Friday, July 20, 2018

"Janet" by Commodores

Song#:  2470
Date:  09/21/1985
Debut:  89
Peak:  87
Weeks:  4
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The Commodores' second LP following the departure of Lionel Richie would be their best effort. Nightshift would be a gold album thanks to the Grammy-winning #3 title track single. Unfortunately, their follow-up singles from the album didn't fare as well. This third single stalled at a low #65 at R&B while making a brief appearance at the bottom of the Pop chart. It was, however, a solid hit for them at AC getting to #8, which was their final Top 10 for them on that chart. Nightshift would also be the Commodores' final album for Motown, the label they had been recording with since 1974. They would move over to Polydor for their next LP.

ReduxReview:  This song is far better than their previous single "Animal Instinct," which seemed like an attempt to fit in with other pop/rock hits of the time period. It didn't work and perhaps because of that, this song didn't get a real shot to make an impact. It really should have been the second single. While it's not something that would burn up the charts, it should have done much better. It's a nice groovin' tune with a good hook and wasn't all that far away from what Earth, Wind & Fire were doing at the time with songs like "Joanna." At least AC got a good dose of the song.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The Nightshift album was also the debut of the band's new lead singer, British-born J.D. Nicholas. On their first post-Richie album Commodores 13, three members of the band shared lead vocal duties. Feeling that they needed a steady lead singer, they sought to hire one for their next album. One person that came to mind was Nicholas, who had been the lead singer in the UK funk/disco band Heatwave. Nicholas was also hired in as a replacement singer for that band when it's lead vocalist and founder Johnny Wilder became paralyzed from a car accident. Wilder would still provide vocals on the band's recordings, but Nicholas would handle them in concert. The Commodores later scooped up Nicholas after an audition and he has remained with the band ever since.


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