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Soul - Erschienen am 1. Januar 1983 | Motown

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On Can't Slow Down, his second solo album, Lionel Richie ran with the sound and success of his eponymous debut, creating an album that was designed to be bigger and better. It's entirely possible that he took a cue from Michael Jackson's Thriller, which set out to win over listeners of every corner of the mainstream pop audience, because Richie does a similar thing with Can't Slow Down -- he plays to the MOR adult contemporary audience, to be sure, but he ups the ante on his dance numbers, creating grooves that are funkier, and he even adds a bit of rock with the sleek nocturnal menace of "Running With the Night," one of the best songs here. He doesn't swing for the fences like Michael did in 1982; he makes safe bets, which is more in his character. But safe bets do pay off, and with Can't Slow Down Richie reaped enormous dividends, earning not just his biggest hit, but his best album. He has less compunction about appearing as a pop singer this time around, which gives the preponderance of smooth ballads -- particularly "Penny Lover," "Hello," and the country-ish "Stuck on You" -- conviction, and the dance songs roll smooth and easy, never pushing the beats too hard and relying more on Richie's melodic hooks than the grooves, which is what helped make "All Night Long (All Night)" a massive hit. Indeed, five of these songs (all the aforementioned tunes) were huge hits, and since the record ran only eight songs, that's an astonishing ration. The short running time does suggest the record's main weakness, one that it shares with many early-'80s LPs -- the songs themselves run on a bit too long, padding out the running length of the entire album. This is only a problem on album tracks like "Love Will Find a Way," which are pleasant but a little tedious at their length, but since there are only three songs that aren't hits, it's a minor problem. All the hits showcase Lionel Richie at his best, as does Can't Slow Down as a whole. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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R&B - Erschienen am 5. Mai 1992 | Motown

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Nach einer mehrjährigen Auszeit kehrt Richie mit einer Sammlung seiner größten Hits zurück, die auch drei brandneue Titel enthält. Das meiste Material, das man erwartet, ist vorhanden, inklusive einiger Commodores-Titel (die daran erinnern, wie genial eine Ballade wie „Easy“ wirklich ist), sodass Fans nicht enttäuscht werden. Unter den drei neuen Nummern sticht „Do It to Me“ klar heraus, während man „Love, Oh Love“, im Wesentlichen ein Ebenbild von „Lady“, ziemlich vergessen kann. Ein sicherer Beleg, dass Richie selbst in den kitschigsten Momenten („Endless Love“) alles in allem ein Meister der sanften Ballade ist. © Steven McDonald /TiVo
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R&B - Erschienen am 1. Januar 1986 | Motown

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R&B - Erschienen am 5. Mai 1992 | UNI - MOTOWN

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Nach einer mehrjährigen Auszeit kehrt Richie mit einer Sammlung seiner größten Hits zurück, die auch drei brandneue Titel enthält. Das meiste Material, das man erwartet, ist vorhanden, inklusive einiger Commodores-Titel (die daran erinnern, wie genial eine Ballade wie „Easy“ wirklich ist), sodass Fans nicht enttäuscht werden. Unter den drei neuen Nummern sticht „Do It to Me“ klar heraus, während man „Love, Oh Love“, im Wesentlichen ein Ebenbild von „Lady“, ziemlich vergessen kann. Ein sicherer Beleg, dass Richie selbst in den kitschigsten Momenten („Endless Love“) alles in allem ein Meister der sanften Ballade ist. © Steven McDonald /TiVo
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Pop - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2003 | Universal Music Group International

