listening baby's face knows, there's just something simple and profound about our relationship with sound. And while it's true that the littlest babies don't much care what's playing, as time goes on, they start to listen, move, and sing along (suddenly making half our old music collection off limits for the next 16 years). Luckily we live in a fertile time for kids' music, with rereleases of classic recordings, scores of talented newcomers making charming records, and seemingly every third rocker from the '90s inspired to settle down and create great children's music of their own. Read More ↓
For Babble's first Top 50 Baby Music Albums, we chose recordings that could grow up with babies rather than becoming obsolete as soon as the babies are old enough to crawl away from the stereo. This also meant we stretched the definition of "baby" into the toddler years. Since you may be hearing some of these songs fifty, a hundred, a thousand times, we chose with parental sanity in mind and included a category for the best albums for adults that also work for babies. With music so intimately wrapped up with our emotional lives, we're sure to have made choices you'll disagree with, so feel free to nominate any gems we missed. -Colin Murphy
8 / 50
Talking Book | Stevie Wonder
This 1972 album was a breakout success for Stevie Wonder and garnered him his first widespread attention beyond the R&B world, along with his first Grammy. Even with its dated synthesizer tones and vocal experiments, the album has an airy, contented feel and grooves that almost force you out of your seat.
The infectious songs here include “Superstition,” “Maybe Your Baby,” and the Grammy-winning “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” all of which show just how slow the tempo can go and still get people moving. Kids will pick up the chorus of “Sunshine” in no time and then know it for the rest of their lives, just like you do. At the other end of the spectrum, more contemplative songs like “Blame It on the Sun,” “Big Brother,” and “I Believe (When I Fall In Love it Will Be Forever)” give the album an emotional complexity that takes it into essentials territory.
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