Spin #4 : Lionel Richie: Can't Slow Down
Band Members on record : Lionel Richie (Vocals/arrangements) and a large list of musicians (too many to list)
Lionel Richie : Can't Slow Down
Year Released : 1983
Produced by Lionel Richie, James Anthony Carmichael and David Foster
Price Range: $15-40
Speed: 33 1/3RPM
Album Before : Lionel Richie (Self-Titled)
Album After : Dancing on the Ceiling
Further Listening : Rick James - Street Songs
LP : 1 x Black LP either 180 or 140gm
Mood for enjoying: If you start this record as the sun is setting then you will have a couple of faster paced dance numbers to kick off the party. It quickly turns to some soulful numbers of a slower pace which are better heard around a small wood fire with the summer night bugs chirping and looking up at the stars. Lots of songs to sing along to with the included lyric sheet.
Track Listing: LP
Side A Can't Slow Down - 4:42
All Night Long (All Night) - 6:18
Penny Lover - 5:28
Stuck On You - 3:06
Love Will Find A Way - 6:10
The Only One - 4:15
Running With The Night - 5:58
Hello - 4:07
What's in the Sleeve ? The record is within a poly bag slip and there is a lyric sheet printed on card. I will include a photo of the gatefold underneath the review as it's quite possibly the best gatefold image in my collection. Instantly makes me laugh and smile everytime. Not too sure if this is 180gm LP or 140gm and couldn't locate it etched or written on the record or sleeve.
"I see the tears you cry, I see the pain that's in your eyes. So many times you were so lonely, and no one seemed to care. But if your hopes, for your tomorrows. Are drowning in your sorrows, know your heart will show you the way" ~ Love Will Find A Way - Side B
Welcome to Spin #4 - Lionel Richie : Can't Slow Down I chose this record for our 4th Spin because I feel its a great record that mimics my attitude with reviewing - in that we 'Can't Slow Down' now.
For the review I used the set up in our Entertainment Area in the back room with the Marshall Woburn II speaker and the Audio Technica full automatic turntable with Bluetooth.
Drop the Needle (of course means place the stylus nicely on your wax):
Welcome to our Spin #4 here at R'NR with Rylo! For this one we gave the second album by Lionel Richie, 'Can't Slow Down' a go. I was looking at our collection and saw the title and the similarities, because we are building a music community and we don't want to slow down anytime soon.
I remember where I purchased this record from and who was with me. I feel like I can remember where I purchase every record or remember the story of how I got all of the records in our collection. Does that happen to you with your collection? Some records take on more meaning than others? Well I was exploring a local record store in my old hometown of Thirroul, NSW called Frank's Wild Years. If you are ever down the South Coast in NSW you need to check out what they have to offer (live acts, cocktails and inviting owner who passionately loves what she does).
I was flippin' through the wax instore and pointed out this record to my mother because of the cover. It wasn't until we took this record up to the front to pay that the owner showed us the inner photo across the gatefold. Wow. I would have purchased it for that image of Richie alone because it just made everyone laugh. I walked away with the 1983 original press in good condition with a few signs of wear by previous owners due to just how good this album is. Please see below for the gatefold image, you won't be disappointed.
Ok, so if you have yourself a copy put the LP on your turntable and play along as you read our review, I'll wait for you.
Side A bursts through the speaker with the title track, 'Can't Slow Down'. I hear the small feet approaching of our son as the music makes him run and want to dance to this song. It's catchy and funky and the arrangement of synthesizers and guitars (bass and rhythm) just merge so well. Its a song that makes you want to roll your shoulders and dance with a Michael Jackson feel. I can see why this song was selected as the album title.
The next song on Side A is a well known number and song perfect for summer, 'All Night Long (All Night)'. The longest song on the album coming in over 6 minutes. It has an inviting slow intro which builds and draws in the listener. Richie is sending his invitation to us as listeners to the party and to celebrate and forget all the troubles that could be on your mind. The music is timed well to hit at the same time Richie busts out the lyrics of "ALL NIGHT LONG". It's a song you could really enjoy yourself to on a dancefloor at a wedding and make good memories.
