Can't Slow Down

Can't Slow Down

by Lionel Richie


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On Can't Slow Down, his second solo album, Lionel Richie ran with the sound and success of his eponymous debut, creating an album that was designed to be bigger and better. It's entirely possible that he took a cue from Michael Jackson's Thriller, which set out to win over listeners of every corner of the mainstream pop audience, because Richie does a similar thing with Can't Slow Down -- he plays to the MOR adult contemporary audience, to be sure, but he ups the ante on his dance numbers, creating grooves that are funkier, and he even adds a bit of rock with the sleek nocturnal menace of "Running With the Night," one of the best songs here. He doesn't swing for the fences like Michael did in 1982; he makes safe bets, which is more in his character. But safe bets do pay off, and with Can't Slow Down Richie reaped enormous dividends, earning not just his biggest hit, but his best album. He has less compunction about appearing as a pop singer this time around, which gives the preponderance of smooth ballads -- particularly "Penny Lover," "Hello," and the country-ish "Stuck on You" -- conviction, and the dance songs roll smooth and easy, never pushing the beats too hard and relying more on Richie's melodic hooks than the grooves, which is what helped make "All Night Long (All Night)" a massive hit. Indeed, five of these songs (all the aforementioned tunes) were huge hits, and since the record ran only eight songs, that's an astonishing ration. The short running time does suggest the record's main weakness, one that it shares with many early-'80s LPs -- the songs themselves run on a bit too long, padding out the running length of the entire album. This is only a problem on album tracks like "Love Will Find a Way," which are pleasant but a little tedious at their length, but since there are only three songs that aren't hits, it's a minor problem. All the hits showcase Lionel Richie at his best, as does Can't Slow Down as a whole.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Motown
UPC: 0737463605922
catalogNumber: 6059
Rank: 11965

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lionel Richie   Primary Artist,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Chant
David Foster   Bass,Bass Guitar,Keyboards
Louie Shelton   Guitar
Joe Chemay   Bass,Bass Guitar
Israel Baker   Concert Master
Harry Bluestone   Concert Master
Michael Boddicker   Synthesizer,Vocoder
Diane Burt   Vocals,Chant
James Anthony Carmichael   Vocals,Background Vocals,Chant
Melinda Chatman   Vocals
Dave Cochran   Synthesizer,Guitar,Saxophone,Vocals
David Cochrane   Synthesizer,Guitar,Background Vocals,Chant,Vocoder,Synthesizer Bass
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Nathan East   Bass,Bass Guitar
Lloyd Byro Greig   Vocals,Chant
Jeanette Hawes   Vocals,Background Vocals,Chant
John Hobbs   Piano,fender rhodes
Mitch Holder   Guitar
Janice Marie Johnson   Vocals,Chant
Darryl Jones   Guitar
Abraham Laboriel   Bass,Bass Guitar
Paul Leim   Drums
Steve Lukather   Guitar
Richard Marx   Vocals,Background Vocals,Chant
Timothy May   Acoustic Guitar
Jeff Porcaro   Drums
Greg Phillinganes   Synthesizer,Vocals
Deborah Joyce Richie   Vocals,Chant
Carlos Rios   Guitar
John "J.R." Robinson   Drums
Suzanne Stanford   Vocals,Chant
Fred Tackett   Acoustic Guitar
Deborah Thomas   Vocals,Background Vocals,Chant
Kin Vassy   Vocals
Sonny Burke   Keyboards,fender rhodes
Darrell Jones   Acoustic Guitar
Brenda Harvey-Richie   Vocals,Chant
Calvin Harris   Background Vocals,Chant

Technical Credits

Lionel Richie   Arranger,Producer
David Foster   Producer
James Anthony Carmichael   Arranger,Producer
Jim Cassell   Engineer
Melinda Chatman   Sound Effects
Terry Christian   Engineer
Jane Clark   Engineer
David Cochrane   Arranger
David Egerton   Engineer
Mark Ettel   Engineer
Larry Ferguson   Engineer
Humberto Gatica   Engineer
Steve Crimmel   Engineer
Brenda Harvey-Richie   Composer
Calvin Harris   Engineer

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Can't Slow Down 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There's no denying the power of this album. Song for song this is Richie's best album and it would launch him into the stratosphere of stardom and recognition. It was the cultural touch-stone to MOR that Thriller was to pop. Over half the songs on this record were played constantly on MTV and the radio. And this record really is about the songwriting. Richie pulls out the best collection of music he had written thus far and to this day has yet to match or even come close to it. Can't Slow Down would beat out Prince's Purple Rain and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A at the Grammys that year. Richie quietly became the biggest songwriter on the planet for a time and this album was a testament to his talent.