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Lionel Richie - Dancing On The Ceiling

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Dancing On The Ceiling

Lionel Richie

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Lionel Richie wasn't necessarily emboldened by the success of Can't Slow Down -- after all, he had experienced huge success since the Commodores -- but there is nevertheless a sense of swagger on its 1986 successor, Dancing on the Ceiling. This isn't entirely a good thing, since it means he indulges in silliness (the title track) and sappiness ("Ballerina Girl") in equal measure, seemingly without quite realizing how ridiculous either extreme is. Maybe that's because he still has a strong sense of popcraft, something that makes "Dancing in the Ceiling" stick in the head even if its lyrics are awful, something that makes "Ballerina Girl" work for a slow dance even if it is awfully sugary. This dichotomy is evident throughout the record, as Richie pulls out good music even if he indulges all of his worst impulses a little bit too much. He adds a bit more dance to this album, and while the grooves are funkier than anything since the Commodores, they run on too long -- at eight minutes, "Don't Stop" takes its title command far too seriously. This same tendency is apparent on the ballads and slower songs, which all stay around a little longer than they should, something that gives the impression that this record is a little less focused or consistent than the two blockbusters that preceded it. While it is true that there is nothing here nearly as good as the hits on Lionel Richie and Can't Slow Down, it also is true that on a track-by-track level, it's more consistent, never having resorting to the formless filler that peppered those two otherwise excellent records. This is a good thing, but it would have been better if the record had boasted one or two undeniable singles, or, if it didn't, would at least have been a little tighter. That said, Dancing on the Ceiling is a solid, enjoyable affair -- a comedown after the peaks of Lionel Richie and Can't Slow Down, and one that suggests that Richie needed the extended break he took after its release, but a good record all the same. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Dancing On The Ceiling

Lionel Richie

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1
Dancing On The Ceiling (Album Version) 00:04:30

John Barnes, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - John Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Carlos Rios, Guitar, Synthesizer, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Neil Steubenhaus, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Michael H. Frenchik Jr., ComposerLyricist - Carlos Manuel Rios, ComposerLyricist

; ℗ 1985 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Se La (Album Version) 00:05:53

Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Drum, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Carlos Rios, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1985 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Ballerina Girl (Album Version) 00:03:37

Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Neil Larsen, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tim May, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Lang, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

A Motown Records Release; ℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Don't Stop (Album Version) 00:08:06

John Barnes, Synthesizer, Synclavier, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Fearing, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Marva King, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer - Sheila E., Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Suzee Wendy Ikeda, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1985 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Deep River Woman (Album Version) 00:04:36

Alabama, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joe Chemay, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Tim May, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1985 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Love Will Conquer All (Album Version) 00:05:40

Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer, Drum, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Cynthia Weil, ComposerLyricist - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Keyboards, Drum, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Marva King, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - David Cochrane, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1985 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Tonight Will Be Alright (Album Version) 00:05:07

Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Deborah Thomas, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Marx, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Clapton, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lionel Richie, Producer, Keyboards, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joe Chemay, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Tim May, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Carlos Rios, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Maxine Waters Willard, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Waters Tillman, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1985 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Say You, Say Me (Album Version) 00:04:01

Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards, Moog Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drum, AssociatedPerformer - John Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE LUKATHER, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Keyboards, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tim May, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Carlos Rios, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Abraham Laborier, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

A Motown Records Release; ℗ 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Night Train (Smooth Alligator) (Album Version) 00:04:57

Randy Jackson, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Narada Michael Walden, Producer, Drums, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Preston Glass, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - WALTER AFANASIEFF, ComposerLyricist - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Preston W. Glass, ComposerLyricist - Lionel Richie, Producer, MainArtist - Marva King, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer - Jennifer Hall, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome D. Cohen, ComposerLyricist - Cory Lerios, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Kitty Beethoven, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Vernon "Ice" Black, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1985 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Dancing On The Ceiling (12" Version) 00:07:10

John Barnes, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - John Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Carlos Rios, Guitar, Synthesizer, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Neil Steubenhaus, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Michael H. Frenchik Jr., ComposerLyricist - Carlos Manuel Rios, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1986 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Se La (12" Version) 00:08:15

Greg Phillinganes, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Drum, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Carlos Rios, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1987 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Don't Stop (12" Version) 00:09:33

John Barnes, Synthesizer, Synclavier, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Fearing, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Vocal Arranger, Recording Arranger, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Marva King, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer - Sheila E., Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Suzee Wendy Ikeda, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Love Will Conquer All (12" Version) 00:07:06

Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer, Drum, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Leim, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Cynthia Weil, ComposerLyricist - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Calvin Harris, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Richie, Producer, Keyboards, Drum, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Marva King, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Anthony Carmichael, Producer, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - David Cochrane, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1986 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Descrizione dell'album

Lionel Richie wasn't necessarily emboldened by the success of Can't Slow Down -- after all, he had experienced huge success since the Commodores -- but there is nevertheless a sense of swagger on its 1986 successor, Dancing on the Ceiling. This isn't entirely a good thing, since it means he indulges in silliness (the title track) and sappiness ("Ballerina Girl") in equal measure, seemingly without quite realizing how ridiculous either extreme is. Maybe that's because he still has a strong sense of popcraft, something that makes "Dancing in the Ceiling" stick in the head even if its lyrics are awful, something that makes "Ballerina Girl" work for a slow dance even if it is awfully sugary. This dichotomy is evident throughout the record, as Richie pulls out good music even if he indulges all of his worst impulses a little bit too much. He adds a bit more dance to this album, and while the grooves are funkier than anything since the Commodores, they run on too long -- at eight minutes, "Don't Stop" takes its title command far too seriously. This same tendency is apparent on the ballads and slower songs, which all stay around a little longer than they should, something that gives the impression that this record is a little less focused or consistent than the two blockbusters that preceded it. While it is true that there is nothing here nearly as good as the hits on Lionel Richie and Can't Slow Down, it also is true that on a track-by-track level, it's more consistent, never having resorting to the formless filler that peppered those two otherwise excellent records. This is a good thing, but it would have been better if the record had boasted one or two undeniable singles, or, if it didn't, would at least have been a little tighter. That said, Dancing on the Ceiling is a solid, enjoyable affair -- a comedown after the peaks of Lionel Richie and Can't Slow Down, and one that suggests that Richie needed the extended break he took after its release, but a good record all the same. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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