Many iconic stars have come from the 1980’s. Lionel Richie is a music legend that belongs on that list. His chart topping singles are still played on the radio almost 40 years since their release.
The Best 80s Lionel Richie Songs
You already know Lionel Richie is a music legend. He is also a permanent judge on American Idol, helping to guide future stars to follow in his path.
He is a natural born talent and helped to shape the iconic sound of the 1980’s with his pop music classics. Here is a list of some of his greatest hits from the 1980s:
1. Hello (1984)
This is one of the most recognized songs written and recorded by Mr. Richie. It was released off of the album Can’t Slow Down as its third single. It remained at the number 1 spot on the adult contemporary charts for six weeks.
The song developed from when James Anthony Carmichael, a Grammy award winning producer, greeted Lionel with the phrase “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” He told Lionel to make a song out of that, and so he did.
2. Dancing on the Ceiling (1986)
This fan favorite comes off of his third solo album, also titled Dancing on the Ceiling. Lionel along with James Anthony Carmichael were the producers, but not writers, of this classic 80’s tune.
Although this became a worldwide hit reaching number 1 in Norway and number 2 in the US, an article published in 2006 lists this song as number 20 on the 50 worst songs ever written. 80’s music fans tend to disagree.
3. Endless Love (1981)
Named by Billboard magazine as “the greatest duet of all time”, this song written by Richie is one of his many iconic ballads. The song was recorded with superstar Diana Ross, creating a perfect combination of star power. The song has been covered many times by artists including Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Luther Vandross, and Lionel’s good friend, Kenny Rogers.
4. All Night Long (1983)
This hit single, also from the album Can’t Slow Down, combines the perfect flavors from both pop music and Caribbean funk. Lyrics such as “ Tom bo li de say de moi ya” and “Jambo Jumbo” are actually not real African words, which he intended them to be. He ran out of time to hire a translator and last minute came up with these gibberish phrases himself. Too bad Google translate didn’t exist back then.
5. Say You, Say Me (1985)
The classic tune was both written and recorded by Richie and lead to him receiving an Academy Award. The song was written for the movie White Nights, although you will not find the song on the movie’s soundtrack.
Motown records (Richie’s label) did not want such a successful song not to be released on his next studio album (Dancing on the Ceiling), which is where you can actually find this hit single. The song was also used in a more recent film; Rio (2011).
These don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the ingenious works written, produced, recorded and performed by Mr. Lionel Richie. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with his music yet, it is way past time you do so.
You will surely become an instant fan as so many did back in the 1980’s. If you need even more Lionel Richie in your life, be sure to check out The Commodores. He was an original member of this band in the 1970’s.