Four decades ago, Southern funk band the Commodores established their place in the pop-soul pantheon with their self-titled fifth album. Now, Universal Music Enterprises is revisiting the album in a brand new way, as an expanded vinyl set.
Commodores continued the Tuskegee, Alabama-bred group’s ascendancy, balancing hip dance tracks with sweet balladry. The alpha and omega of these styles featured co-lead singer/drummer Walter Orange, trumpeter William King and bassist Ronald LaPread leading the group on the funky “Brick House,” while Lionel Richie’s tender, almost country-style “Easy” (with a delicate piano hook from keyboardist Milan Williams and a stellar fuzz guitar solo by Thomas McClary) held up the gentler side. Both were Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 5 and No. 4, respectively; the album itself became the group’s first of four consecutive studio albums to hit the Top 10 of Billboard‘s pop charts and became the second of five No. 1 R&B charting albums.
What makes this edition of Commodores so exciting? Motown and UMe have gone back to the original production masters for this pressing of the LP, offering seven of the albums nine tracks in longer versions! They have been heard before on a 1998 CD pressing (thanks to friend of The Second Disc Volker for the clarification) are heard on vinyl for the first time.
The album, complete with a replica of the original autographed poster inserted into original copies of the LP, bows on black vinyl June 16. Universal’s official web store is offering a limited blue vinyl variant, 500 copies strong. Full order links and track length specs (including comparisons to the original) are below!
Commodores: Expanded Vinyl Edition (originally issued as Motown M7-884R1, 1977 – reissued as Motown/UMe B0026396-01, 2017)
- Squeeze the Fruit – 3:03
- Funny Feelings – 5:57 / 4:53
- Heaven Knows – 6:16 / 4:46
- Zoom – 7:06 / 6:46
- Won’t You Come Dance With Me – 4:08 / 3:50
- Brick House – 3:46 / 3:30
- Funky Situation – 4:12 / 3:46
- Patch It Up – 4:02
- Easy – 4:50 / 4:15
This extended album program previously released on Motown CD 314 530 936-2, 1998