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Collection of The Commodores

Renowned for the R&B hits "Just to Be Close to You," "Easy," and "Brickhouse," to name but a few, the Commodores were one of the top bands during their long tenure at Motown. The group is credited with seven number one songs and a host of other Top Ten hits on the Billboard charts, and their vast catalog includes more than 50 albums.

The members of the Commodores, all of whom attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, came together as a result of two groups disbanding: the Mystics and the Jays. Initially formed to simply play music as a pastime and to meet girls, the lineup consisted of William King (trumpet), Thomas McClary (guitar), Ronald LaPread (bass), Walter "Clyde" Orange (drums), Lionel Richie (saxophone), and Milan Williams (keyboards). The members nearly went stir-crazy trying to pick a name for the group, but with no success. As a last resort, Orange gave King a dictionary and told him to pick a name -- that name was the Commodores. With Clyde Orange the only learned musician in the group, the Commodores began spreading their music throughout their base, which included Tuskegee, Montgomery, and Birmingham, AL.

After success securing dates in their own backyard, the band ventured to New York City for a gig at Smalls Paradise. Told, in so many words by the club owner, that their sound was not happening, the self-contained band was nevertheless called back to the club to fill in for a last-minute cancellation. That night the Tuskegee alumni performed before a standing-room-only crowd -- most of which were friends and family of the band. Unaware of the planned crowd, the owner booked the band for two more weeks.

The Commodores' long association with Motown began as a result of a tour opening for the Jackson 5. That opportunity occurred in 1971, when the group auditioned in New York City for an unknown yet high-profile gig. Two weeks later, they made their first appearance in the prized support slot, and didn't give it up for more than two years. Their excellent shows naturally led to a deal with Motown, and they debuted with the up-tempo instrumental dance cut "Machine Gun." Written by Milan Williams, its Top Ten outing gave the group immediate attention. It was followed by the Top 20 single "I Feel Sanctified," which led to their third single -- and first number one record -- in "Slippery When Wet." Inside of 17 weeks, the septet was rocking the airwaves with their brand of Southern funk, spiced with an animated vocal delivery courtesy of Lionel Richie and Clyde Orange.

In September of 1976, they released "Just to Be Close to You," their second number one single and a number seven pop hit. The Top Ten hit "Fancy Dancer" followed, and then came "Easy." Different from their other tunes, "Easy" was very serene and not nearly as soulful or funky as the band's other tunes. Nonetheless, it claimed the number one spot on the charts, and it paved the way for the style of ballads the group became known for. One exception to the ballad-heavy approach was "Brickhouse," the song that soon became the group's anthem. The arrangement and candid vocal lead by Clyde Orange was complemented by the evenly saturated percussive and rhythmic attack, and it cracked the Top Ten at number four. Two consecutive number one singles would follow: the dance cut "Too Hot ta Trot" and the placid number "Three Times a Lady." And then there was "Still," the last number one for the group with Richie as a member. In 1981, Richie recorded "Endless Love" with Diana Ross. The song peaked at number one for seven and nine weeks, respectively, on the Billboard R&B and pop charts. Its success was a prelude to what Richie enjoyed upon his 1982 exit from the group.

In the absence of Richie, the group promptly courted tenor J.D. Nicholas (formerly of Heatwave) and ended up recording their biggest hit. Penned by Clyde Orange, "Nightshift" paid tribute to the late soul singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. For four consecutive weeks it topped the charts, and it also won the group their only Grammy.

The Commodores finally left Motown in 1985. Consequently, the group signed with Polydor the same year and had another swing at the Top Ten with "Goin' to the Bank." During the '90s, the band was reduced to a core of three: Orange, King, and Nicholas. The threesome were nearly as active as they'd ever been, performing around the world and managing their own label, Commodore Records.

Album: Machine Gun (1974)


01. Machine Gun
02. Young Girls Are My Weakness
03. I Feel Sanctified
04. The Bump
05. Rapid Fire
06. The Assembly Line
07. The Zoo (The Human Zoo)
08. Gonna Blow Your Mind
09. There's A Song In My Heart
10. Superman


Album: Caught In The Act (1975)


01. Wide Open
02. Slippery When Wet
03. The Bump
04. I'm Ready
05. This Is Your Life
06. Let's Do It Right
07. Better Never Than Forever
08. Look What You've Done To Me
09. You Don't Know That I Know
10. Wide Open (Reprise)


Album: Movin' On (1975)


01. Hold On
02. Free
03. Mary, Mary
04. Sweet Love
05. (Can I) Get A Witness
06. Gimme My Mule
07. Time
08. Cebu


Album: Hot On The Tracks (1976)


01. Let's Get Started
02. Girl, I Think The World About
03. High On Sunshine
04. Just To Be Close To You
05. Fancy Dancer
06. Come Inside
07. Thumpin' Music
08. Captain Quickdraw
09. Can't Let You Tease Me


Album: Commodores (1977)


01. Squeeze The Fruit
02. Funny Feelings
03. Heaven Knows
04. Zoom
05. Won't You Come Dance With Me
06. Brick House
07. Funky Situation
08. Patch It Up
09. Easy


Album: Commodores Live! (1977)


