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.
101 Motown Anthems Various Artists INCLUDING The Jackson 5, The Supremes, Martha & the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Isley Brothers, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Lionel Richie
The year was 1977 - and this was the album that turned the Commodores into certifiable superstars in the crossover and commercial market. Not that they weren't popular before - they had a huge R&B following, consistently amazing albums, and some pop music success, but nothing like it was after this album was released. 1977 was the year that the group embarked upon a massive nationwide tour, and their audience grew and grew to monumental proportions. This album was flying off the shelves in the music stores. Three of the songs from it that would go on to be classics were responsible for that. Ad campaigns, movie and TV roles for the funk sextet from Alabama followed as a result.
Early funk from The Commodores - a group that spent so much time sleeping later, it's hard to believe they could be so funky early on! There's plenty of that bass-heavy style that would later dominate many Motown combos at the end of the 70s - but the group's really in control of the groove on this one, without any of the cliches that such bassery could lead them into. Lionel Ritchie contributed one nice smooth soul number, «This Is Your Life», and the rest of the album includes «Let's Do It Right», «Wide Open», «The Bump», «Look What You've Done To Me», and the pop funk classic «Slippery When Wet».
The Searchers' debut LP doesn't sound quite like any other album they ever issued. All of their Pye Records albums were rushed, but not like this – faced with an extraordinarily popular hit right out of the box in the guise of "Sweets for My Sweet" (which rose to Number One on the U.K. charts), the group cut 11 more finished tracks in one day, drawn from the best part of their stage act…