Barry White was a legendary Soul and Funk musician who captivated audiences with his smooth and soulful voice. With a career spanning over four decades, White left a lasting impact on the music industry, selling over 100 million records worldwide.
He was not only known for his amazing voice but also for his exceptional talent as a songwriter, musician, and producer. White’s music has been praised for its sensual and romantic qualities, earning him the nickname “The Walrus of Love.”
So, I decided to delve into the musical legacy of the man, taking a look at what I consider to be the top 50 Barry White songs in order of their release. So, let us pay homage to the one and only Barry White and the timeless music he left behind, starting with…
Top 50 Barry White Songs
Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up (1973)
Released as the first single from White’s second studio album Stone Gon’, “Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up” was an instant classic. It features White’s signature deep and smooth vocals. They are backed by a funky, up-tempo beat and a wide array of lush instrumentation, including horns, strings, and a killer bassline.
The song became one of Barry White’s biggest hit songs, reaching #2 on the Billboard R&B charts and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. Multiple Top 10 spots were also achieved in Europe. “Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up” has since been covered and remixed by numerous artists and remains one of Barry White’s most popular and enduring songs.
White’s passionate and soulful performance on the track, combined with its upbeat and danceable production, made the song a Soul and Funk classic. The song stands strong as a testament to White’s musical legacy.
I’ve Got So Much to Give (1973)
The title track of Barry White’s first solo album, I’ve Got So Much to Give, set the framework for the remainder of his 1970s catalog. The unusual orchestral arrangements we’ve come to expect from a Barry White song feature prominently. As does the early development of his sexual persona.
By the end of the song, White even had me convinced that he does indeed have some amazing qualities that he can bring to a relationship. He’s a persistent fellow, indeed.
It was originally meant to be released as a single. But, it was eventually shelved as an album track only. It’s a shame, as it would probably have done very well. We’ll never know.
I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby (1973)
If you’re looking for the song that established Barry White as the “Walrus of Love,” you could earmark this track as a good candidate. The opening minute is drenched with Barry at his seductive best, whispering sweet nothings to his lover.
It was the first single released from his debut 1973 album, I’ve Got So Much to Give. This was his first taste of genuine chart success as a solo artist. It rode to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard R&B chart.
Simply put, “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby” was the track that placed Barry White firmly in the 1970s musical landscape. If there was a spike in the birth rates that year, I think we all know where the reason lies.
Love’s Theme (1973)
As amazing a voice as Barry White possesses, with “Love’s Theme,” he proved that he didn’t even need to be singing to score a #1 hit. White wrote this instrumental piece for his 40-piece backing band, The Love Unlimited Orchestra.
It’s incredibly rare for an instrumental track to reach #1 on the Billboard hot 100. But, in early 1974, the early-disco symphony that is “Love’s Theme” managed it. It also topped the charts in South Africa and Canada and was a Top 10 hit on many other international charts.
The song serves to highlight the fact that Barry White was so much more than just a singer with an incredible baritone. His production and arrangement skills are on full display here. He was also seemingly ahead of the curve. “Love’s Theme” is considered by music historians to be the first #1 hit to have a definite Disco sound.
Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe (1974)
Barry White had an incredible 1974. Hot on the heels of “Love’s Theme” came one of the most well-known Barry White songs, and one that only the Walrus himself could pull off.
Lyrically, it’s nothing special. But, White infuses those rather bland lyrics with such passionate belief that you don’t even notice how bad the words are. The 40-piece Love Unlimited Orchestra builds up a swirling symphony of Soul to accompany Barry’s exclamations of love. But even they can’t drown out the big man’s love growl.
It became White’s second #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 that year. A height he would sadly never achieve again. It also broke the Top 20 in many other markets. As a result, it remains one of Barry White’s most successful songs.
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything (1974)
It was one hit after the other that year for the Walrus. With this Disco-Soul classic, he scored #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #1 on the UK Singles chart.
Originally written as a Country song 20 years earlier by Peter Radcliffe, White turned it into a disco track. He added mostly new lyrics and slightly changed the melody. This track became part of the wave that launched the Disco era. Since then, it has established itself as a classic dance anthem.
Barry White fans who prefer his more Disco-orientated music, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything,” is often their top choice for the Top 50 Barry White songs. With its lively and upbeat rhythm, it remains a timeless crowd-pleaser for audiences of all ages.
Let the Music Play (1976)
Barry White had yet another Disco-infused hit on his hands with 1976’s “Let the Music Play.” This track comes from the self-produced album of the same name. The track scored #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the UK Singles chart.
