Editors’ Notes Already a studio session vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter for high-profile artists (Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Janet Jackson), John Legend, né John Stephens, had worked out a large chunk of the musical puzzle for himself before his studio debut, Get Lifted, appeared. Following a brief stint working at a management consulting firm after college, the Ohio native joined Common as one of the very first artists signed to G.O.O.D. Music, the then-fledgling imprint of Kanye West—whose cousin (“Diamonds Are Forever” producer Devo Springsteen) was Legend’s roommate at the University of Pennsylvania. Pulling both hip-hop-centered beats and Legend’s piano to the foreground, Get Lifted benefits from strong vocal arrangements (Legend was a former church choir director), reimagined classic soul samples (The Staple Singers’ “Let’s Do It Again” on “Number One,” Sly & The Family Stone’s “Just Like a Baby” on “She Don’t Have to Know”), and a canny mix of guests (Snoop Dogg, West, Hill) that never steals focus from the star. Standout hit “Ordinary People” features him alone at a piano counting the ways partners disappoint each other, but he uncovers new reasons to be hopeful in the end, singing, “This time we’ll take it slow.” The song’s sparse, crooner-esque voice-and-piano arrangement and romantic subject matter presaged "All of Me," the biggest hit of Legend’s career, released nine years later.

SONG
Prelude
1
0:44
 
Let's Get Lifted
2
3:37
 
Used to Love U
3
3:30
 
Alright
4
3:20
 
She Don't Have to Know
5
4:52
 
Number One (feat. Kanye West)
6
3:18
 
I Can Change (feat. Snoop Dogg)
7
4:59
 
Ordinary People
8
4:41
 
Stay With You
9
3:48
 
Let's Get Lifted Again
10
2:17
 
So High (Single Version)
11
5:07
 
Refuge (When It's Cold Outside)
12
4:13
 
It Don't Have to Change (feat. The Stephens Family)
13
3:23
 
Live It Up (feat. Miri Ben-Ari)
14
4:35
 
So High (feat. Lauryn Hill) [Cloud 9 Remix]
15
5:07
 

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