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LIONEL RICHIE (Can’t slow down)

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Can’t Slow Down (Lionel Richie album) – 1983

Can’t Slow Down is the second solo studio album by American recording artist Lionel Richie. It was released on October 11, 1983 by Motown Records.

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a “B+” and called it a “surprisingly solid” improvement, particularly with respect to Richie’s ballad singing. He felt that its “jumpy international dance-pop” suits Richie more than the Commodores’ funk had and predicted that, considering his “well-established appeal to white people,” Can’t Slow Down has the potential to become a “mini-Thriller”.

Don Shewey of Rolling Stone magazine gave the album four out of five stars and said that, although the ballads are monotonous, Richie successfully broadens his music for different listeners and draws on contemporary artists such as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson: “if you can’t innovate, imitate. And the more honest they are about their sources, the better.”

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave it four-and-a-half out of five stars and wrote that Richie took a conservative, melodic hook-based approach on an album whose hits showed him at his best and whose only weakness was a short running time. In 1999, Q magazine included Can’t Slow Down on its list of the best Motown records of all time and stated, “Production values are high, his songwriting craft is at its peak and at least one track – the global smash ‘All Night Long’ – is an anthem to good times that makes the heart sing and feet twitch”.

The album reached #1 on the Billboard album chart. It also spent 59 consecutive weeks inside the Top 10 (including the entire year of 1984) and a total of 160 weeks (over three years) on the Billboard 200.[citation needed] After being the third best-selling album of 1984, it went on to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1985, beating out such heavyweight contenders as Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen and Purple Rain by Prince. By 1986 the album had sold 15 million copies, eventually selling over 20 million.

Can’t Slow Down achieved the feat of having every single released hit the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Two songs, “Hello” and “All Night Long (All Night)”, both went to #1. Other hits include “Stuck on You” (US #3), “Running With the Night” (US #7), and “Penny Lover” (US #8). The ballad “The Only One” was a significant song from the album which was never released as a single, yet remains a popular staple of Richie’s live performances.

The single “Stuck on You” also reached #24 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart (now Hot Country Songs)

20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition[edit]
On May 6, 2003, a 2-CD Deluxe Edition of the album was released in conjunction of the 20th anniversary of the album’s original release date. This version included several mixes originally included on various singles from the album at the end of the first CD, including instrumental versions of the 12-inch extended mixes of “All Night Long (All Night)” and “Running with the Night”. Disc 2 showcased demo or alternate versions of all tracks from the original album, plus additional unfinished songs from the same sessions, all previously unreleased.

Track listing

Original album (1983)

No. Title Writer(s) Length

1. “Can’t Slow Down” Lionel Richie, David Cochrane 4:43
2. “All Night Long (All Night)” Richie 6:25
3. “Penny Lover” Richie, Brenda Harvey-Richie 5:34
4. “Stuck on You” Richie 3:13
5. “Love Will Find A Way” Richie, Greg Phillinganes 6:16
6. “The Only One” Richie, David Foster 4:21
7. “Running with the Night” Richie, Cynthia Weil 6:01
8. “Hello” Richie 4:14

20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks (2003)

No. Title Writer(s) Length

9. “All Night Long (All Night)” (12″ version) Richie 6:42
10. “Penny Lover” (7″ single remix) Richie, Harvey-Richie 3:48
11. “All Night Long (All Night)” (12″ B-side instrumental version) Richie 6:43
12. “Running with the Night” (12″ B-side instrumental version) Richie, Weil 6:57
20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition CD2 (2003)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Can’t Slow Down” (Alternate version) Richie, David Cochrane 4:55
2. “Ain’t No Sayin’ No” (Unfinished demo) Richie, Phillinganes 4:57
3. “Tell Me” (Unfinished demo) Richie, Foster 4:57
4. “All Night Long (All Night)” (Original demo version) Richie 7:20
5. “Penny Lover” (Alternate version) Richie, Harvey-Richie 6:24
6. “Stuck on You” (Original demo version) Richie 3:00
7. “Can’t Find Love” (Unfinished demo) Richie 5:50
8. “Love Will Find a Way” (Original demo version) Richie, Phillinganes 6:35
9. “The Only One” (Original demo version) Richie, Foster 4:28
10. “The Groove” (Instrumental interlude) Richie 1:15
11. “Running with the Night” (Undubbed version) Richie, Weil 6:14
12. “Hello” (Original demo version) Richie 4:26
13. “Blues” (Outro) 1:12

Personnel

Israel Baker – concertmaster
Brian Banks – synthesizer programming
Thomas Dolby – synthesizers and Fairlight CMI programming
Harry Bluestone – concertmaster
Michael Boddicker – synthesizer, vocoder
Sonny Burke – keyboards, Fender Rhodes
Diane Burt – background vocals, chant
James Anthony Carmichael – arranger, background vocals, producer, chant
Jim Cassell – engineer
Melinda Chatman – sound effects, vocals
Joe Chemay – bass guitar
Terry Christian – engineer
Jane Clark – engineer
David Cochrane – synthesizer, guitar, arranger, background vocals, chant, vocoder, synthesizer bass, synthesizer programming
Steve Crimmel – engineer
David Kraai – technical support
Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
Nathan East – bass guitar
David Egerton – engineer
Mark Ettel – engineer
Larry Ferguson – engineer
David Foster – synth bass, keyboards, producer
Humberto Gatica – engineer, mixing
Dr. Lloyd Byro Greig – background vocals, chant
Bernie Grundman – mastering
Calvin Harris – background vocals, engineer, chant, mixing
Brenda Harvey Richie – background vocals, chant, production assistant
Jeanette Hawes – background vocals, chant
John Hobbs – acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes
Mitch Holder – guitar
Janice Marie Johnson – background vocals, chant
Darryl Jones – guitar
Abraham Laboriel – bass guitar
Fred Law – mixing
Paul Leim – drums
Steve Lukather – guitar
Anthony Marinelli – synthesizer programming
Richard Marx – background vocals, chant
Tim May – acoustic guitar
Greg Phillinganes – synthesizer, background vocals
Jeff Porcaro – drums
Deborah Joyce Richie – background vocals, chant
Lionel Richie – arranger, keyboards, lead vocals, background vocals, producer, chant
Carlos Rios – guitar
John “J.R.” Robinson – drums
Louie Shelton – guitar
Karen Siegel – mixing
Suzanne Stanford – background vocals, chant
Fred Tackett – acoustic guitar
Deborah Thomas – background vocals, chant
Kin Vassy – background vocals
Jerry Hey – trumpet, horn arrangement
Chuck Findley – trumpet
Gary Grant – trumpet
Bill Reichenbach – trombone
Charlie Loper – trombone