Monday, May 25, 2015

"Painted Pictures" by Commodores

Song#:  1268
Date:  12/04/1982
Debut:  85
Peak:  70
Weeks:  6
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  With Lionel Richie on the verge of leaving permanently for his solo career, the Commodores took a step back to plan their next move. In the meantime, a stop-gap compilation was ordered and the album "All the Great Hits" was issued. In addition to eight of their hits, two new songs were included, "Painted Pictures" and "Reach High." Neither song was written by Richie nor did they feature his vocals. This first single was issued and it did a little business at R&B reaching #19, but it couldn't make any headway at pop. "Reach High" was also released as a single but it failed to make either chart. In turn, the hits package was a bust and it was unable to chart. It did not set the group up very well for post-Richie success.

ReduxReview:  I'll describe this using the title of another Commodores song..."Oh No." In fact, I'd probably say, oh hell no. If this was the best the post-Richie Commodores could offer up, they were in serious trouble. Spoken word sections, cheezy synths, and droning vocals do not make a hit single. Plus, where is the chorus? This thing is just a mess. Yeah, Richie wrote most of their big hits, but not all, so the band had some legit writers. It just seems by this point they were falling apart.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  The song "Reach High" also served as the theme to a TV show. The Lynn Redgrave sitcom "Teachers Only" lasted two seasons on NBC in 1982-83. The first season was not highly successful, but it did get renewed and with several changes its second season kicked off in February 1983. As part of the changes, this Commodores song served as the opening theme. Unfortunately the show did not perform well and was cancelled after its second season. The show also featured Jean Smart who would go on to much success a few years later in "Designing Women."


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