Can't Slow Down (Lionel Richie album)

Can't Slow Down
Studio album by Lionel Richie
Released October 11, 1983
Recorded March–September 1983
Genre Dance-pop,[1] R&B, pop[2]
Length 40:56
Label Motown
Producer James Anthony Carmichael, Lionel Richie, David Foster
Lionel Richie chronology
Lionel Richie
Can't Slow Down
Dancing on the Ceiling
Singles from Can't Slow Down
  1. "All Night Long (All Night)"
    Released: August 31, 1983
  2. "Running with the Night"
    Released: November 1983
  3. "Hello"
    Released: February 13, 1984
  4. "Stuck on You"
    Released: May 1, 1984
  5. "Penny Lover"
    Released: September 30, 1984

Can't Slow Down is the second solo studio album by American recording artist Lionel Richie. It was released on October 11, 1983 by Motown Records.

Critical reception

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a "B+" and called it a "surprisingly solid" improvement, particularly with respect to Richie's ballad singing. He felt that its "jumpy international dance-pop" suits Richie more than the Commodores' funk had and predicted that, considering his "well-established appeal to white people," Can't Slow Down has the potential to become a "mini-Thriller".[1] Don Shewey of Rolling Stone magazine gave the album four out of five stars and said that, although the ballads are monotonous, Richie successfully broadens his music for different listeners and draws on contemporary artists such as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson: "if you can't innovate, imitate. And the more honest they are about their sources, the better."[3]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave it four-and-a-half out of five stars and wrote that Richie took a conservative, melodic hook-based approach on an album whose hits showed him at his best and whose only weakness was a short running time.[4] In 1999, Q magazine included Can't Slow Down on its list of the best Motown records of all time and stated, "Production values are high, his songwriting craft is at its peak and at least one track - the global smash 'All Night Long' - is an anthem to good times that makes the heart sing and feet twitch".[5]

Commercial performance

The album reached #1 on the Billboard album chart.[6] It also spent 59 consecutive weeks inside the Top 10 (including the entire year of 1984) and a total of 160 weeks (over three years) on the Billboard 200. After being the third best-selling album of 1984, it went on to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1985, beating out such heavyweight contenders as Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen and Purple Rain by Prince. By 1986 the album had sold 15 million copies,[7] eventually selling over 20 million.[8]

Can't Slow Down achieved the feat of having every single released hit the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Two songs, "Hello" and "All Night Long (All Night)", both went to #1. Other hits include "Stuck on You" (US #3), "Running With the Night" (US #7), and "Penny Lover" (US #8). The ballad "The Only One" was a significant song from the album which was never released as a single, yet remains a popular staple of Richie's live performances.

The single "Stuck on You" also reached #24 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart (now Hot Country Songs).

20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

On May 6, 2003, a 2-CD Deluxe Edition of the album was released in conjunction of the 20th anniversary of the album's original release date. This version included several mixes originally included on various singles from the album at the end of the first CD, including instrumental versions of the 12-inch extended mixes of "All Night Long (All Night)" and "Running with the Night". Disc 2 showcased demo or alternate versions of all tracks from the original album, plus additional unfinished songs from the same sessions, all previously unreleased.

Track listing

Original album (1983)
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Can't Slow Down"  Lionel Richie, David Cochrane 4:43
2. "All Night Long (All Night)"  Richie 6:25
3. "Penny Lover"  Richie, Brenda Harvey-Richie 5:34
4. "Stuck on You"  Richie 3:13
5. "Love Will Find A Way"  Richie, Greg Phillinganes 6:16
6. "The Only One"  Richie, David Foster 4:21
7. "Running with the Night"  Richie, Cynthia Weil 6:01
8. "Hello"  Richie 4:14
20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks (2003)
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
9. "All Night Long (All Night)" (12" version)Richie 6:42
10. "Penny Lover" (7" single remix)Richie, Harvey-Richie 3:48
11. "All Night Long (All Night)" (12" B-side instrumental version)Richie 6:43
12. "Running with the Night" (12" B-side instrumental version)Richie, Weil 6:57
20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition CD2 (2003)
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Can't Slow Down" (Alternate version)Richie, David Cochrane 4:55
2. "Ain't No Sayin' No" (Unfinished demo)Richie, Phillinganes 4:57
3. "Tell Me" (Unfinished demo)Richie, Foster 4:57
4. "All Night Long (All Night)" (Original demo version)Richie 7:20
5. "Penny Lover" (Alternate version)Richie, Harvey-Richie 6:24
6. "Stuck on You" (Original demo version)Richie 3:00
7. "Can't Find Love" (Unfinished demo)Richie 5:50
8. "Love Will Find a Way" (Original demo version)Richie, Phillinganes 6:35
9. "The Only One" (Original demo version)Richie, Foster 4:28
10. "The Groove" (Instrumental interlude)Richie 1:15
11. "Running with the Night" (Undubbed version)Richie, Weil 6:14
12. "Hello" (Original demo version)Richie 4:26
13. "Blues" (Outro)  1:12


