Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Only You" by The Commodores

Song#:  1611
Date:  09/17/1983
Debut:  90
Peak:  54
Weeks:  13
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Losing Lionel Richie was certainly going to affect The Commodores. After all, he was the main face/voice of the group and the one who wrote a chunk of their biggest hits. Whether or not they could survive without him was a big question and their first post-Richie album, Commodores 13, didn't really supply a definitive answer. While this first single wasn't a major success, it did respectable business at R&B where it reached #20 in addition to hitting #8 at AC. Pop wasn't all that interested and the song stopped short of the top half of the chart. It probably didn't help that the same week this song debuted on the Pop chart, so did Richie's soon-to-be #1 smash "All Night Long (All Night)." With Commodores 13, it seemed like the band was still trying to adjust to life without Richie and ended up with mixed results. They would do much better on their next effort.

ReduxReview:  If I were them, I'm not sure I would have gone in this direction. Richie wrote the band's big ballads and this song just can't compete with those. Even elements of the tune seem to want to mimic Richie's work. I think they should have really busted out a strong funk tune that could score at R&B and Dance. Going this AC route was only going to invite comparison to Richie and they were gonna end up on the losing end. It's a lovely ballad that makes for a nice album closer, but I think it was completely the wrong single for them to relaunch their career.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  In 1983, another Commodores album was issued on a small indie label. It did not consist of new recordings, but early ones done soon after the band was formed. After the group got together in college in 1968, they spent their summer break in New York. It was there that they found their first manager and also secured a record deal with Atlantic. Producer/songwriter Jerry Williams, Jr. then took the new band into the studio to record a few of his originals and some cover tunes. One single titled "Keep on Dancing" was issued to little notice. The guys went back to college and continued to gain a sizeable fan base via their performances. In the meantime, their contract with Atlantic expired. They would have to wait until 1974 before Motown took a chance on them and it paid off. However, their original Atlantic recordings remained vaulted until 1983 when Intermedia Records unearthed them and released the nine tracks as the album Uprising. The cash-in project didn't really pay off and the LP quickly faded away.


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