Machine Gun (Commodores album)
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|Studio album by|
|Released||July 22, 1974|
|Recorded||1972–74 at Motown Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA|
|Producer||James Anthony Carmichael, Commodores, Jeffrey Bowen, George Tobin, Gloria Jones, Pam Sawyer, Clayton Ivey, Terry Woodford|
|Christgau's Record Guide||B+|
Machine Gun is the debut studio album by Commodores, released on July 22, 1974, on Motown Records. Unlike subsequent Commodores albums, Machine Gun has only funk music and is devoid of slow-paced ballads.
The titular lead song has Milan Williams on clavinet, which led the Motown executive Berry Gordy to name the song "Machine Gun" as the clavinet work reminded him of gunfire. This track peaked at number 7 on the R&B charts, while reaching number 22 on the overall pop charts. Samples from the song were used prominently by the Beastie Boys in their 1989 song "Hey Ladies," and the song itself was featured on the soundtrack for the 1997 film Boogie Nights. In the late 1970s, the track was used as the theme to UK Sunday-morning-filler show about health How To Stay Alive, presented by Colin Welland, and in early 1980s the tune was also used as the opening theme of the New Zealand music show Ready to Roll.
The second single to be released, "I Feel Sanctified", reached number 12 on the R&B charts, and concerns a man spiritually blessed by his girlfriend's love. The song has Ronald LaPread on bass guitar, while Lionel Richie and William King contributed horn arrangements. The tune has an a cappella introduction with three-way harmonization.
"The Bump" became a radio and dancehall staple, with Richie and Walter Orange on vocals calling to female listeners to "...do the bump, do the bump, baby!"
"The Assembly Line" and "The Zoo (The Human Zoo)" are both socially charged songs concerning the challenges faced by those who try to make a difference in society. "The Zoo" has an introduction with Williams playing a melody which resembles circus music.
The remaining songs are also funk tunes. On "Superman", Richie sings from the point of view of the superhero himself.
|1.||"Machine Gun" (instrumental)||Milan Williams||2:43|
|2.||"Young Girls are My Weakness"||William King & Ronald LaPread||2:42|
|3.||"I Feel Sanctified"||Lionel Richie, Jeffrey Bowen, Ronald LaPread, Walter Orange, Milan Williams & Thomas McClary||3:30|
|4.||"The Bump"||Milan Williams||4:11|
|5.||"Rapid Fire" (instrumental)||Milan Williams||3:08|
|1.||"The Assembly Line"||Gloria Jones & Pam Sawyer||5:10|
|2.||"The Zoo (The Human Zoo)"||Gloria Jones & Pam Sawyer||3:16|
|3.||"Gonna Blow Your Mind"||Thomas McClary, Walter Orange & Milan Williams||6:09|
|4.||"There's a Song In My Heart"||Lionel Richie||2:38|
- Lionel Richie – vocals, saxophone, keyboards
- Thomas McClary – vocals, guitar
- Milan Williams – guitar, keyboards
- Ronald LaPread – bass guitar
- William King – trumpet, percussion
- Walter Orange – drums, vocals, percussion
- Producers – James Anthony Carmichael (Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 & 10); Commodores (Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 & 10); Jeffrey Bowen and George Tobin (Track 3); Gloria Jones and Pam Sawyer (Tracks 6 & 7); Clayton Ivey and Tom Woodford (Track 9).
- Arrangements – James Anthony Carmichael (Tracks 1-5, 8 & 10); Commodores (Tracks 1, 2, 4-8 & 10); George Tobin (Track 3); Gloria Jones (Tracks 6 & 7); Clayton Ivey and Tom Woodford (Track 9).
- Horn arrangements on Track 3 – James Anthony Carmichael
- Effects – Cal Harris
- Photography – Jim Britt
|"I Feel Sanctified"||75||12||—|
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: C". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 23, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- "Ready to Roll". NZ On Screen. NZ On Air. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
- "Commodores – Machine Gun". Discogs. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "The Commodores US albums chart history". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "The Commodores US singles chart history". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Commodores-Machine Gun at Discogs