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Music funk/soul The Commodores band pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
The Commodores were a highly successful funk/soul band of the 1970s and 1980s. The members of the group met as freshmen at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in 1968, and signed with Motown having first caught the public eye opening for The Jackson 5 while on tour.
This group is perhaps best known for its ballads, such as "Easy" and "Three Times a Lady", but, for the most part, the group mainly recorded funky, driven dance-floor hits which include "Brick House", "Say Yeah", "Fancy Dancer", and "Too Hot Ta Trot", among others.
Lionel Richie's "Oh No" is highlighted in the movie The Last American Virgin. "Machine Gun", the instrumental title track from the band's debut album, became a staple at American sporting events, and is similarly featured in many films, including Boogie Nights and Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Another instrumental, "Cebu" (named after an island in the Philippines), later became a staple in the Quiet Storm format. Three albums released in years 1975 and 1976 (Caught in the Act, Movin' On, Hot On The Tracks) are considered the peak of their harder funk perioid. After those recordings the group started to move towards softer sound.
Band members typically alternated lead vocal duties. After Richie left to pursue a solo career, former Heatwave singer J.D. Nicholas assumed co-lead vocal duties with drummer Walter Orange. However, with the exception of the Grammy-winning "Nightshift" (a tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson) the band never achieved the same level of success it had enjoyed with Richie. Ironically, "Nightshift" won The Commodores their only Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.
Over time, the group's founding members began leaving. McClary left in 1982 (shortly after Richie left) to pursue a solo career and to develop a gospel music company. Ronald LaPread left in 1986 and moved to New Zealand, and Milan Williams exited the band in 1989. The group also gradually abandoned its funk roots and moved into the more commercial pop arena.
In 1985, the group performed two commercials for NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta, Georgia. The group left Motown in 1986 for Polydor, and released several additional albums, which are primarily compilations of previous material.
Today, the Commodores consist of Orange, King, and Nicholas. They have re-recorded Commodores hits and have recorded a live album and a Christmas album.