Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Commodores--Night Shift (1985)

    By 1985, The Commodores were limping along. The move towards a more middle of the road R&B sound had alienated their fans who were used to the straight up funk of Machine Gun, Brick House, and Too Hot Ta Trot. Those who were a fans of Lionel Richie's ballads had already abandoned ship for the most part as well. as he crafted a very successful solo career throughout the 80's. They had not had a top 40 hit in 4 years, since 1981's, "Oh No".
     Having been moved to write a song in honor of Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson who both had passed the year before, "Nightshift" is a brilliant song that far outshown what the group had been doing since Ritchie left, and except for a couple of R&B hits over the next couple of years, would never do again. Am not a fan of 1980's production value overall, but just like Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" and Joe Jackson's, "Stepping Out", the atmosphere of the song just lent an otherworldly feel that suited the lyrics perfectly. A more than fitting way for a band to bow out.


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