Though not trying to call the Commodores con men their music has the quality of smoothly getting their message across. From the outset of their first LP “Machine Gun” (Motown MO.79851), you got the feeling that you may have heard something like that before, but then again, it was refreshing to hear the foot stomping entrance of “I Feel Sanctified” down through “Rapid Fire.” and the comical “Superman.”
Hoping and praying that this was not a one shot group, their second LP “Caught In The Act” (Motown M6-82051) further established their unique musical identity. Clocking in with such hits as “Slippery When Wet” and “This Is Your Life,” they set out telling us about the dangers (albeit exciting!) of being a married man and fooling around to the realities of life and the need to face up to it.
Their third album, “Moving On” (Motown M6-84851) was just that. Although at first listening it will remind you of “Caught In The Act,” they came up with “Sweet Love” and “Gimme My Mule.•” Their trademark of biting horn attacks reaches near perfection. punctuated by a tight percussion section and light overtones with the synthesizer.
Everything comes together with “Hot On The Tracks” (Motown M6-86751). From the opening song, “Let’s Get Started,” which has also become their opening act, they let us know just which direction they’ve been heading towards.
Side one seems to be their most consistent side since “Machine Gun”—flowing right into “Girl I Think The World About You,” “High On Sunshine” into the masterpiece of the LP, “Just To Be Close To You,” which includes many of the old R&B inflections and harmonies hinted at by the Temptations (whom they’ve backed up on a few LPs).
With a veritable flood of disco dancing music hitting us from all directions it’s refreshing to hear something that you can enjoy listening to while getting into the lyrics, as well as dance to and also appreciate the musical content. I feel that the Commodores will be a musical force to be reckoned with in the future, on a par with Earth, Wind & Fire. Heavy competition, but I believe they can handle it.