4. 12 Play (1993)
The album that delivered the playbook for modern day sex soundtracks has its rabid supporters who still hold Kelly’s post Public Announcement introduction as the zenith in the singer-songwriter-producer’s bed-igniting canon. And why not? The hits are overflowing (“Your Body’s Callin’,” “Bump n’ Grind,” “It Seems Like You're Ready,” and “Sex Me, Pts. 1 & 2”). And with 6 million copies sold, 12 Play is now largely viewed as the jack to Mary J. Blige’s Jill (What’s the 411?). It’s enough to make you forgive its sillier moments—the biggest offender being “I Like the Crotch On You.” Yet the true beauty of 12 Play is the realization that you are listening to an act destined for rhythm and blues greatness.