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Commodores - Movin' On (1975/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: Movin' On
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Disco
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1975/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:37
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Motown Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.


R&B purists have often argued that the Commodores did their most essential work before 1977. It was in 1977 that they crossed over to the pop/adult contemporary audience in a major way with "Easy," and subsequent hits like 1978's "Three Times a Lady" and 1979's "Still" (both of which reached number one on Billboard's pop singles charts) certainly weren't the work of R&B snobs. Of course, Lionel Richie never claimed to be an R&B purist, although it is safe to say that the Commodores were still a hardcore funk/soul band when their third album, Movin' On, came out in 1975. From an R&B standpoint (as opposed to a pop or adult contemporary standpoint), this is one of their most essential releases. Those who love hard, gutsy 1970s funk can't go wrong with horn-powered gems like "Mary, Mary," "(Can I) Get a Witness," "Gimme My Mule," and "Hold On"; however, the song that Movin' On is best remembered for is the laid-back, gospel-drenched hit "Sweet Love." Written by Richie, "Sweet Love" is one of those secular soul tunes that isn't really gospel but borders on it; when Richie belts out the lyrics, "You got to keep on searching/harder/day by day," you feel like you're in the front row during an AME church service. And even though Movin' On is an LP that R&B purists rave about (rightly so), you can't say that it was ignored by pop audiences -- "Sweet Love" was a number two R&B hit, but it also reached number five on Billboard's pop singles chart. --Alex Henderson
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Commodores - Midnight Magic (1979/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Commodores
Title: Midnight Magic
Genre: Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Funk, Disco
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1979/2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 41:17
Recorded: 1979, Motown Recording Studios, Hollywood, California


Chart History/Awards
Reached #1 on Billboard's Top R&B Albums.
Reached #3 on the Billboard 200.
“Sail On” reached #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
“Still” reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Midnight Magic is the landmark seventh recording by the Commodores. It found the group at the peak of their careers and is filled with the band’s signature funk and soul. It would reach #3 on the Billboard charts and includes the massively popular singles “Sail On” and “Still.”
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Commodores - Machine Gun (1974/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: Machine Gun
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1974/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:35:56
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Motown Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.

Before the Commodores started having major adult contemporary hits like "Three Times a Lady," "Easy," and "Still," they were happy to be a full-time funk/soul band. The Southerners became increasingly pop-minded in the late '70s, but when their debut album, Machine Gun, came out in 1974, their music was unapologetically gritty. This was, without question, a very promising debut -- Lionel Richie and his allies really hit the ground running on sweaty funk items like "Young Girls Are My Weakness," "The Bump," "Gonna Blow Your Mind," and the single "I Feel Sanctified." These songs aren't funk-pop or sophisticated funk -- they're hardcore funk. What you won't find on Machine Gun are a lot of sentimental love ballads. In the late '70s, the Commodores became as famous for their ballads as they were for their funk and dance material, but believe it or not, there are no ballads to be found on this consistently funky, mostly up-tempo debut. As much as this LP has going for it, Machine Gun isn't the Commodores' best or most essential album. Machine Gun is rewarding, but their subsequent albums Caught in the Act (1975), Movin' On (1975), and Hot on the Tracks (1976) are even stronger. --Alex Henderson
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Commodores - In The Pocket (1981/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: In The Pocket
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Disco
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1981/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:07
Recorded at Web IV Recording Studio, Atlanta, Georgia; 'Oh No' and 'Lucy' recorded at A&M Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA; Mixed at Motown/Hitsville U.S.A. Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Mastered at A&M Recording Studio