01. Won't You Come Dance With Me
02. Slippery When Wet
03. Come Inside
04. Just Be Close To You
05. Funny Feelings
06. Fancy Dancer
07. Sweet Love
08. Zoom
09. Easy
10. I Feel Sanctified
11. Brick House
12. Too Hot Ta Trot


Album: Natural High (1978)


01. Fire Girl
02. X-Rated Movie
03. Flying High
04. Three Times a Lady
05. Such a Woman
06. Say Yeah
07. I Like What You Do
08. Visions


Album: Midnight Magic (1979)


01. Gettin' It
02. Midnight Magic
03. You're Special
04. Still
05. Wonderland
06. Sexy Lady
07. Lovin' You
08. Sail On
09. 1201 a.m. reprise


Album: Heroes (1980)


01. Got To Be Together
02. Celebrate
03. Old-Fashion Love
04. Heroes
05. All the Way Down
06. Sorry To Say
07. Wake Up Children
08. Mighty Spirit
09. Jesus Is Love


Album: In The Pocket (1981)


01. Lady
02. Saturday Night
03. Keep On Taking Me Higher
04. Oh No
05.Why You Wanna Try Me
06. This Love
07. Been Loving You
08. Lucy


Album: Commodores 13 (1983)


01. I'm In Love
02. Turn Off The Lights
03. Nothing Like A Woman
04. Captured
05. Touchdown
06. Welcome Home
07. Ooo, Woman You
08. Only You


Album: All the Great Love Songs (1984)


01. Sweet Love
02. Just to Be Close to You
03. Easy
04. Three Times a Lady
05. Say Yeah
06. Still
07. Lovin' You
08. Sail On
09. Old-Fashion Love
10. Jesus Is Love
11. Lady (You Bring Me Up)
12. Oh No
13. This Love
14. Lucy


Album: Nightshift (1985)


01. Animal Instinct
02. Nightshift
03. I Keep Running
04. Lay Back
05. Slip Of The Tongue
06. Play This Record Twice
07. Janet
08. The Women In My Life
09. Lightin' Up The Night


Album: United (1986)


01. Goin' to the Bank
02. Take It from Me
03. United in Love
04. Can't Dance All Night
05. You're the Only Women I Need
06. Land of the Dreamer
07. Talk to Me
08. I Wanna Rock You
09. Let's Apologize
10. Serious Love


Album: Rock Solid (1988)


01. Grrip
02. Bump the la La
03. Thank You
04. I'm Gonna Need Your Loving
05. Solitaire
06. Homeless
07. Miracle Man
08. Right Here 'N Now
09. Stretchhh
10. Ain't Givin' Up
11. So Nice


Album: No Tricks (1993)


01. No Tricks
02. Shut Up And Dance
03. Brick House '93
04. Living On The Edge
05. Let's Get Busy
06. Everything Reminds Me Of You
07. Missing You
08. Don't Rock It
09. Your Smile
10.Take My Hand


Album: The Very Best Of (1995)


01. Easy
02. 3 Times a Lady
03. Nightshift
04. Brick House
05. Machine Gun
06. Zoom
07. Old Fashion Love
08. Sail On
09. Lady You Bring Me Up
10. Oh No
11. Too Hot Ta Trot
12. The Zoo (The Human Zoo)
13. Still
14. Sweet Love
15. Janet
16. Flying High
17. Only You
18. Animal Instinct
19. Just To Be Close To You
20. Wonderland


Album: Anthology The Best of the Commodores (1995)



01. Let's Get Started
02. Machine Gun
03. The Zoo (The Human Zoo)
04. Are You Happy
05. Don't You Be Worried
06. Slippery When Wet
07. I Feel Sanctified
08. Young Girls Are My Weakness
09. The Bump
10. This Is Your Life
11. Sweet Love
12. Just to Be Close to You
13. Easy
14. High on Sunshine
15. Fancy Dancer
16. Cebu
17. Zoom
18. Brick House
19. Too Hot Ta Trot
20. Three Times a Lady
21. I Like What You Do


01. Flying High
02. Still
03. Sail On
04. Wonderland
05. Old-Fashioned Love
06. Heroes
07. Jesus Is Love
08. Lady (You Bring Me Up)
09. Oh No
10. Why You Wanna Try Me
11. Painted Picture
12. Only You
13. Reach High
14. Turn off the Lights
15. Nightshift
16. Animal Instinct
17. Janet
18. Goin' to the Bank




Album: Anthology (2001)



01. Machine Gun
02. I Feel Sanctified
03. Are You Happy
04. The Bump
05. Slippery When Wet
06. This Is Your Life
07. Gimme My Mule
08. Sweet Love
09. Cebu
10. Fancy Dancer
11. High On Sunshine
12. Just To Be Close To You
13. Brick House
14. Zoom
15. Easy


01. Come Inside - Live
02. Too Hot Ta Trot
03. Flying High
04. Say Yeah
05. Three Times A Lady
06. Sail On
07. Still
08. Old-Fashioned Love
09. Heroes
10. Jesus Is Love
11. Lady (You Bring Me Up)
12. Oh No
13. Painted Picture
14. Lay Back
15. Nightshift




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