Friday, October 4, 2019

"Goin' to the Bank" by Commodores

Song#:  2911
Date:  11/01/1986
Debut:  98
Peak:  65
Weeks: 12
Genre:  R&B, Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  The Lionel Richie-less Commodores finally proved they could be a success without him with the #3 Pop/#1 R&B hit "Nightshift." The song earned them a Grammy and their album of the same name would be a gold seller. Wanting to continue their success, the band got into the studio to record their next album. It would be titled United and this first single from the LP was issued out. It was a winner at R&B becoming their sixteenth Top 10 hit on that chart (#2). The song crossed over to Pop, but it didn't really take off and ended up stalling in the bottom half of the chart. It would end up being the band's last song to get on the Pop chart. Two more singles from the album had mixed results with one getting to #38 at R&B and the other #22 at AC. The album got to #17 at R&B, but could only manage a minor #101 showing at Pop. The band would release Rock Solid in 1988, but it failed to chart. It would be their last major label effort. They would then go through personnel changes and independently release a couple of album, but after 1993 they stopped recording. They have continued to tour over the years still attracting crowds.

ReduxReview:  Although the band did collaborate with a few outside writers for the album, I think the problem they had was in direction. People loved the smooth groove of "Nightshift" and they probably should have kept things headed that way and perhaps collaborated with someone like Babyface that would have given them a modern R&B sheen. Instead, they tried to secure crossover hits by employing dance-pop songwriters and in doing so lost their personality. This song is a great example of that. It plays like a weak Janet Jackson or Pointer Sisters track with a groan-inducing spoken word section featuring one of them using an accent (WTF?). He then later does a sort of rap section. It's just weird and it doesn't work at all. Contrary to what people might think, not all of their earlier hits were written by Lionel Richie, so the band had the talent to write good songs. It just seems like they couldn't decide on a direction after he left and that pretty much did them in.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  One of the Commodores' mellowest hits, 1977's #4 Pop/#1 R&B "Easy" written and sung by Lionel Richie, has been covered by many artists, but only one other act has reached the Pop chart with a version. Alternative Rock/Metal band Faith No More began to include the song in their shows as a bit of a lark to toy with their audience. Surprisingly, it kind of caught on and the band decided to go ahead and record the tune in the sessions for their fourth album, 1992's Angel Dust. The tune didn't make it onto the standard version of the album, but it was eventually released as a single later in 1993 and tacked on to later pressings of Angel Dust. The song was just a minor hit in the US reaching #58, but it went on to become their biggest overall hit in Europe reaching the Top 10 in several countries. It did even better in Australia where it reached #1.


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