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R&B - Paru le 1 mars 1977 | Motown

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Après s’être bâti une forte réputation à l’aide de titres énergiques riches en funk et en soul fortement inspirés par la Motown, les Commodores entament un léger virage en 1977 avec ce cinquième album éponyme qui les voit prendrer une direction pop avec des chansons plus légères mettant grandement en valeur les voix de Lionel Richie et de Walter Orange. Brick House contient tout ce que le funk peut offrir de meilleur et la ballade Easy retentit comme les prémices de la carrière solo de Lionel Richie. L’album de la consécration pour les Commodores. © LG/Qobuz
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R&B - Paru le 1 janvier 1985 | Motown

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The Commodores made one final stab at regaining R&B glory when Lionel Richie and producer/arranger James Anthony Carmichael both left in the mid-'80s. J.D. Nicholas became their lead singer, and Dennis Lambert assumed production duties. They rebounded temporarily, when "Nightshift" leaped out of an otherwise ordinary album to become a Grammy-winning R&B and pop smash. It stayed atop the R&B charts for a month, and peaked at #3 on the pop chart. Unfortunately, it was also the end for Thomas McClary, who left the group once the album had run its course. It was their next-to-last hit, and basically the end for the band, although they continued for a couple more years. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Funk - Paru le 1 juillet 1974 | Motown

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Before the Commodores started having major adult contemporary hits like "Three Times a Lady," "Easy," and "Still," they were happy to be a full-time funk/soul band. The Southerners became increasingly pop-minded in the late '70s, but when their debut album, Machine Gun, came out in 1974, their music was unapologetically gritty. This was, without question, a very promising debut -- Lionel Richie and his allies really hit the ground running on sweaty funk items like "Young Girls Are My Weakness," "The Bump," "Gonna Blow Your Mind," and the single "I Feel Sanctified." These songs aren't funk-pop or sophisticated funk -- they're hardcore funk. What you won't find on Machine Gun are a lot of sentimental love ballads. In the late '70s, the Commodores became as famous for their ballads as they were for their funk and dance material, but believe it or not, there are no ballads to be found on this consistently funky, mostly up-tempo debut. As much as this LP has going for it, Machine Gun isn't the Commodores' best or most essential album. Machine Gun is rewarding, but their subsequent albums Caught in the Act (1975), Movin' On (1975), and Hot on the Tracks (1976) are even stronger. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Pop - Paru le 1 janvier 2006 | Universal Music Enterprises

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R&B - Paru le 1 mai 1978 | Motown

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The Commodores' sixth studio album, Natural High, is best known for the ballad "Three Times a Lady," which became a staple of adult contemporary radio and reached number one on both the pop and R&B charts. "Three Times a Lady" was their first number one pop hit, and Lionel Richie was being recognized as a major crossover star. Not everyone liked "Three Times a Lady" -- some people found the song to be much too sappy, and R&B purists argued that the Commodores were watering their music down. But even if "Three Times a Lady" isn't your cup of tea, Natural High still has a lot to offer R&B fans. "X-Rated Movie," "Such a Woman," and "I Like What You Do" are exhilarating examples of hardcore funk, and those who appreciate artists like Heatwave and the Brothers Johnson will find a lot to admire about "Fire Girl" and "Flying High" (both of which are sleek examples of the sophisticated funk style). Meanwhile, "Say Yeah" (featuring Richie) is a first-rate R&B slow jam. Whatever your opinion of "Three Times a Lady" -- whether you love it or hate it -- the fact is that Natural High has more plusses than minuses and was a generally respectable, if imperfect, addition to the Commodores' catalog. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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R&B - Paru le 1 février 1975 | Motown

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The sophomore slump wasn't a problem for the Commodores. The band's first album, Machine Gun, was quite promising, but its sophomore album, Caught in the Act, is even stronger. This superb 1975 LP, which the Commodores produced and arranged with James Carmichael, is more diverse than its mostly up-tempo predecessor. There are plenty of up-tempo funk gems; anyone with a taste for hard, sweaty 1970s funk won't be disappointed by "Look What You've Done to Me," "Wide Open," or the hit "Slippery When Wet," which soared to number one on Billboard's R&B singles chart and urges unfaithful husbands to give up their adulterous ways. But Caught in the Act, unlike Machine Gun, doesn't neglect slower material; "You Don't Know That I Know" and "This Is Your Life" are first-rate soul ballads. Excellent from start to finish, Caught in the Act is among the Commodores' finest albums. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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R&B - Paru le 1 janvier 1995 | Motown

