Which artist sang the song Penny Lover

Who needs brakes at full throttle?

Mainstream - in the best sense!

Lionel Richie is used to success at this point. A lot. First he enjoys star fame with the "Commoderes" - and then he enjoys star fame as a solo artist. Richie apparently realized early on that he had enough talent as a singer and songwriter to be able to survive on his own. Actually, quite normal.

Music history is full of examples of successful bands losing their singers because they wanted to go solo. What is special about him: He sounds completely different now. Because where the "Commodores" For Funk music applies to the Solo artist now the Mainstream pop as a basis. He already shows this on his solo debut (which he simply calls "Lionel Richie" in 1982) - but he shows it even more clearly on solo album number 2.

Away from the corset of funk music

The recipe for success? It's all in the mix! Richie finds the ideal middle ground here. All eight songs are from his pen. The fast songs bring a good mood across without sounding like penetrating good-mood music (which in itself is a real feat). The ballads are so magical that they become world hits and classics for the ages.

He just shakes off the tight corset of funk music - and ends up with a really large audience. While the solo debut was already a hit with 5 million copies sold, "Can't Slow Down" literally cannot be stopped. It stayed in the American album charts for three years from its release. To date, 20 million copies have been sold.

Five of eight songs as a single release

The singles are naturally boosting sales. There are eight songs on the album - five pieces are decoupled. The title song - which is also the opener! - Strangely enough, it is not among them. There may be two reasons for this: On the one hand, he simply lacks the catchy tune quality of the other songs. On the other hand, it is amazingly similar to the Michael Jackson hit "Wanna Be Startin 'Something"! That alone is curious - but there are also one or the other story about these singles curious:

  • At "All Night Long" there is, for example, the famous "Tambo liteh sette mo-jah! Yo! Jambo jambo" in the text. Sounds African. Should sound like that - but it is a pure Gaga invention by Lionel Richie! He even calls the UN, asking for a nice "African" feel-good formula. However, they waddle him off with the hint that there are thousands of dialects on the continent - so he invents something himself.
  • At "Penny Lover" Richie's then-wife Brenda is the co-author. The marriage ended in divorce in 1993 - after a total of 18 years.
  • "Running With the Night" shines through the background vocals of a then completely unknown young man named Richard Marx. Drums and guitar are borrowed from Toto (Jeff Porcaro and Steve Lukather were popular studio musicians).
  • The video clip for the magical ballad "Hello" was once voted the worst music clip of all time (by 8000 fans of the British music channel "The Box") - and Richie himself doesn't like the video with the blind girl either. By the way, the actress was not blind. You can often see her later at "General Hospital".

There are also Grammy honors for the album, of course - but not too many. Lionel Richie wins the Grammy for "Album of the Year" (and along with James Carmichael he is also awarded the Grammy for "Best Producer of the Year").

Lionel Richie: Can't Slow Down

Publication date:
October 11, 1983
Title List:
  1. Can't slow down
  2. All Night Long (All Night)
  3. Penny lover
  4. Stuck on you
  5. Love will find a way
  6. The Only One
  7. Running with the night
  8. Hello