Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Mr. @LionelRichie of Tuskegee Alabama

I'll admit to being a bit of a snob about music when Lionel Richie was a big hit in the 80s. I had been pummeled for years by bad, industry driven music and cliched videos. Not to mention I was full of teenage angst, and disco was still a thing of the present. 

What a good thing times have changed. Right?

Now mainstream music is industry driven, disco is a thing again and I'm full of "grumpy old man" angst. 

But I've got to begrudgingly hand it to Lionel Richie. He started doing his thing in the 60s, rolled right on through the last 5 decades and still looks pretty damn good on his world tours. 

He was Born in Tuskeegee, Alabama, starting out in several different R&B bands, until he settled into The Commodores... And geez...who doesn't love "Brick House?"


Now the 80s pissed me off, pretty much just all together. Saturday Night Live turned ridiculous and milquetoast, the United States was putting its foot in all the messes we've now submerged into completely, and we were shooting up love songs to distract our souls. So I wasn't fond of the direction of music with all the sappy love songs. 

And solo Lionel Richie, man does he make a love song. 

These days I do my best to hover above my own bias about love songs and the "default complacency propaganda" of the music industry.

 I can watch Lionel Richie's older stuff, and, well... respect the man.  It's moving stuff. The official video is very sweet, reflective of the childlike side of the 1980s, with the world denial which was prevalent in our culture at the time. Good thing denial is no longer a problem.

The music? The words are beautiful. The music, well produced. 
And did I mention, the love song part?

Lionel Richie is still bringing in large crowds, and in fact, as the US has done, so has Lionel Richie, spreading his stuff everywhere. 

In his mid sixties now, he tours the world, and has become even more popular. He has even become a hit in many Arab countries, performing in Morocco, Dubai, Qatar and Libya. 

In 2006, John Berman of ABC News reported "Grown Iraqi men get misty-eyed by the mere mention of his name. 'I love Lionel Richie,' they say. They can sing an entire Lionel Richie song." 

First of All, Servants of All,
We Shall Transcend All
Berman was told that Iraqi civilians were playing "All Night Long" the night of the US invasion. 

Richie has been touring every year as of late, with his 2015 European tour set to begin in early February.

So with all this, I guess I gotta say Lionel is still kicking ass. 

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