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The Clay County Advocate - Press-Flora, IL
  • The Farr Side: Album mines Lionel Richie classics

  • Lionel Richie is probably dancing on the ceiling. His latest album, “Tuskegee,” remains at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 Album’s chart for its second consecutive week.

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  • Lionel Richie is probably somewhere dancing on the ceiling.
    His latest album, “Tuskegee,” remains at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 Album’s chart for its second consecutive week.
    I have long been a huge Lionel Richie fan, so this pleases me very much. The fact an artist of his caliber can regain No. 1 status after all these years proves talent has no age limit.
    I’m also happy that a new generation of music lovers is being introduced to his awesome music, even if they’re country fans.
    “Tuskegee” features some of country music’s biggest stars joining Richie on his classic songs. It’s not as far-fetched as you might think:?Richie penned the No. 1 smash “Lady” for Kenny Rodgers. That success helped Richie to become a member of the Country Music Association in 1982.
    What I like best about this album is that it shows how timeless his songs are, which might explain why so many country stars wanted to take part.
     You can’t tell me they didn’t want to jump on this opportunity to sing some of the great songs represented here with the man himself.
    Hype surrounding this album is due in part to just who Richie invited. I do believe it’s why the album is as popular as it is. Mind you, it’s been 25 years since Richie had an album go No. 1.
    “Tuskegee” contains 13 well-known Richie classics, including “You Are “(Blake Shelton,” “Deep River Woman” (Little Big Town), “”Easy” (Willie Nelson), “Sail On” (Tim McGraw), “Stuck On You” (Darius Rucker), “Dancing On The Ceiling” (Rascal Flatts) to name a few.
    Those are some big names, but these artists were matched well with Richie to come across believable. You can tell they didn’t just record these songs to make an album; these are potential singles.
    “Sail On” is my favorite track, followed “You Are” and “Stuck On You.” I believe these guys truly get what Richie was feeling when he originally recorded those songs.  
    A few fall short, like Jason Aldean’s “Say You, Say Me.” That may be because the song was such a big hit in 1986. I’m also not sure it’s cut out for a duet.
    Richie’s biggest hit to date was “Endless Love” with Diana Ross, but here the song is performed with Shania Twain. As much as I like Twain, this song does nothing for either of them. “Endless Love” is best left as a moment for Lionel and Diana.  
    I see big things for “Tuskegee” come awards season, especially the CMAs and ACMs. You can bet those after parties will go on all night long.
    David T. Farr is a Sturgis, Mich., Journal correspondent. Email him at farrboy@hotmail.com. You can also find The Farr Side on Facebook.
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