[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: The Commodores

  1. #1

    The Commodores

    When I first heard them, I did not know they were on the Motown label. "Machine Gun" was the first record of theirs I heard back in 1974. As time progress I really liked the band and would go to their concerts. Then they evolved into , well you know the rest. LOL! My favorite Commodores record:

    This is the album version. The radio edit was just as good in my opinion. From very late 1975............"Sweet Love"


  2. #2
    When "Machine Gun" came out in the fall of 1974, it was hot! A lot of people, including me, were blown away that they were Black, only because it was still somewhat unusual in the early 70s for top 40 radio to play Black rockers, notwithstanding The Isley Brothers. It was a bigger surprise to discover that they were on Motown!

    The word was that Berry Gordy initially didn't want their faces on the jacket because he didn't want to hurt their chances on rock stations and with record buyers. But, as it turned out, they didn't really reach big success on the pop chart until "Sweet Love", as "Machine Gun" only got as high as #22, still very respectable for a very musically crowded year.

    I followed the band until their "Heroes" album. After that, they lost me. I dug "Lady, You Bring Me Up", but, they had lost the magic, and seemed to be painting by the numbers. No wonder Lionel Richie left after that point.

    A lot of people confused Lionel Richie's vocal with Walter Orange's voice, and it didn't help that they often exchanged leads on the same songs. Orange did most of the funk numbers, and, of course, Richie did most of the ballads.

    Their biggest successful album was the 1977 self-titled album, with the hit singles "Easy" and "Brick House", but that is my least favorite. I like the earlier albums, and "Natural High" from 1978.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    When "Machine Gun" came out in the fall of 1974, it was hot! A lot of people, including me, were blown away that they were Black, only because it was still somewhat unusual in the early 70s for top 40 radio to play Black rockers, notwithstanding The Isley Brothers. It was a bigger surprise to discover that they were on Motown!

    The word was that Berry Gordy initially didn't want their faces on the jacket because he didn't want to hurt their chances on rock stations and with record buyers. But, as it turned out, they didn't really reach big success on the pop chart until "Sweet Love", as "Machine Gun" only got as high as #22, still very respectable for a very musically crowded year.

    I followed the band until their "Heroes" album. After that, they lost me. I dug "Lady, You Bring Me Up", but, they had lost the magic, and seemed to be painting by the numbers. No wonder Lionel Richie left after that point.

    A lot of people confused Lionel Richie's vocal with Walter Orange's voice, and it didn't help that they often exchanged leads on the same songs. Orange did most of the funk numbers, and, of course, Richie did most of the ballads.

    Their biggest successful album was the 1977 self-titled album, with the hit singles "Easy" and "Brick House", but that is my least favorite. I like the earlier albums, and "Natural High" from 1978.
    Great post. I agree, although I first heard "Machine Gun" at the beginning of summer '74. the Commodores' sound, by the end of 1978 had evolved so much until they sounded like the typical MOR act (i.e. Carpenters, Manilow, Neil Diamond). But that is when they sold their most records with songs like "Three Times A Lady". I use to see them in arena shows where they would put down the Funk big time. By 1979 they were singing songs by Richie that could have easily and successfully be covered by any Country act.

  4. #4
    Didn't Lionel and Walter switch up lead vocals on the funk numbers? I could've sworn they did lead vocals together on Brickhouse and Lionel used to borrow from Sugarfoot lol

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Didn't Lionel and Walter switch up lead vocals on the funk numbers? I could've sworn they did lead vocals together on Brickhouse and Lionel used to borrow from Sugarfoot lol
    On "Brickhouse" it was all Walter Orange, but they did switch up on other funk numbers and in concert I remember. Borrowed? He stole Sugarfoot's schtick outright! LOL!

  6. #6
    ^ Oh OK, so they double tracked Walter's vocals on Brickhouse?

    But yeah Lionel swagger jacked Sugarfoot for real.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    ^ Oh OK, so they double tracked Walter's vocals on Brickhouse?

    But yeah Lionel swagger jacked Sugarfoot for real.
    They may have double tracked the lead by Walter or Lionel may have been singing just "underneath" him the way Florence did on "You Keep Me Hanging On". The Commodores from 1974-78 was neck and neck with EWF as the most popular arena shows behind Parliament/Funkadeliac during the seventies Funk Era. I mean these were big shows with the lights, lasers, space ships, space suits, weed, oops I meant refreshments voluntary and involuntary, hehehehehehehehehe!

  8. #8
    What I really admire about Commodores recordings is that the recording quality never called attention to itself. The recordings were so well done that you really could focus on the playing.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    What I really admire about Commodores recordings is that the recording quality never called attention to itself. The recordings were so well done that you really could focus on the playing.

    I can also agree with that.

  10. #10
    Strikes me that for a while The Commodores were a high profile act at Motown and of course Lionel Richie as a solo act became even more so. Yet release of their albums on CD over the years seems quite patchy.

    In Japan, their "Machine Gun" album often sees release on CD and there have been a couple of releases on Motown (Polygram) in Europe but surprisingly no US CD release that I can see (would've expected an MOTD5XXX or 374635XXX2 version but no).

    Even in Europe, whereas the Commodores/Zoom album has seen a straight release (530 095-2) and a 24 Bit remastered release (530 936-2), the two releases of "Machine Gun" have both been straight and the second one was even a Spectrum version (530 445-2 and 530 935-2 respectively).

