|All Artists: Commodores|
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 7/1/1991
Genres: Pop, R&B
Styles: Funk, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
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Commodores cross over, but are still funky
The Fancy One | Westchester County, NY | 01/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The year was 1977 - and this was the album that turned the Commodores into certifiable superstars in the crossover and commercial market. Not that they weren't popular before - they had a huge R&B following, consistently amazing albums, and some pop music success, but nothing like it was after this album was released. 1977 was the year that the group embarked upon a massive nationwide tour, and their audience grew and grew to monumental proportions. This album was flying off the shelves in the music stores. Three of the songs from it that would go on to be classics were responsible for that. Ad campaigns, movie and TV roles for the funk sextet from Alabama followed as a result.
1977...we had not yet lost Lionel Richie to the pop world, so we get some wonderful funk jams and ballads penned by him and his Commodore brothas in this self-titled album, their fifth. They had not yet compromised the sound that made them famous (that wasn't until 1978), so that's what makes this CD such a triumph. Opening with "Squeeze The Fruit" and closing out with the unlikely #1 R&B smash, "Easy" (I say unlikely because "Easy" might as well had been a country/western song), COMMODORES is a perfect example of just how versatile these guys were. It also includes "Brick House" (what more can be said about this Southern-fried funk smash that still moves the crowd today - except that too many people think that Lionel Richie sang lead...nope! It's the group's drummer/percussionist, Walter "Clyde" Orange on lead vocals, you know, the short guy with the glasses) and "Zoom"...you'll want to fly away too, because hearing this song takes you to another time and place...gorgeous!!! "Patch It Up" should have been a single on its own; it's a rumbling slice of funk that is written by group keyboardist Milan Williams, whom IMO, was the best lyricist in the group.
I love all the songs on the album. There are several that should have received more attention, like "Won't You Come Dance With Me", "Funky Situation" and especially the R&B/funk ballads "Funny Feelings" and "Heaven Knows". Although I enjoy "Funny Feelings", it does tend to lumber along just a little bit. The version of that song from the guys' incredible live album released later that year is much better and absolutely a MUST HAVE! "Heaven Knows" shows the growing potential of Lionel as a romantic composer, even though at this point he had not opted to go the sweet, syrupy route with his lyrics and production. We had seen it the year before on the hit single "Just To Be Close To You" from HOT ON THE TRACKS (1976), and this is basically a continuation of that theme. Starting off with a mellow R&B groove, it then goes into a raunchy vamp, and then back to being mellow...and then the change comes at you again.
Check this CD out and you too will have to agree that the Commodores were one of the best funk bands of the 1970s...before Lionel had solo aspirations, and they were all into having a good time. Squeeze the fruit, give up the juice and enjoy!!! Owww!!"
Caught In The Transition!
Andre' S Grindle | Bangor,ME. | 07/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"By 1977 The Commodores became known for songs like
"Easy" and "Zoom",both mushy ballads to be found here.On the
other end "Squeeze Th Fruit" and "Funky Situation" lean too far
into funk-by-numbers stylings and don't stand out as much more
then album filler.This is where The Commodores funk tunes
began to become songless album tracks,bar the bands stunning
theme song "Brick House",clearly the best thing on the record.
So I baught this expecting a consistant album on a par with
"Brick House" and ended up with an uneven collection,but that was a vinyl LP with a poster.So why would you want the CD?Because it's available I suppose."