Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie

by Lionel Richie

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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-titledSee more details below


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.]

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lionel Richie   Primary Artist,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,fender rhodes
Joe Walsh   Guitar,Soloist
Joe Chemay   Bass,Bass Guitar
Jim Atkinson   Horn,French Horn
Harry Bluestone   Strings,Concert Master
Michael Boddicker   Synthesizer,Vocoder
Mari Tsumura   Vocals
Ray Brown   Bass
R. Brown   Bass
James Anthony Carmichael   Vocals
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler   Drums
Charles Veal   Violin,Vocals
E. Cipriano   Woodwind
Gene Cipriano   Wind
Dave Cochran   Synthesizer,Guitar,Saxophone,Vocals
David Cochrane   Synthesizer,Piano,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Saxophone,Background Vocals,Synthesizer Bass,Soloist,Prophet 5
Jimmy Connors   Vocals,Background Vocals
Morty Corb   Bass
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Rollice Dale   Strings
Assa Drori   Strings,Violin,Vocals
B. Douglas   Violin,Vocals
Nathan East   Bass,Brass
Arni Egilsson   Bass,Double Bass
Jesse Ehrlich   Cello,Celli
Henry Ferber   Strings
B. Findlay   Trumpet
Chuck Findley   Trumpet
Ronald Folsom   Strings
Endre Granat   Violin,Vocals
Gary Grant   Trumpet
G.A. Grant   Trumpet
William Green   Saxophone
W. Green   Saxophone
Allan Harshman   Strings,Viola
Gary Herbig   Saxophone,Woodwind
Jerry Hey   Trumpet
P. Hochalter   Cello,Celli
Howard Kenny   Vocals,Background Vocals
Paul Jackson   Guitar,Electric Guitar
W. Johnson   Trumpet
Darryl Jones   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Armand Karpoff   Strings,Cello,Celli
Dennis Karmazyn   Strings,Celli
Howard Kenney   Background Vocals
Kenny Rogers   Vocals,Background Vocals
William Kurash   Strings
Michael Lang   Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Gary LeVant   Harmonica,Harp
Paul Leim   Drums
Paul Liem   Drums
J. Llyle   Strings,Vocals
W. Lucning   Trumpet
Warren Luening   Trumpet
Clarence McDonald   Keyboards,fender rhodes
A. Maebe   French Horn
Arthur Maebe   Horn
Virginia Majewski   Cello,Viola
Richard Marx   Vocals,Background Vocals
Timothy May   Acoustic Guitar
Lew McCreary   Trombone
Buell Neidlinger   Bass,Double Bass
Erno Neufeld   Strings
Gareth "Garry" Nuttycombe   Cello,Viola
B. O'Conner   French Horn
David Palmer   Vocals
William Payne   Keyboards,fender rhodes
Richard Perissi   French Horn
Greg Phillinganes   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,fender rhodes,Jupiter 8,Mini Moog
John "J.R." Robinson   Drums
Nathan Ross   Strings
H. Roth   Violin,Vocals
Myron Sandler   Strings
S. Sanov   Violin,Vocals
David Schwartz   Strings
F. Sekura   Strings
Rick Shlosser   Percussion
J. Shulman   Violin,Vocals
P. Shure   Strings,Violin,Vocals
Henry Sigismonti   French Horn
Fred Tackett   Acoustic Guitar
Deborah Thomas   Vocals,Background Vocals
G. Vant   Harp
Kin Vassy   Vocals,Background Vocals
Ernie Watts   Saxophone
E. Watts   Saxophone
LaMar Nathan Watts   Bass
Terry Williams   Vocals,Background Vocals
L. Williams   Woodwind
Tibor Zelig   Strings
Richie Zito   Guitar,Soloist
Alan DeVeritch   Viola
Darrell Jones   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach   Trombone
Nathan Watts   Bass
Mari Tsumura-Botnick   Strings,Violin
Rob Dale   Strings
Leonard Castro   Percussion
Nancy Ross   Strings
Larry Williams   Wind
W. Kurash   Strings
G. Le Vant   Harp
D. Palmer   Violin
W. Henderson   Strings
James Atkinson   French Horn
David Duke   Horn,French Horn
Donald Ashworth   Wind,Woodwind
David H. Speltz   Strings
Louise di Tullio   Flute
Brian O'Connor   Horn

Technical Credits

Lionel Richie   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements,rhythm arrangement
Gene Page   Arranger
James Anthony Carmichael   Producer
Jim Cassell   Engineer
David Cochrane   Arranger,Composer
Greg Phillinganes   Arranger,Composer
John McClain   Composer
Calvin Harris   Engineer
Johnny Lee   Art Direction

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