Easy (Commodores song)

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"Easy"
Easy by Commodores 1977 US vinyl A-side.jpg
A-side label of 1977 U.S. vinyl single
Single by Commodores
from the album Commodores
B-side"Can't Let You Tease Me"
ReleasedMarch 18, 1977 (1977-03-18)
Format45 rpm record
Recorded1977
GenreSoul
Length4:14
LabelMotown
Songwriter(s)Lionel Richie
Producer(s)
  • James Anthony Carmichael
  • Commodores[1]
Commodores singles chronology
"Fancy Dancer"
(1977)
"Easy"
(1977)
"Brick House"
(1977)

"Easy" is a song by Commodores for the Motown label, from their fifth studio album, Commodores. Group member Lionel 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 two weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart (now known as the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart) and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976.[2]

Released in March 1977, "Easy" reached number one on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart and number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The success of "Easy" paved the way for similar Lionel Richie-composed hit ballads such as "Three Times a Lady" and "Still", and also for Richie's later solo hits.

American rock band Faith No More covered the song in 1992 and released it as a single in December of that year. This version became a worldwide hit, reaching number one in Australia and becoming a top-ten hit in eight other countries. It was less successful than the original version on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 58.

Content[edit]

Written by Commodores lead singer Lionel Richie, the song is a slow ballad expressing a man's feelings as a relationship ends. Rather than being depressed about the break-up, he states that he is instead "easy like Sunday morning"—something that Richie described as evocative of "small Southern towns that die at 11:30pm" on a Saturday night, such as his own Tuskegee, Alabama.[3] The song is noted for its feedback noise, heard in the Bridge section, as well as an electric guitar solo. The song goes up half a step from A-Flat to A which repeats the refrain as the song fades out.

The re-recorded version is on Lionel Richie's album Tuskegee which features country legend Willie Nelson.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Faith No More version[edit]

"Easy"
Faith No More – Easy.jpg
Single by Faith No More
from the album Angel Dust
A-side"Be Aggressive" (UK and Ireland)
Released
  • December 29, 1992 (1992-12-29) (Europe)
  • April 4, 1993 (US)
Genre
Length3:08
LabelSlash
Songwriter(s)Lionel Richie
Producer(s)
Faith No More singles chronology
"Everything's Ruined"
(1992)
"Easy"
(1992)
"Another Body Murdered"
(1994)
Alternative cover
"I'm Easy/Be Aggressive" cover
"I'm Easy/Be Aggressive" cover

American rock band Faith No More recorded a cover of "Easy" (renamed "I'm Easy" in Europe) during the studio sessions for Angel Dust,[17] following its repeated performance during live shows but was released as the final single to the album in late 1992. The cover, which omits the second verse of the original, was originally played to replace their cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", so the band would break from the typical rock band mold and to spite the heavy metal fans who attended Faith No More's concerts expecting "War Pigs". Bassist Billy Gould said the version was a straightforward cover because "we like ["Easy"] in a painful kind of way. It gives us memories of our childhood".[18][19] When asked about the cover, Lionel Richie replied that "I was actually quite flattered about the song. Yes, I loved it!"[20]

"Easy" was originally issued on December 29, 1992, as a double A-side single with "Be Aggressive", listed as "I'm Easy" in Europe. The double A-side peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band's highest-charting UK hit, and number five on the Irish Singles Chart. "Easy" also reached number one in Australia for two weeks in May 1993 and peaked within the top five on the charts of Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Ireland and Norway. In the Unites States, the song was Faith No More's last single to appear on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 58 in April 1993. It was later included on the European version of their album Angel Dust.

Version differences[edit]

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.

The first version was featured on all London Records releases of the single and Angel Dust apart from the German special edition:

  • "I'm Easy/Be Aggressive"
  • "Easy" (Japanese release)
  • Angel Dust (Japanese, European, Brazilian and Australian [London Records version] releases)

And the second version, known as the "cooler version", was featured on the Slash and Slash/Liberation releases of the single, on Angel Dust and on retrospective compilations release by Slash, London Records, Rhino and Liberation:

Track listings[edit]

Songs to Make Love To[edit]

The Songs to Make Love To release, which was titled "Easy" on some pressings, was the American and Canadian release of the single. Its track list, which was almost identical to the German "I'm Easy" – special edition version which replaces track three with the re-recording of "As the Worm Turns" and is similar to the standard edition versions of "I'm Easy" which had the Revolution 23 Full Moon mix of "A Small Victory" as its third and last track, is as follows:[21]