  • Israel Baker – concertmaster
  • Brian Banks – synthesizer programming
  • Thomas Dolby - synthesizers and Fairlight CMI programming
  • Harry Bluestone – concertmaster
  • Michael Boddicker – synthesizer, vocoder
  • Sonny Burke – keyboards, Fender Rhodes
  • Diane Burt – background vocals, chant
  • James Anthony Carmichael – arranger, background vocals, producer, chant
  • Jim Cassell – engineer
  • Melinda Chatman – sound effects, vocals
  • Joe Chemay – bass guitar
  • Terry Christian – engineer
  • Jane Clark – engineer
  • David Cochrane – synthesizer, guitar, arranger, background vocals, chant, vocoder, synthesizer bass, synthesizer programming
  • Steve Crimmel – engineer
  • David Kraai - technical support
  • Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
  • Nathan East – bass guitar
  • David Egerton – engineer
  • Mark Ettel – engineer
  • Larry Ferguson – engineer
  • David Foster – synth bass, keyboards, producer
  • Humberto Gatica – engineer, mixing
  • Dr. Lloyd Byro Greig – background vocals, chant
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering
  • Calvin Harris – background vocals, engineer, chant, mixing
  • Brenda Harvey Richie – background vocals, chant, production assistant
  • Jeanette Hawes – background vocals, chant

  • John Hobbs – acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes
  • Mitch Holder – guitar
  • Janice Marie Johnson – background vocals, chant
  • Darryl Jones – guitar
  • Abraham Laboriel – bass guitar
  • Fred Law – mixing
  • Paul Leim – drums
  • Steve Lukather – guitar
  • Anthony Marinelli – synthesizer programming
  • Richard Marx – background vocals, chant
  • Tim May – acoustic guitar
  • Greg Phillinganes – synthesizer, background vocals
  • Jeff Porcaro – drums
  • Deborah Joyce Richie – background vocals, chant
  • Lionel Richie – arranger, keyboards, lead vocals, background vocals, producer, chant
  • Carlos Rios – guitar
  • John "J.R." Robinson – drums
  • Louie Shelton – guitar
  • Karen Siegel – mixing
  • Suzanne Stanford – background vocals, chant
  • Fred Tackett – acoustic guitar
  • Deborah Thomas – background vocals, chant
  • Kin Vassy – background vocals
  • Jerry Hey - trumpet, horn arrangement
  • Chuck Findley - trumpet
  • Gary Grant - trumpet
  • Bill Reichenbach - trombone
  • Charlie Loper - trombone

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (1983-84) Peak
Australian Albums Chart 1
Austrian Albums Chart[9] 17
Dutch Albums Chart[10] 1
German Albums Chart 2
Media Control Charts 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[11] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[12] 3
Swedish Albums Chart[13] 2
Swiss Albums Chart[14] 3
UK Albums Chart[15] 1
US Billboard 200[16] 1
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[17] 1
US Billboard Top Country Albums[18] 55


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[19] Diamond 1,000,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[20] Platinum 50,608[20]
France (SNEP)[21] Gold 357,000[22]
Germany (BVMI)[23] Gold 250,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[24] Platinum 20,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] 3× Platinum 900,000^
United States (RIAA)[26] Diamond 10,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also


  1. 1 2 Christgau, Robert (December 27, 1983). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  2. "Soul Retrospective: Lionel Richie 'Can't Slow Down' - Soul Train". Soul Train.
  3. "Lionel Richie". Archived from the original on 2 November 2007.
  4. Allmusic review
  5. "Best Motown Records of All Time". Q. London: 161. October 1999.
  6. Album chart positions from Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  7. Schreiberg, Stu (1986-01-12). "Richie's record rise". The Santa Fe New Mexican. p. 55. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  8. "Atlanta Magazine Vol. 47, No. 3". Emmis Communications. July 2007. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  9. "Lionel Richie - Can't Slow Down". Austrian Album Charts. Hung Medien.
  10. "Dutch Albums Chart - November 5, 1983".
  11. "Lionel Richie - Can't Slow Down - New Zealand Charts".
  12. "Lionel Richie - Can't Slow Down - Norwegian Charts".
  13. "Lionel Richie - Can't Slow Down - Swedish Charts".
  14. "SwIss Albums Chart - June 3, 1984".
  15. "UK Albums Chart - November 6, 1984".
  16. "Billboard 200 December 3, 1984". Billboard.
  17. "Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums January 5, 1985". Billboard.
  18. "Top Country Albums September 1, 1984" (PDF). Billboard.
  19. "Canadian album certifications – Lionel Richie – Can't Slow Down". Music Canada.
  20. 1 2 "Lionel Richie" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  21. "French album certifications – Lionel Richie – Can't Slow Down" (in French). InfoDisc. Select LIONEL RICHIE and click OK
  22. "Les Albums Or :" (in French). Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  23. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Lionel Richie; 'Can't Slow Down')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  24. "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1985". IFPI Hong Kong.
  25. "British album certifications – Lionel Richie – Can't Slow Down". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Can't Slow Down in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  26. "American album certifications – Lionel Richie – Can't Slow Down". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
Metal Health by Quiet Riot
Billboard 200 number-one album
December 3–23, 1983
Succeeded by
Thriller by Michael Jackson
Preceded by
Colour by Numbers by Culture Club
Human's Lib by Howard Jones
UK number one album
November 12, 1983 – November 18, 1983
March 31, 1984 – April 13, 1984
Succeeded by
Colour by Numbers by Culture Club
Now That's What I Call Music II by Various Artists
Preceded by
Throbbin' '84 by Various artists
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
June 18 – July 8, 1984
Succeeded by
Breaking Hearts by Elton John
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