In 1980 and 1981, many people in the music world suspected that Lionel Richie would soon be leaving the Commodores to pursue a solo career -- and sure enough, he officially became a full-time solo artist in 1982. In the Pocket, released in 1981, turned out to be his final album with the group. Not surprisingly, Richie dominates the album, singing lead on everything from adult contemporary ballads like "Lucy" and "Oh No" (a number four pop/number five R&B smash) to the sophisticated funk of "Why You Wanna Try Me" and the Top Five R&B favorite "Lady (You Bring Me Up)." Walter Orange and Thomas McClary also contribute some lead vocals, but the album's best-known songs are the ones that feature Richie. While In the Pocket doesn't contain a lot of hardcore funk à la "Brickhouse" or "Slippery When Wet," the sleeker, smoother sophisti-funk style is well represented by "Why You Wanna Try Me" and "Lady (You Bring Me Up)," as well as "Saturday Night" and "Keep on Taking Me Higher." Overall, In the Pocket isn't great -- "Lady (You Bring Me Up)" is certainly a gem, although the rest of the material is merely decent. But while In the Pocket isn't among the Commodores' essential releases, it was still a pleasant way for Richie to end his association with the Southern band. --Alex Henderson
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Commodores - Hot On The Tracks (1976/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: Hot On The Tracks
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Disco
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1976/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:38:49
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Motown Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.



1976's Hot on the Tracks was the Commodores' fourth album, and it was also the last album they recorded before becoming a major crossover act. From 1977 on, the Commodores were as big among pop and adult contemporary audiences as they were with R&B audiences. That isn't to say that pop fans ignored them before 1977; "Just to Be Close to You," the single that Hot on the Tracks is best known for, reached number seven on Billboard's pop singles chart as well as number one on its R&B singles chart. The album itself made it to number one on Billboard's R&B albums chart, while climbing to number 12 on its pop albums chart. Nonetheless, this is an R&B record first and foremost, and the Commodores never sound like they're going out of their way to be pop. R&B purists should have no problem with "Just to Be Close to You," which is very much a soul ballad and doesn't have the adult contemporary appeal of subsequent hits like "Three Times a Lady," "Easy," and "Still." Nor should they have any problem with hardcore funk treasures such as "Fancy Dancer" (a number nine R&B hit), "Come Inside," "Let's Get Started," and the quirky "Quick Draw." For those who prefer the Commodores' hardcore funk and soul over their crossover material, Hot on the Tracks is recommended without hesitation. --Alex Henderson
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Commodores - Heroes (1980/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: Heroes
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Quiet Storm, Disco
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1980/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:43:40
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Motown Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.


From 1974 until the end of the '70s, the Commodores enjoyed kicking out the hits. As the 1980s rolled in, the Commodores did not lose much steam as they scored their first Top Ten hit of the decade with the midtempo beauty "Old Fashion Love." From the flattering lyric to the zestful groove, the splendid selection is complemented by Lionel Richie's colorful delivery. It peaked at number eight on the Billboard R&B charts."Heroes" extols everyday people for their feats and courage and checked in at 27 after 11 weeks on the charts. The former Tuskegee collegians were not known to do gospel, but the self-contained sextet scored big with "Jesus Is Love." Richie's prayerful message and pleading cries are solidified with a lyric and melody that complement one another. The song's popularity is far greater than what the charts reflected (number 37). "Wake Up Children" and "Mighty Spirit" are two other inspirational selections. --Craig Lytle
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Commodores - Commodores 13 (1983/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: Commodores 13
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Quiet Storm, Disco
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1983/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:28
Recorded & Mastered at A&M Recording Studios, Hollywood, California. Mixed at Motown/Hitsville U.S.A. Recording Studios, Hollywood, California and Village Recorders, West Los Angeles, California.