    Clearly, at the time of release of the Machine Gun album the group hadn't reached the peak of what they would eventually achieve so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised at the relatively low profile this album receives on CD.

    But generally, Commodores CD album releases have been patchy with some having to be provided by other labels such as PTG in Europe such as "Movin' On" and "Heroes" (although "Heroes" was released US as 3746353532 but hard to come by in UK).

    Lionel Richie's albums have been very well served on CD with several releases.

    Any other thoughts?

  11. #11
    Yes, that's right mysterysinger. I bought a few Commodores' titles in 2012 but most were not readily available. In 2013 HMV Japan had a big Motown reissue series and I picked up the rest - except "Movin' On" and "Heroes", which were not part of that series.

    The PTG release of "Movin' On" was said to be a vinyl rip (I think most, perhaps all, of the PTG cds are?) so I passed on it.

    In 2015 Universal released the Commodores' entire catalogue as downloads, first on iTunes and then some months later on other sites, I bought "Movin' On" and "Heroes" as lossless downloads from Qobuz. Andy from Universal mentioned it in this thread:
    https://soulfuldetroit.com/showthrea...-Tower-in-L-A-!

    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Andy View Post
    Longtime Fan, classic releases are still going strong, just not on the Hip-O site! We remastered entire (and nearly entire) album catalogs for iTunes over the last six months. Jackson 5 went up in September, The Miracles in October, Stevie Wonder in November, Marvin Gaye in January, The Supremes and Diana Ross in March, The Commodores and Lionel Richie last week, and another artist/group coming next month month! It's been very busy, and they sound great!
    Four Tops was the group that was coming in the next month. While not as popular as the Commodores in the 1970s, they still did pretty well, yet most of their ABC Dunhill albums were never issued as cds. Their catalogue also went up as downloads shortly after the Commodores', including some Motown titles ("Four Tops On Broadway", "Back Where I Belong", and "Magic") that I believe were never released on cd (though "Magic" was first released in 1985, well into the cd era).

    Just taking a quick glance, I think that all those downloads are still available, including as lossless from Qobuz or 7Digital in the UK. They're presumably available for streaming as well.
    Last edited by calvin; 05-23-2020 at 03:41 PM.

  12. #12
    Were you able to get Commodores 13 on CD or just as a download?

    Those Japanese CDs have been saviours really - for someone who prefers the CD format to downloads.

    I have some PTG titles which seem ok but they're also termed Vinyl Masterpieces so could possibly be needle drops as you say though they do also claim to be remasters. Mind you I've official CDs that contain tracks that reveal their true source as needle drops which I think is unforgiveable. The PTG releases aren't particularly cheap.

    I can and will download certain things and the Four Tops "On Broadway" is one which I downloaded as mp3. But album downloads are not cheap either and there's nothing to show for it really. It can often be cheaper to buy the CD. As a stop gap place filler I will download the odd album (plus all the Motown Unreleased issues) but generally will wait for a suitable physical issue.

    "Movin' On" has not seen a Motown CD release but "Heroes" has and I'm aiming to obtain that at some point if I see it cheap enough lol. Plus, 6 of their albums were issued on the early 2fers, "Heroes" being one of them, so I have it that way already - I'd just like a proper single CD in my collection.

    The Commodores 2fers were ....
    08014 Midnight Magic and Natural High
    08039 Heroes and Commodores (Zoom)
    08044 Hot On The Tracks and In The Pocket.

    The CD titles that have been released generally have at least one issue that's been remastered.

  13. #13
    Ah, I shouldn't have written that I picked up "the rest" from HMV Japan. I only bought all of their albums through "In The Pocket", the last one that Lionel Richie was on. Then I have a 2-cd compilation ("Gold") that has, I think, 8 songs from after Richie left. That was enough for me at the time.

    Yes, agreed, I buy mostly cds, usually at a better price than the downloads. Used cds can be a great deal too. Downloading is usually the last resort. But I don't mind if it's lossless, my cds just end up in boxes anyway and I rarely take them out.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    I have some PTG titles which seem ok but they're also termed Vinyl Masterpieces so could possibly be needle drops as you say though they do also claim to be remasters. Mind you I've official CDs that contain tracks that reveal their true source as needle drops which I think is unforgiveable. The PTG releases aren't particularly cheap.
    Someone in this forum warned that "Movin' On" from PTG was a vinyl rip, and not even a good one, with evident pops and crackling. Some Amazon reviewers say the same. If you zoom in on the back cover, in the black area on the right side, it says: "Digitally remastered from vinyl."

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Movin-Commo...s=music&sr=1-1
    Last edited by calvin; 05-23-2020 at 06:22 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by calvin View Post
    Someone in this forum warned that "Movin' On" from PTG was a vinyl rip, and not even a good one, with evident pops and crackling. Some Amazon reviewers say the same. If you zoom in on the back cover, in the black area on the right side, it says: "Digitally remastered from vinyl."

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Movin-Commo...s=music&sr=1-1
    That's a real shame. Maybe one for the next batch of Japanese Universal Motown CDs should there be some (and Commdores 13 I hope). There have been some Japanese mini LP releases on a handful of Commodores titles.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.