For once, the Walrus isn’t singing about his undying love for a lady. This song is all about having a good time on the dancefloor. And that’s what people have been doing with it ever since. It’s an unbridled ode to the joy of being able to “dance the night away.”
Barry’s signature string section is present and correct. Pleasantly accompanying his legendary voice as he calls for healing through the act of dancing your troubles away.
You See the Trouble with Me (1976)
Released as the second single from the 1976 album, Let the Music Play, we find Barry, once again, lost without his lady. He’s lost in a sea of loneliness with no one by his side. It’s still a remarkably jaunty and uplifting Disco track considering the subject matter. In fairness, there isn’t such a thing as a downbeat Disco tune. And Barry White certainly isn’t about to start that trend.
Musically, some interesting things are going on. The usual orchestral accompaniment is in full effect. But, the most notable contribution comes in the form of some great guitar licks from Ray Parker, Jr. He went on to have success with The Ghostbusters theme song years later.
The track was a big hit in the UK, making it to #2 on the Singles chart. Barry White had a couple of hits that were far bigger in Europe than in the U.S. This was one of them.
It’s Only Love Doing its Thing (1978)
Another track from the 1978 album The Man, “It’s Only Love Doing its Thing,” was never released as a single. Despite that, it went on to become one of the most popular Barry White songs.
Once again, we find Barry trying to convince a potential lover that there is nothing wrong with a little bump and grind. It’s a seriously smooth and soulful ballad at heart, featuring way less instrumentation than we’re used to from a typical Barry White song. Don’t worry, there’s still a brass section adding some flavor.
You may recognize this song from the 1989 Simply Red cover. The British crooners scored a Top 20 hit all over Europe with their version.
Just the Way You Are (1979)
The Walrus was just an old romantic at heart, as this 1979 cover of Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” goes to show. When Barry White chose to cover this song, some may have been skeptical. The original song, released just a year prior, was already a popular classic and had won two Grammys.
However, White’s instincts were correct. The soulful ballad was a perfect fit for an R&B interpretation. And, on December 16th of that year, White’s version was released as a single on his album, The Man. The song became a big hit in the UK, charting high and becoming the second-longest-running hit of White’s career in the UK.
White’s soulful interpretation of the song showcased his musical prowess and solidified his position as one of the greats in the R&B genre. Strangely, this success wasn’t replicated on home soil in the US, peaking at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Come On (1975)
What Am I Gonna Do With You (1975)
Baby, We Better Try To Get It Together (1976)
Oh Love, Well We Finally Made It (1978)
Playing Your Game, Baby (1977)
September When I First Met You (1978)
Staying Power (1979)
You’re My High (1977)
Love Serenade (1975)
Never Thought I’d Fall in Love with You (1980)
Rio De Janeiro (1979)
Satin Soul (1974)
All In The Run Of A Day (1980)
I Found Love (1973)
I Love To Sing The Songs I Sing (1979)
I’ll Do For You Anything You Want Me To (1975)
I’m Qualified to Satisfy You (1976)
I’ve Got The World To Hold Me Up (1980)
It Ain’t Love, Babe (Until You Give It) (1978)
Love Ain’t Easy (1980)
Midnight And You (1974)
Our Theme – Part I (1974)
Power of Love (1973)
Your Love – So Good I Can Taste It (1979)
You’re Sweetness Is My Weakness (1978)
You’re the One I Need (1979)
You’re the Only One for Me (1978)
Can’t Stop Now (Love Is Calling) (1980)
Change (Instrumental) (1982)
Don’t Forget, Remember (1980)
Honey Please, Can’t Ya See (1976)
How Did You Know It Was Me? (1973)
I Believe In Love (1978)
I Get Off On You (1979)
I Want You (1974)
It’s All About Love (1983)
It’s Love You’re After (1979)
It’s Only Love (1978)
Love Is Good With You (1983)
Need More Sexy, Sensual, and Soulful Songs?
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Top 50 Barry White Songs – Final Thoughts
That concludes my very subjective list of Barry White’s Top 50 Songs. His life was tragically cut short due to complications from a stroke at the age of 58. But, the legacy he left behind had a huge impact on the trajectory of music in the 1970s and beyond.
What do you think of my selections? Are there any glaring omissions you feel I should have included? If so, let us know what you think in the comments below, and, also always, thanks for enjoying the music.
Until next time, happy listening.