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R&B - Paru le 1 janvier 1995 | Motown

Anthologie rassemblant les titres indispensables du groupes / Commodores
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R&B - Paru le 1 octobre 1975 | Motown

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R&B purists have often argued that the Commodores did their most essential work before 1977. It was in 1977 that they crossed over to the pop/adult contemporary audience in a major way with "Easy," and subsequent hits like 1978's "Three Times a Lady" and 1979's "Still" (both of which reached number one on Billboard's pop singles charts) certainly weren't the work of R&B snobs. Of course, Lionel Richie never claimed to be an R&B purist, although it is safe to say that the Commodores were still a hardcore funk/soul band when their third album, Movin' On, came out in 1975. From an R&B standpoint (as opposed to a pop or adult contemporary standpoint), this is one of their most essential releases. Those who love hard, gutsy 1970s funk can't go wrong with horn-powered gems like "Mary, Mary," "(Can I) Get a Witness," "Gimme My Mule," and "Hold On"; however, the song that Movin' On is best remembered for is the laid-back, gospel-drenched hit "Sweet Love." Written by Richie, "Sweet Love" is one of those secular soul tunes that isn't really gospel but borders on it; when Richie belts out the lyrics, "You got to keep on searching/harder/day by day," you feel like you're in the front row during an AME church service. And even though Movin' On is an LP that R&B purists rave about (rightly so), you can't say that it was ignored by pop audiences -- "Sweet Love" was a number two R&B hit, but it also reached number five on Billboard's pop singles chart. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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R&B - Paru le 1 juin 1976 | Motown

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1976's Hot on the Tracks was the Commodores' fourth album, and it was also the last album they recorded before becoming a major crossover act. From 1977 on, the Commodores were as big among pop and adult contemporary audiences as they were with R&B audiences. That isn't to say that pop fans ignored them before 1977; "Just to Be Close to You," the single that Hot on the Tracks is best known for, reached number seven on Billboard's pop singles chart as well as number one on its R&B singles chart. The album itself made it to number one on Billboard's R&B albums chart, while climbing to number 12 on its pop albums chart. Nonetheless, this is an R&B record first and foremost, and the Commodores never sound like they're going out of their way to be pop. R&B purists should have no problem with "Just to Be Close to You," which is very much a soul ballad and doesn't have the adult contemporary appeal of subsequent hits like "Three Times a Lady," "Easy," and "Still." Nor should they have any problem with hardcore funk treasures such as "Fancy Dancer" (a number nine R&B hit), "Come Inside," "Let's Get Started," and the quirky "Quick Draw." For those who prefer the Commodores' hardcore funk and soul over their crossover material, Hot on the Tracks is recommended without hesitation. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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R&B - Paru le 1 septembre 1983 | Motown

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Pop - Paru le 1 juillet 1979 | Motown

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Pop - Paru le 1 janvier 2001 | Motown

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R&B - Paru le 1 juin 1981 | Motown

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In 1980 and 1981, many people in the music world suspected that Lionel Richie would soon be leaving the Commodores to pursue a solo career -- and sure enough, he officially became a full-time solo artist in 1982. In the Pocket, released in 1981, turned out to be his final album with the group. Not surprisingly, Richie dominates the album, singing lead on everything from adult contemporary ballads like "Lucy" and "Oh No" (a number four pop/number five R&B smash) to the sophisticated funk of "Why You Wanna Try Me" and the Top Five R&B favorite "Lady (You Bring Me Up)." Walter Orange and Thomas McClary also contribute some lead vocals, but the album's best-known songs are the ones that feature Richie. While In the Pocket doesn't contain a lot of hardcore funk à la "Brickhouse" or "Slippery When Wet," the sleeker, smoother sophisti-funk style is well represented by "Why You Wanna Try Me" and "Lady (You Bring Me Up)," as well as "Saturday Night" and "Keep on Taking Me Higher." Overall, In the Pocket isn't great -- "Lady (You Bring Me Up)" is certainly a gem, although the rest of the material is merely decent. But while In the Pocket isn't among the Commodores' essential releases, it was still a pleasant way for Richie to end his association with the Southern band. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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R&B - Paru le 1 octobre 1977 | Motown

