Three landmark albums in the early solo career of one of the biggest R&B-pop crossover artists in history, Lionel Richie, will be released on vinyl on 8 December in the US, with international pressings to follow in the new year. Motown/UMe will present his self-titled solo debut album of 1982, the following year’s Can’t Slow Down and 1985’s Dancing On The Ceiling, in the vinyl format, each of them multi-million-selling, hit-filled releases by the recent Kennedy Centre Honoree, whose career album sales now exceed 100 million.
The former member of the massively successful Motown group the Commodores set out on his solo path with 1982’s quadruple platinum Lionel Richie. The album included trademark, smash-hit ballads such as ‘Truly,’ the upbeat ‘You Are’ and ‘My Love,’ with backing vocals by friend and fellow superstar Kenny Rogers, whose 1980 chart-topper ‘Lady’ Richie had written.
Can’t Slow Down built on that initial solo success and multiplied it, with diamond certification for ten million sales in the US alone. Co-produced by Richie, like its predecessor, with James Anthony Carmichael, it featured signature hits such as the Caribbean-flavoured ‘All Night Long (All Night),’ the indelible ballad ‘Hello’ and upbeat ‘Running With The Night.’ The album also hinted at Richie’s country influence, from his raising in Alabama, on ‘Stuck On You,’ a theme he would explore fully with the 2012 album named after his home town, Tuskegee.
On 1985’s Dancing On The Ceiling, Richie expanded his global stardom and success with quadruple platinum sales in the US alone, and such singles as the Academy Award-winning ‘Say You, Say Me,’ written for the Cold War thriller White Knights. The album also featured the feelgood title track and ‘Love Will Conquer All,’ which gave Richie his tenth Adult Contemporary chart No. 1.
Collectively, these three memorable 1980s albums contained four No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and no fewer than ten top ten singles on the pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary listings.