Die Definitive Collection ist – wenngleich nicht so tiefgründig, wie das exzellente Zwei-CD-Set Gold (ein Jahr zuvor veröffentlicht), ein handlicher Überblick der Karriere der Commodores, die mit dem 1974er "Machine Gun" beginnt und mit dem 1985er "Nightshift" endet. Die einzigen Top-Ten-R-&-B-Hits, die hier nicht enthalten sind, sind "Sail On" und einige spätere ('80er) Schnitte, somit sind alle großen Funk-Jams ("Too Hot ta Trot", "Brick House", "Lady [You Bring Me Up]") und Balladen ("Zoom", "Easy", "Three Times a Lady") tatsächlich enthalten. Dieses Set erzielt außerdem ein paar Extras durch Einbeziehung der besten Albumschnitte der Band, das 1976er "Girl, I Think the World About You", das bei mindestens 90 Prozent aller Commodores-Sammlungen ausgelassen wurde. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Erschienen am 16. August 2019 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Erschienen am 1. Januar 1982 | Motown

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Lionel Richie's solo career began while he was still in the Commodores, as he wrote and sang (as a duet with Diana Ross) the theme to the Brooke Shields romance Endless Love, which became a bigger hit than any of the group's singles, thereby setting the stage for his departure and his 1982 self-titled solo debut. He wasn't working in unfamiliar territory, or with new musicians. The Commodores decided to work as their own band, so their producer, James Anthony Carmichael, was able to devote his energy to working on Richie's album. Using the pop-crossover ballad style of "Endless Love," "Three Times a Lady," and "Easy" as their template, the duo turned Lionel Richie into a sleek, state-of-the-art record that, at its best, provides some irresistible pop pleasures. The key to its success -- and the reason it was scorned by some Commodores fans -- is that Richie doesn't even make a pretense of funk here, leaving behind the loose, elastic grooves of his previous bands (a move that makes sense, since his voice never suited that style particularly well), choosing to concentrate on ballads and sparkly mid-tempo pop, peppered with a few stylish dance grooves. The ballads, of course, provided two big hits with "My Love" and "Truly," two numbers that illustrate that he was moving ever-closer to mainstream pop, since these are unapologetic AOR slow-dance tunes. The other big hit, "You Are," is an effervescent, wonderful pop tune that showcases Richie at his sunniest; it's one of his greatest singles. Throughout the first part of the record, the dance numbers are served up and they're very good -- "Serves You Right" has a shiny, propulsive groove, while "Tell Me" jams nicely. After "You Are," the record bogs down with a couple of ballads that are on the wrong side of adult contemporary -- too formless, too hookless to really catch hold -- but they don't hurt the first seven songs, which form a dynamic mainstream pop-soul record, one of the best the early '80s had to offer. It's the sound of Lionel Richie finding his solo voice, and, the next time out, he knew how to use it even better than he does here. [The 2003 reissue of Lionel Richie includes two bonus tracks: a solo demo of "Endless Love" which not only fits perfectly with this record, but is less cloying, and an instrumental of "You Are" whose primary worth is to hear the detail and expertise in the production Richie and Carmichael assembled.] © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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R&B - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2012 | UTV - Motown

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R&B - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2003 | Motown

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R&B - Erschienen am 1. April 1996 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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After the greatest-hits collection Back to Front disappeared without a trace in 1992, Lionel Richie spent four years making Louder Than Words, his first album for Mercury Records. Although there are some slight attempts to incorporate new jack and hip-hop influences into Richie's sound, Louder Than Words relies on his trademark balladeering, which remains his forte. All of the weak moments on Louder Than Words are ill-advised forays into rap -- to put it bluntly, he can rap about as well as Snoop Dogg can sing. Although the ballads aren't as strong as his late-'70s and early-'80s standards, they are nevertheless pleasant, which makes the record a worthwhile purchase for fans. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Erschienen am 11. April 2017 | Acoustic Legends Records

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Pop - Erschienen am 1. Januar 1997 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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R&B - Erschienen am 8. März 2004 | Mercury Records

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Country - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2012 | Universal Music Group International

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Pop - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2003 | UNI - MOTOWN

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Pop - Erschienen am 5. August 2016 | Motown

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R&B - Erschienen am 1. Januar 1992 | Motown

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Pop - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2002 | Island Mercury

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R&B - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2000 | Island Mercury

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Pop - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2003 | UNI - MOTOWN