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Hot on the heels of their 1977 self-titled LP -- which included studio versions of the classics "Brick House" and "Easy" -- Commodores Live! was issued as a seasonal offering the same year. The band wisely included extended readings of not only its most recent hits, but also a healthy sampling from its previous four studio albums, as well as the track "Too Hot ta Trot," which had been featured in the motion picture Thank God It's Friday. The six-man original Commodores were a powerful and self-contained unit that could effortlessly alternate between turning over mean and serious funk jams or a slow, sexy power ballad. Heralded as the Black Beatles, the Commodores were able to fuse a more traditional pop music headlong into the funk stylings of their contemporaries: Parliament, the Ohio Players, and Earth, Wind & Fire. However, instead of being propelled by seemingly endless -- and often aimless -- jams, William King (trumpet), Thomas McClary (guitar), Ronald LaPread (bass), Walter "Clyde" Orange (drums), Lionel Richie (alto saxophone), and Milan Williams (keyboards) were able to tighten up their arrangements and make them more potent in the process. From right out of the gate, the opening trio of "Won't You Come Dance With Me," "Slippery When Wet," and "Come Inside" pounce and bounce around with undeniably hardcore funk grooves -- replete with distorted and screaming electric lead guitar lines, emphatic accents from the horns, and an authoritative rhythm section that James Brown would have been proud of. The mellower side of the band is equally represented by several key Lionel Richie ballads. "Just to Be Close to You" shimmers and is notable for Richie's extended vocal interlude. "Easy" -- an audible audience favorite -- swings with an urgency and passion conspicuously lacking in the more familiar studio version. Milan Williams' tasty keyboards are also a highlight as they lightly soar above the rest of the band. Without a doubt it is the ten-plus-minute version of "Brick House" that allows the band to reach a funkified critical mass. Ronald LaPread's rubbery basslines adhere themselves around "Clyde" Orange's Latin-tinged percussion inflections. The searing Richie and William King sound more akin to a full-fledged horn section than the hard-workin' duo behind their wall of solid brass. Commodores Live! is overall one of the finest R&B concert albums of the '70s -- of which there are far too few. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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R&B - Paru le 1 janvier 1997 | UNI - MOTOWN

Anthologie rassemblant les titres indispensables du groupes / Commodores
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Soul - Paru le 1 juin 1980 | Motown

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From 1974 until the end of the '70s, the Commodores enjoyed kicking out the hits. As the 1980s rolled in, the Commodores did not lose much steam as they scored their first Top Ten hit of the decade with the midtempo beauty "Old Fashion Love." From the flattering lyric to the zestful groove, the splendid selection is complemented by Lionel Richie's colorful delivery. It peaked at number eight on the Billboard R&B charts."Heroes" extols everyday people for their feats and courage and checked in at 27 after 11 weeks on the charts. The former Tuskegee collegians were not known to do gospel, but the self-contained sextet scored big with "Jesus Is Love." Richie's prayerful message and pleading cries are solidified with a lyric and melody that complement one another. The song's popularity is far greater than what the charts reflected (number 37). "Wake Up Children" and "Mighty Spirit" are two other inspirational selections. © Craig Lytle /TiVo
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R&B - Paru le 1 janvier 2008 | Motown

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R&B - Paru le 1 janvier 1985 | Motown

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R&B - Paru le 1 mars 1977 | Motown

Après s’être bâti une forte réputation à l’aide de titres énergiques riches en funk et en soul fortement inspirés par la Motown, les Commodores entament un léger virage en 1977 avec ce cinquième album éponyme qui les voit prendrer une direction pop avec des chansons plus légères mettant grandement en valeur les voix de Lionel Richie et de Walter Orange. Brick House contient tout ce que le funk peut offrir de meilleur et la ballade Easy retentit comme les prémices de la carrière solo de Lionel Richie. L’album de la consécration pour les Commodores. © LG/Qobuz