  1. "Easy" – 3:10
  2. "Das Schutzenfest" – 3:00
  3. "Midnight Cowboy" (John Barry) – 4:15
  4. "Let's Lynch the Landlord" (Jello Biafra) – 2:56

I'm Easy/Be Aggressive[edit]

The double A-side release, "I'm Easy/Be Aggressive", features "Easy" and "Be Aggressive" as its first two tracks in addition to two live tracks, with the exception of one fully live version which is identical to the Free Concert in the Park bonus disc and a two-track French version. The standard track list is as follows:[21]

  1. "I'm Easy" – 3:06
  2. "Be Aggressive" – 3:40
  3. "A Small Victory" (Live †) – 4:49
  4. "We Care a Lot" (Live †) – 4:02
  5. "Mark Bowen" (Live †) – 3:15

Japanese version[edit]

The Japanese version was released separately as a seven-track EP under the name of "Easy" with the "I'm Easy/Be Aggressive" cover image along with six live tracks that also featured on other versions of the single; its track list was as follows:[21]

  1. "Easy"
  2. "Easy" (Live †)
  3. "Be Aggressive" (Live †)
  4. "Land of Sunshine" (Live ‡)
  5. "RV" (Live ‡)
  6. "Kindergarten" (Live †)
  7. "A Small Victory" (Live †)

Live in Munich, Germany on November 9, 1992
Live in Dekalb, Illinois, September 20, 1992

Charts and certifications[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Faith No More's version appeared in a 2006 commercial for Levi's Jeans and is the theme tune for the TV program Goals on Sunday.

Sky Ferreira version[edit]

"Easy"
Song by Sky Ferreira
from the album Baby Driver (Music from the Motion Picture)
Length4:27
Label30th Century
Songwriter(s)Lionel Richie
Producer(s)Nigel Godrich

American singer and songwriter Sky Ferreira released a rendition of the song for the soundtrack of the 2017 film Baby Driver, in which she plays Baby's mother. It was produced by Nigel Godrich. To promote the track, a music video directed by the film's director, Edgar Wright, was released on September 4, 2017.[44] Days later, on September 7, 2017; the video was finally uploaded to the 30th Records's official VEVO account.[45]

Samples[edit]

"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".[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ australian-charts.com page on the Commodores version of Easy, retrieved on 24 February 2008
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 130.
  3. ^ "Tough Questions for Lionel Richie", Spin
  4. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7740." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 5411." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Commodores". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Commodores – Easy" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  8. ^ "Charts.nz – Commodores – Easy". Top 40 Singles.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  10. ^ "Commodores Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "Commodores Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  12. ^ "Commodores Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "Top 200 Singles of '77". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  14. ^ "End Of Year Charts 1977". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  15. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1977". Billboardtop100of.com. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Commodores – Easy". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 4, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Easy in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  17. ^ Jem Aswad (June 1992). "Faith No More: Angel Dust in the wind". Issue 25. Reflex Magazine. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  18. ^ "Faith No More Takes It 'Easy' On EP; Prince & NPG open tour on florida, Billboard
  19. ^ "Artists of the Year: Faith No More", Spin
  20. ^ Who Did "Easy" Better Faith No More Or Lionel Richie? - Amy Brooks
  21. ^ a b c The PDF discography from FNM.com, retrieved on February 24, 2008
  22. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Faith No More – I'm Easy". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Faith No More – I'm Easy" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  24. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1739." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  25. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  26. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 10 no. 6. February 6, 1993. p. 14. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  27. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Faith No More – I'm Easy". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  28. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (26. mars–1. apríl)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). March 25, 1993. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  29. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I'm Easy / Be Aggressive". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  30. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 9, 1993" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  31. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Faith No More – I'm Easy" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  32. ^ "Charts.nz – Faith No More – I'm Easy". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  33. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Faith No More – I'm Easy". VG-lista. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  34. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Faith No More – I'm Easy". Singles Top 100. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  35. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Faith No More – I'm Easy". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  36. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  37. ^ "Faith No More Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  38. ^ a b "1993 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  39. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1993" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  40. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 1993" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  41. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1993" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  42. ^ "End of Year Charts 1993". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  43. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1993" (in German). Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  44. ^ David Renshaw (September 4, 2017). "Watch Sky Ferreira's "Easy" Video". The Fader.
  45. ^ Mike Nied (September 8, 2017). "Better Than Nothing: Sky Ferreira's Cover Of "Easy" Is Now On YouTube". Idolator.

External links[edit]