The Backstory: The Commodores tell the story behind the smash "Nightshift"

"The Backstory" is a new SoulTracks.com feature, where soul music greats tell us the story behind some of their biggest hits

Formed by a bunch of funk-loving friends at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, The Commodores became one of the major crossover acts of the 70s and early 80s, with one monster hit after another.

"The Backstory" is a new SoulTracks.com feature, where soul music greats tell us the story behind some of their biggest hits

Formed by a bunch of funk-loving friends at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, The Commodores became one of the major crossover acts of the 70s and early 80s, with one monster hit after another.

But when lead singer Lionel Richie left the group after 1982’s In the Pocket album, The Commodores were given up for dead by much of the music world. Happily, in 1985, those critics were silenced when the group, with new singer J.D. Nicholas in tow, recorded a Franne Golde / Dennis Lambert / Walter Orange composition that became one of their biggest hits ever. "Nightshift," a musical tribute to Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye and other deceased soul greats, was a deserving smash, spending 4 weeks at the top of the charts and winning for the group a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance.

In the latest episode of “The Backstory,” Commodores members Walter Orange, J.D. Nicholas and William King give us the story behind the unexpected song that would become a soul music classic and one of the most recognized hits of the 80s.

Enjoy The Backstory behind the hit “Nightshift” and let us know what you think!

And here is the song that The Commodores took to #1 in 1985, "Nightshift"

 
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