Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Penny Lover" by Lionel Richie

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2076
Date:  10/06/1984
Debut:  54
Peak:  8
Weeks:  18
Genre:  R&B, Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Richie's album Can't Slow Down was a major success already boasting four Top 10 hits including two #1's. With the album still selling well and firmly planted in the Top 10, it was decided that a fifth single from the album would be released. This tune was chosen and it would be Richie's third ballad in a row to be issued as a single. Like the previous two, "Hello" and "Stuck on You," this song would reach #1 on the AC chart. It also cracked the Pop and R&B charts peaking on each at the same #8 spot. It would end up being the last song to be released as a single from the album. Can't Slow Down would eventually sell over 10 million copies and go on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year.

ReduxReview:  I had kind of reached Richie-fatigue by this point. I liked the album (but didn't love it) and the best songs had already been issued as the first two singles. With a string of follow-up ballads, I was just getting a little bored. Granted, Richie was an expert at writing these treacly tunes, but I was just over it at the time. This final single is a lovely song, yet I wouldn't rank it among his best.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although Richie's streak of five Top 10's from the album was not a record (Michael Jackson had seven from Thriller), it was still a significant achievement. Beside Jackson, Richie would be the only other artist to get five Top 10's from one album. However, in about a year Richie and Jackson would have some company when Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. would tied Jackson's record of seven Top 10 hits. By the end of the decade, Jackson's sister Janet would also tie the record with the seven singles from her LP Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814. As of this posting, the two Jacksons and Springsteen still hold the record for most Top 10's from one album and they still remain the only three to accomplish the feat.


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