Classics: Lionel Richie – All Night Long (All Night) (Motown)
The co-lead singer of The Commodores until 1982, Lionel Richie went on to pursue a solo career from then. Eventually balancing between ballads and groovier cuts just the way he did along with his former group. Then becoming one of the world’s best selling artists of all time.
The Commodores had ‘Easy’ and ‘Three Times A Lady’. Richie would have ‘Truly’, ‘Hello’ and ‘Stuck On You’ among others. The Commodores jammed on ‘Brick House’ or ‘Lady (You Bring Me Up)’. Richie would then rock on ‘Running With The Night’ and ‘Dancing On The Celling’. The Afro-Caribbean flavored ‘All Night Long’ – taken from his 1983 ‘Can’t Slow Down’ album – addin’ itself to the latter list. This with production work by the likes of long time collaborator James Anthony Carmichael.
To a certain extend ‘All Night Long’ sort of remind of Lamont Dozier‘s ‘Going Back To My Roots’. And more precisely in terms of concept. Don’t you think?
A native of Tuskegee, AL, Lionel Richie got introduced to music by his grandma who taught him classical piano. He ventually gave birth to various R&B groups during his college years. And by 1968, he became the lead singer and saxophonist of The Commodores with whom he would remain for 15 years. Most likely embodyin’ the softer side of the group. This while writing and singin’ ballads such as ‘Easy’, ‘Zoom’, ‘Three Times a Lady’, ‘Still’ and ‘Sail On’.
By the of the 70’s, he started writing songs for other artists. Eventually composing the memorable ‘Lady’ for Kenny Rogers which hit No. 1 back in 1980. Then sharing the vocal duties with Diana Ross the year after on the theme song of ‘Endless Love’. And makin’ his solo debut in 1982 with his eponymous album. With the latter propelling 3 US hit singles by the likes of ‘Truly’, ‘You Are’ and ‘My Love’, meanwhile selling 4 million copies worldwide. Its follow-up – Can’t Slow Down’ – selling over twice as many copies. With thanks to its concentration of masterpieces. From ‘All Night Long (All Night)’ to ‘Love Will Find A Way’. But also ‘Stuck On You’ and ‘Hello’. If not its title cut although it never saw the light as a single.
‘Dancing On The Ceiling’, his third album, brought another consistant series of high standard compositions. From ‘Ballerina Girl’ to ‘Say You, Say Me’. Not to mention ‘Sela’ and ‘Love Will Conquer All’. Meanwhile, that same year (in 1985) he co-wrote the charity single ‘We Are The World’ with Michael Jackson. All in all seeing Richie at his peak before progressively disappearing from the radars releasewise from then on…