The Definitive Collection [Australia 2 CD]

The Definitive Collection [Australia 2 CD]

by Lionel Richie


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It's hard to believe, but prior to the 2003 release of The Definitive Collection, there wasn't a proper hits collection in Lionel Richie's catalog. A decade earlier, Motown dipped their toe in the water with the jumbled Back to Front, which tried desperately to camouflage its nature as a comp with three new songs, which, at 14 tracks, hurt the hit quotient dramatically. This, however, gets it almost all right. Spanning 20 tracks (only two of which are new, tacked onto the end; while not especially memorable, neither is bad), this collection has nearly all the big hits from his solo recordings (the Top Ten "Love Will Conquer All" is notably absent, but that's the only chart-topper not here), along with five Commodores ballads that showcase Richie the balladeer at a peak: "Just to Be Close to You," "Easy," "Three Times a Lady," "Still," "Sail On." Since these were the first tracks to showcase Lionel Richie as a talent separate from the Commodores, their presence is welcome on a collection of his solo hits, and they indeed make this a fuller experience, since this now has all of Richie's soft rock hits in one place. Taken together, it's a formidable body of work, making a clear case for him as one of the preeminent soft rock craftsmen of the early '80s. True, the collection might have benefited slightly from a chronological track listing, but by jumping between albums, and between Commodores and solo material, the consistency of his records becomes evident. Few of his peers created singles as memorable as "Easy," the infectious "All Night Long (All Night)," "Truly," the sweetly melancholic "Hello," the insistent, gently ominous "Running with the Night," "Just to Be Close to You," and the ebullient "You Are," as delightful as 45s came in the early days of the Reagan Administration. Not everything here quite reaches those standards -- admittedly, those are the hits upon which his reputation lay, plus they're the best that soft pop got in the '80s -- but the rest is all well-crafted and easily enjoyable, proving that Lionel Richie is a singular adult contemporary talent. He may be sappy, but he's got skills. [The import version included two discs.]

Product Details

Release Date: 01/06/2004
Label: Universal Uk
UPC: 0602498613948
catalogNumber: 9861394
Rank: 17613

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lionel Richie   Primary Artist
Diana Ross   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Enrique Iglesias   Vocals,Guest Appearance

Technical Credits

Lionel Richie   Composer
Billy Lawrie   Composer
Shirley King   Composer
James Anthony Carmichael   Composer
Mike Frenchik   Composer
Ronald LaPread   Composer
Terry Lewis   Composer
Walter Orange   Composer
Greg Phillinganes   Composer
Carlos Rios   Composer
Lloyd Tolbert   Composer
Diane Warren   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Milan Williams   Composer
Joe Wolfe   Composer
Enrique Iglesias   Composer
William King   Composer
James Harris   Composer
Steven Ivory   Liner Notes
Vartan   Art Direction
Thomas McClary   Composer
Pascal Obispo   Composer
Alan Silfen   Inlay Photography
Paul Barry   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Mark Taylor   Composer
Brenda Harvey-Richie   Composer

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