For the Commodores, losing Lionel Richie in 1982 was a lot like L.T.D. losing Jeffrey Osborne and Rose Royce losing Gwen Dickey -- it was a severe blow, although not a fatal one. In fact, the Commodores had a few major hits after Richie's departure, including "Nightshift" (a number one R&B/number three pop smash) in 1984 and "Goin' to the Bank" in 1986. Released in 1983, Commodores 13 was the band's first post-Richie album as well as its first album without producer James Carmichael (who had been working with the Commodores since 1974). This LP came out around the same time as Richie's second solo album, Can't Slow Down, which sold over eight million copies in the U.S. alone. Commodores 13 didn't do nearly that well, although it's a generally decent, if uneven, record that had a number 20 R&B hit in "Only You." The lead vocals are handled by Walter Orange, Thomas McClary, and the Mean Machine's Harold Hudson, who was an interim vocalist rather than an official full-time vocalist. Not surprisingly, the Commodores cover both their R&B bases and their pop bases, getting into everything from sleek keyboard funk ("Touchdown," "Nothing Like a Woman") to adult contemporary ballads ("Only You"). Meanwhile, "Ooo Woman You," which McClary co-wrote with Melissa Manchester, is a catchy pop/rock number. Is Commodores 13 a masterpiece? No. This release isn't in a class with essential treasures like 1976's Hot on the Tracks or 1977's The Commodores. But it isn't a bad album, and it indicated that there could be life after Lionel Richie for the Commodores. --Alex Henderson
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Commodores - Commodores (1977/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: Commodores
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Quiet Storm, Disco
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1977/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:38:53
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Motown Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.


The Commodores' early years were spent on the Southern funk circuit, where their energetic, catchy tunes, and keyboard-oriented funk made them both a college and a radio staple. They scored seminal hits with "Brick House" and "Slippery When Wet," although it became apparent quite early that lead vocalist Lionel Richie also had a bright future as a solo balladeer, with such tunes as "Easy" signaling his future on adult contemporary and Quiet Storm/urban contemporary radio. This collection highlights early up-tempo and ballad hits. --Ron Wynn

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Commodores - Caught In The Act (1975/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Commodores
Title: Caught In The Act
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1975/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:54
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Motown Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.


The sophomore slump wasn't a problem for the Commodores. The band's first album, Machine Gun, was quite promising, but its sophomore album, Caught in the Act, is even stronger. This superb 1975 LP, which the Commodores produced and arranged with James Carmichael, is more diverse than its mostly up-tempo predecessor. There are plenty of up-tempo funk gems; anyone with a taste for hard, sweaty 1970s funk won't be disappointed by "Look What You've Done to Me," "Wide Open," or the hit "Slippery When Wet," which soared to number one on Billboard's R&B singles chart and urges unfaithful husbands to give up their adulterous ways. But Caught in the Act, unlike Machine Gun, doesn't neglect slower material; "You Don't Know That I Know" and "This Is Your Life" are first-rate soul ballads. Excellent from start to finish, Caught in the Act is among the Commodores' finest albums. --Alex Henderson
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Commodores - Natural High (1978/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: Natural High
Genre: Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Funk
Label: © Motown Records
Release Date: 1978/2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 41:29
Recorded: 1978


The Commodores' sixth studio album, Natural High, is best known for the ballad "Three Times a Lady," which became a staple of adult contemporary radio and reached number one on both the pop and R&B charts. "Three Times a Lady" was their first number one pop hit, and Lionel Richie was being recognized as a major crossover star. Not everyone liked "Three Times a Lady" -- some people found the song to be much too sappy, and R&B purists argued that The Commodores were watering their music down. But even if "Three Times a Lady" isn't your cup of tea, Natural High still has a lot to offer R&B fans. "X-Rated Movie," "Such a Woman," and "I Like What You Do" are exhilarating examples of hardcore funk, and those who appreciate artists like Heatwave and the Brothers Johnson will find a lot to admire about "Fire Girl" and "Flying High" (both of which are sleek examples of the sophisticated funk style). Meanwhile, "Say Yeah" (featuring Richie) is a first-rate R&B slow jam. Whatever your opinion of "Three Times a Lady" -- whether you love it or hate it -- the fact is that Natural High has more plusses than minuses and was a generally respectable, if imperfect, addition to The Commodores' catalog.
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