The one-two punch to lead off the record has me excited for song number three on Side A. If the last song was the dancefloor song, then this one is the song you sing along to whilst staring up at the sky. 'Penny Lover' is that song and if anyone knows the meaning of a penny lover then please let us know in our comment section below. It's a great song that sounds impressive through the Marshall Woburn II speaker. The arrangements come together nicely and Richie's voice just suits these style of softer songs, as well as the faster numbers. "I don't understand it, Oh what's come over me. But I'm not gonna worry, no not anymore. 'Cause when a mans in love, he's only got one story'.
The last song on Side A is the hit, 'Stuck On You'. Its a very strong side of a record and is another song to sing along to or to your loved one. Not me, I'm a terrible singer - although it doesn't stop me singing along quietly and I don't think my wife or children mind. I can tell this song was especially loved by the previous owner as I can hear its wear. "I've got this feeling deep in my soul, that I just can't lose. Guess I'm on my way". Richie and James Anthony Carmichael have produced another winner here that I'm guessing was a huge single off the album. The song hits the almost 2 minute point and you can really feel that Richie is singing his heart out to someone he loves or loved - "I've packed up my troubles and I've thrown them all away".
Time to flip over the LP to Side B and place the stylus on the outer edge.
OOOOOh the slow funky start of Side B, 'Love Will Find A Way' reminds me so much musically of a Rick James number. This song has my favourite lyrics in it from the album and it's because of the breaks and pace of the song that makes it stand out to me. The speaker does well to pick up the bass while not drowning out Richie's vocals. Just sipping on the cuppa from our very own merch while we take this song in for a bit. Very uplifting and full of hope, in whatever battle you may be going through, this song will help.
The song fades out to song two on Side B, 'The Only One'. This song is produced and performed on by David Foster(Bass and Keyboard). It's hard to find any fault with this record so far in terms of music, lyrics and production. It's an album full of emotions and worth repeated listens and I might even try next listen through the Sennheiser headphones. Richie is leaving his feelings out there for the recipient to hear "You turned me inside out and you showed me what life was about. Only you, the only one that stole my heart away". A lot of his songs on this record just fade out but It was an easier way for artists to finish a song and blend into the next on the record.
Song three on Side B is another synth heavy number called 'Running With The Night'. Once again this song has a good range across the speaker and could have been used during a montage in a Rocky movie (didn't research if it was used, just made me think of those movies). It could be seen as the weaker song on the album but it's because everything else is such high calibre. I like the bass and the use of the vocoder (Synthesizer for voices). It very well could be used on your 80's playlist at the gym or for a run with a nice guitar solo at the end.
This leads us to the final song, which apparently was written as a joke between Richie and producer. It grew to be a huge hit for Richie - 'Hello'. I remember the add on tv a few years ago where Richie was singing this song from inside a fridge singing " Hello, is it me you're looking for?". It's a lonely song, a searching song and song that has immense feeling to it. The clarity on this song with the piano and horns really shines on vinyl and no matter how many times I listen to this I don't think I could get sick of it. "I long to see the sunlight in your hair, and tell you time and time again, how much I care. Sometimes I feel my heart will overflow".
It ends and the stylus comes to a halt before returning back to its cradle. This album has lots of re-play value and so glad I stumbled across it at Frank's Wild Years all those years ago. Richie might have made the best record of his career with this one and I will have to check out his other efforts for comparison.
I hope you enjoyed listening along or just reading through our fourth Spin with us. Don't forget to give this record a listen if you didn't get a chance yet and definitely recommend you add it to your collection. Give us a like on our social pages and check out the cups on our merch tab if you love a cuppa while taking some much deserved R'nR time.
Until our next Spin, Be Kind to your Postie (because they deliver your precious records) and Be Kind to your Wax!