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Featured Artist - THE COMMODORES
Featured Artist - THE COMMODORES Photo

ALBUMS:
1974 Machine Gun
1975 Caught in the Act
1975 Movin' On
1976 Hot on the Tracks
1976 Rise Up
1977 Commodores
1977 Commodores Live!
1978 Natural High
1979 Greatest Hits
1979 Midnight Magic
1980 Heroes
1981 In the Pocket
1982 All the Great Hits
1983 Commodores 13
1984 All the Great Love Songs
1985 Nightshift
1986 United
1988 Rock Solid
1992 Commodores Christmas
1993 No Tricks


Commodores - 

Renowned for the R&B hits "Just to Be Close to You," "Easy," and "Brickhouse," to name but a few, Commodores were one of the top bands during their long tenure at Motown. The group is credited with seven number one songs and a host of other Top Ten hits on the Billboard charts, and their vast catalog includes more than 50 albums.

The members of Commodores, all of whom attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, came together as a result of two groups disbanding: the Mystics and the Jays. Initially formed to simply play music as a pastime and to meet girls, the lineup consisted of William King (trumpet), Thomas McClary (guitar), Ronald LaPread (bass), Walter "Clyde" Orange (drums), Lionel Richie (saxophone), and Milan Williams (keyboards). The members nearly went stir-crazy trying to pick a name for the group, but with no success. As a last resort, Orange gave King a dictionary and told him to pick a name -- that name was the Commodores. With Clyde Orange the only learned musician in the group, Commodores began spreading their music throughout their base, which included Tuskegee, Montgomery, and Birmingham, AL.

After success securing dates in their own backyard, the band ventured to New York City for a gig at Smalls Paradise. Told, in so many words by the club owner, that their sound was not happening, the self-contained band was nevertheless called back to the club to fill in for a last-minute cancellation. That night the Tuskegee alumni performed before a standing-room-only crowd -- most of which were friends and family of the band. Unaware of the planned crowd, the owner booked the band for two more weeks.

Commodores' long association with Motown began as a result of a tour opening for the Jackson 5. That opportunity occurred in 1971, when the group auditioned in New York City for an unknown yet high-profile gig. Two weeks later, they made their first appearance in the prized support slot, and didn't give it up for more than two years. Their excellent shows naturally led to a deal with Motown, and they debuted with the up-tempo instrumental dance cut "Machine Gun." Written by Milan Williams, its Top Ten outing gave the group immediate attention. It was followed by the Top 20 single "I Feel Sanctified," which led to their third single -- and first number one record -- in "Slippery When Wet." Inside of 17 weeks, the septet was rocking the airwaves with their brand of Southern funk, spiced with an animated vocal delivery courtesy of Lionel Richie and Clyde Orange.

In September of 1976, they released "Just to Be Close to You," their second number one single and a number seven pop hit. The Top Ten hit "Fancy Dancer" followed, and then came "Easy." Different from their other tunes, "Easy" was very serene and not nearly as soulful or funky as the band's other tunes. Nonetheless, it claimed the number one spot on the charts, and it paved the way for the style of ballads the group became known for. One exception to the ballad-heavy approach was "Brickhouse," the song that soon became the group's anthem. The arrangement and candid vocal lead by Clyde Orange was complemented by the evenly saturated percussive and rhythmic attack, and it cracked the Top Ten at number four. Two consecutive number one singles would follow: the dance cut "Too Hot ta Trot" and the placid number "Three Times a Lady." And then there was "Still," the last number one for the group with Richie as a member. In 1981, Richie recorded "Endless Love" with Diana Ross. The song peaked at number one for seven and nine weeks, respectively, on the Billboard R&B and pop charts. Its success was a prelude to what Richie enjoyed upon his 1982 exit from the group.

In the absence of Richie, the group promptly courted tenor J.D. Nicholas (formerly of Heatwave) and ended up recording their biggest hit. Penned by Clyde Orange, "Nightshift" paid tribute to the late soul singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. For four consecutive weeks it topped the charts, and it also won the group their only Grammy.

Commodores finally left Motown in 1985. Consequently, the group signed with Polydor the same year and had another swing at the Top Ten with "Goin' to the Bank." During the '90s, the band was reduced to a core of three: OrangeKing, and Nicholas. The threesome were nearly as active as they'd ever been, performing around the world and managing their own label, Commodore Records.

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/commodores-mn0000766094/biography

| Closed on 09/11/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
7 Fans 
57%a. 10 (Great Band)
14%b. 7-9 (Liked most of their songs)
29%c. 5-6 (Liked a few songs)
0%d. 1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of them)
0%e. They Suck!

 &nbp;
TOP COMMENT * * * * * * * * * * * *
#2 | 252 days ago

7-9 (Liked most of their songs)  
  
4 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 252 days ago

Cause she’s a brick....house
She's mighty,mighty just lettin' it all hang out
Ah she’s a brick....house
Oh that lady's stacked and that's a fact,
ain't holding nothin'back, 
Ow she’s a brick....house
Yeah she's the one the only one built like
an am-a-zon,

5-6 (Liked a few songs)  
#2 | 252 days ago

7-9 (Liked most of their songs)  
#3 | 252 days ago

Saw them live a few times! Yes, they are great!
10 (Great Band)  
#4 | 251 days ago

I've always liked them !
10 (Great Band)  

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