Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  1617
Date:  09/17/1983
Debut:  62
Peak:  1 (4 weeks)
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Richie's first solo LP after leaving The Commodores was a major success. The self-titled album went to #3 and yielded three Top 10 hits including the #1 gold single "Truly." To keep up his momentum, Richie got back in the studio to record a follow-up. To preview the album, this first single was issued. It was evident from the get-go that this was going to be a major hit. The song flew up the Pop chart reaching #1 and staying there for four weeks. It would also hit the top spot at both R&B and AC. The song was released in time to be considered for the 1984 Grammy Awards (the one that had the Michael Jackson sweep). It received five nominations including Record and Song of the Year. Richie was also nominated for Best Pop Vocal, Male. He would go home empty handed, but that would change the next year when the album would be eligible to compete.

ReduxReview:  Expertly written, produced, and performed, there was no doubt this was going to be a smash hit. It was the perfect song at the perfect time for Richie. Its Caribbean feel (along with Richie's fake accent) created a warm and inviting atmosphere and by the time the bridge set in, it was time to party. I fell for the song immediately and have been hooked since. For me, this was the peak of Richie's powers. Everything he learned from The Commodores to writing/producing for other artists to branching out on his own culminated in this song. He would have some good singles to come, but I think this is his best moment as a solo star.


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Remember the part of the song where the lyrics seem to be sung in a foreign language? Ends up it wasn't a language of any kind. Richie stated in an interview that the words were made up. Originally, he did intend to get lyrics translated into a language, but time constraints killed the idea. So he just made up words to mimic a foreign language.  2) A memorable video for the song was filmed and it became Richie's first real MTV hit. The video was produced by former Monkee Mike Nesmith and directed by Bob Rafelson. By this time, Nesmith was running his multimedia company Pacific Arts and had become a pioneer of sorts in new video music medium. In 1981, he won the first Grammy given for Best Long Form Music Video for Elephant Parts, a comedy/music project he wrote and produced. Nesmith knew Rafelson because he had produced The Monkees' TV series and directed them in their film debut, 1968's Head. Rafelson would go on to produce and direct the classic Jack Nicholson film Five Easy Pieces, which netted four Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Although Nesmith would work on other music videos, "All Night Long" would be the only one that Rafelson would direct.


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