Easy (Commodores song)

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"Easy"
Single by Commodores
from the album Commodores
Released March 18, 1977
Recorded 1977
Genre Pop, soul
Length 4:15 (edit version)
4:48 (album version)
Label Motown
Writer(s) Lionel Richie
Producer(s) James Anthony Carmichael, Commodores[1]
Commodores singles chronology
"Fancy Dancer"
(1977)
"Easy"
(1977)
"Brick House"
(1977)
Commodores track listing
"Patch It Up"
(8)
"Easy"
(9)

"Easy" is a 1977 hit single by Commodores for the Motown label, from their fifth studio album, Commodores.

Written by Commodores lead singer Lionel Richie, the song, a slow ballad with country and western roots, expresses a man's feelings as he ends a relationship. Rather than being depressed about the break-up, he states that he is instead "easy like Sunday morning"—something which Richie described as evocative of "small Southern towns that die at 11:30pm", such as his own Tuskegee, Alabama.[2]

Richie wrote "Easy" with the intention of it becoming another crossover hit for the group, given the success of a previous single, "Just to Be Close to You", which spent 2 weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart (known as the Hot Soul Singles chart at that time) and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts in 1976.[3]

Released in March 1977, "Easy" reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] The success of "Easy" paved the way for similar Richie-composed hit ballads such as "Three Times a Lady" and "Still" and also for Richie's later solo hits.

The song is noted for a feedback noise, with an echo, that is heard in the Bridge of the song. Also, an electric guitar solo dominates the instrumental portion of the song. In addition, the other Commodores are heard singing wordless harmonies during the chorus of the song.

The edited version receives the most airplay. The longer version from the album features the chorus being repeated more times, a semitone up, from A-flat major to A major, a few times before it fades out.

The song appears in the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol.

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 4
UK Singles Chart[5] 9

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
Australian Singles Chart[6] 1
Norwegian Singles Chart[7] 2
UK Singles Chart[5][8] 3
Swiss Singles Chart[9] 9
Dutch Top 40[10] 10
Irish Singles Chart[11] 10
Swedish Singles Chart[12] 11
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[13] 58

Cover versions[edit]

"Easy" has been covered by many artists, such as Clarence Carter, Grant Green, Richie Havens, John Wesley Ryles, Jimmy Lindsay, Paul Jackson, Jr., Australian Idol finalist Holly Weinert, Canadian Idol finalist Jason Greeley, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, Irish boy band Westlife, America's Got Talent runner-up Cas Haley, Boyz II Men and Faith No More, who released it as a single toward the end of 1992.

"Easy" was sampled by the Houston-based rap group Geto Boys for the song "Six Feet Deep" from their 1993 album Till Death Do Us Part. It was also used as a sample in Cam'ron's song "Hey Ma". Another cover of the song was included in a National Football League promo during the 2000s. Also in 2000, an instrumental version was released by saxophonist Warren Hill, from his album Love Life. The song features Warren's vocals.[14][15]

In 2002, noted vocalist Paul Young did a cover of "Easy" which was the last track on the The Mail on Sunday CD called "Easy Like Sunday Morning", which was given away free.[16]

In 2004, guitarist Eric Essix covered the song on his album Somewhere in Alabama.[17]

In 2010, the band Captain Zig covered the song as the final track on their album Music Is Math. Lead vocal duties were shared by guitarist Bill Haberer, bassist Keith McCrary, and drummer Chris Condel who each sang a verse. The track also featured Tom Borthwick on piano.[18]

Brazilian pop star Ivete Sangalo recorded a cover of "Easy". The live album was recorded during a single concert performed on September 4, 2010 and released on December 7, 2010 the live album of Multishow ao Vivo: Ivete Sangalo no Madison Square Garden.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ australian-charts.com page on the Commodores version of Easy, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  2. ^ "Tough Questions for Lionel Richie", Spin
  3. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 130. 
  4. ^ billboard.com page on the Commodores "Easy", retrieved on 24 February 2008
  5. ^ a b everyhit.co.uk, an archive containing all UK top 40 charts, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  6. ^ australian-charts.com Australian charts page for Faith No More, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  7. ^ norwegiancharts.com, Norwegian charts page for Faith No More, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  8. ^ chartstats.com page on FNM, retrieved on 27 January 2008
  9. ^ hitparade.ch, Swiss charts page for Faith No More, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  10. ^ dutchcharts.nl, Dutch charts page for 'Faith No More, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  11. ^ irishcharts.ie, Irish charts page for 'Faith No More, retrieved on 28 May 2008
  12. ^ swedishcharts.com, Swedish charts page for Faith No More, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  13. ^ Billboard.com chart history for Faith No More, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  14. ^ "Love Life overview". Allmusic.com. 
  15. ^ "Love Life". Narada.com. 
  16. ^ "The Mail on Sunday". 
  17. ^ "Somewhere in Alabama overview". Allmusic.com. 
  18. ^ "Captain Zig 'Music is Math' at Amazon.com". Amazon.com. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Best of My Love" by The Emotions
Billboard's Hot Soul Singles number one single
(The Commodores version)

July 16, 1977
Succeeded by
"Best of My Love" by The Emotions
Preceded by
"Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
(Faith No More version)

May 15–22, 1993
Succeeded by
"That's the Way Love Goes" by Janet Jackson