Thursday, July 21, 2011

The #20 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"Can't Slow Down" by Lionel Richie

We are four/fifths of the way through our summer spectacular, The Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era*.

Can't Slow Down from Lionel Richie earns the #20 spot; it was Richie's second solo album since leaving the highly successful Commodores. The album reached #1 for three weeks, spent 12 weeks at #2 and another five at #3. The #20 album of All-Time* spent the entire year of 1984 inside the Top 10 and ended up with 59 weeks in the Top 10 and 160 (over three years) on the album chart.  Can't Slow Down also hit #1 in the U.K. and Australia.

The album is one of a handful in the Rock Era that features five Top 10 songs. The hauntingly beautiful "Hello" and "All Night Long" both were #1 songs, while "Stuck on You" and "Penny Lover" also reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. "Running With the Night" was the other Top 10 smash on this album. To date, Can't Slow Down has sold 10 million copies in the United States and 20 million worldwide. It has a great Track Rating* of 9.1.

So the album has huge sales, a great Track Rating*, great chart statistics, and tons of airplay. It also was well decorated, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. "All Night Long" won an American Music Award for Favorite Rhythm and Blues Single, "Hello" won for Favorite Rock Video and Favorite Soul Video and Richie won for Favorite Rock Male Artist, Favorite Soul Male Artist and Favorite Rock Male Video Artist and Favorite Soul Male Video Artist. Richie was nominated for Top Male Vocalist, the album was nominated for Best Engineered Recording, "Hello" was nominated for Song of the Year while "All Night Long" was nominated for Song of the Year,  Record of the Year and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals at the Grammys

Can't Slow Down  was nominated for Favorite Soul Album and Favorite Rock Album at the American Music Awards and for International Album of the Year at the Juno Awards. "All Night Long" was nominated for Best Music Video at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Can't Slow Down:

1. "Can't Slow Down" (David Cochrane, Lionel Richie) --4:43
2. "All Night Long (All Night)" (Richie) --6:25
3. "Penny Lover" (Brenda Harvey Richie, Richie) --5:35
4. "Stuck on You" (Richie) --3:15
5. "Love Will Find a Way" (Greg Phillinganes, Richie) --6:16
6.  "The Only One" (David Foster, Richie) --4:24
7.  "Running with the Night" (Richie, Cynthia Weil) --6:02
8.  "Hello" (Richie) --4:11

Lionel Richie played drums and keyboards and did all vocals and chants.

Israel Baker and Harry Bluestone were the concert masters, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli directed synthesizer programming, David Cochrane played synthesizer, guitar , vocoder, synthesizer bass and helped with synthesizer programming, backing vocals and chants, Greg Phillinganes played synthesizer and sang backing vocals, Steve Lukather of Toto played the great guitar solo on "Running with the Night", Fred Tackett and Tim May played acoustical guitar and Mitch Holder, Carlos Rios, Louie Shelton and Darryl Jones played guitar. 

 Joe Chemay, Abraham Laboriel and Nathan East were on bass, Jeff Porcaro of Toto, John (J.R.) Robinson and Paul Leim was the drummer, the great Paulinho Da Costa played percussion and Michael Boddicker played synthesizer and vocoder. 

 David Foster played bass and keyboards, John Hobbs played piano and Fender Rhodes and Sonny Burke played keyboards including the Fender Rhodes. Diane Burt and Kin Vassy sang vocals. Melinda Chatman contributed sound effects and vocals and Richard Marx, Calvin Harris, Dr. Lloyd Byro Greig, Brenda Harvey Richie, Deborah Joyce Richie, Jeanette Hawes, Suzanne Stanford, Deborah Thomas, Janice Marie Johnson and Calvin Harris sang backing vocals and chants.

Can't Slow Down was recorded between March and September of 1983.  James Anthony Carmichael, Lionel Richie and David Cochrane arranged the album (Carmichael also helped with backing vocals and chants).  Can't Slow Down needed several talents to engineer it--Jim Cassell, Terry Christian, Jane Clark, Steve Crimmel, David Egerton, Mark Ettel, Larry Ferguson, Calvin Harris and Humberto Gatica (Gatica and Harris also helped mix it).  Fred Law and Karen Siegel also mixed the album and Bernie Grundman mastered it. David Foster, Lionel Richie and Carmichael produced the album, which was released October 11, 1983 on Motown Records.

Lionel Richie's great Can't Slow Down album is next in The Top 100 Albums* #20.

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