Easy (Commodores song)
|Single by Commodores|
|from the album Commodores|
|Released||March 18, 1977|
|Length||4:15 (edit version)
4:48 (album version)
|Producer(s)||James Anthony Carmichael, Commodores|
|Commodores singles chronology|
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.
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.
Released in March 1977, "Easy" reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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.
|U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||4|
|UK Singles Chart||9|
"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.
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.
In 2004, guitarist Eric Essix covered the song on his album Somewhere in Alabama.
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.
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.
Faith No More cover
Faith No More recorded a cover of "Easy" originally as a B-side during the studio sessions for Angel Dust, following its repeated performance during live shows, but was released as the final single to the album in late 1992/early 1993. The song was originally played to replace their cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", so the band would break from the typical rock band mould.
It is their highest-charting UK hit, reaching #3, their second number one single on the Australian charts and their final charting single in the American chart Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #58. It was originally issued on December 29, 1992, on the double A-side single with "Be Aggressive", listed as "I'm Easy", in Europe and over three months later in America on the Songs to Make Love To EP, it was later included on the European version of their album Angel Dust. Other appearances include a 2006 commercial for Levi's Jeans and as the theme tune for the TV programme Goals on Sunday. The biggest difference from the original is that Faith No More left out the second verse.
The song was released under three titles: "I'm Easy", "I'm Easy (Cooler Version)", and "Easy". The title varies depending upon the region of release or whether it was the single or part of the album Angel Dust. As a single, in most countries apart from the United States, Australia and Japan, releases had the title "I'm Easy". In the aforementioned countries, the title was simply "Easy" with the German special edition using "I'm Easy Cooler Version". There are at least two different mixes in circulation, all of which originate from the same studio recording of the song. The first mix has a voice-over by Mike Patton during the first few seconds of the song: "Turn the lights out, baby. This one's for the ladies in the house". It also has fewer guitar overdubs, a slightly different bass line before the guitar solo, and more reverb on the entire track. The second version, sometimes listed as the "Cooler Version" as titled on the German special edition of the single, lacks this voice-over but features a background string-synth arrangement throughout the song as well as the "missing" guitar parts not found in the other mix.