Song of the Day #4,281: ‘Running With the Night’ – Lionel Richie

This is surely the first and only list on which I’ll ever have a Lionel Richie album ahead of a Bob Dylan album, but I can’t deny the consistent excellence of Richie’s Can’t Slow Down, my #10 album of 1983.

Can’t Slow Down enjoyed considerable critical and commercial success, and even bested Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. and Prince’s Purple Rain for the Album of the Year Grammy. I can’t say I agree with that particular outcome, but it’s certainly a notch in this album’s belt.

Can’t Slow Down features a slew of hits, from the upbeat ‘All Night Long (All Night)’ and ‘Running With the Night’ to ballads ‘Penny Lover,’ ‘Stuck On You’ and ‘Hello.’ Every one of those singles reached Billboard’s Top Ten, and two (‘All Night Long (All Night)’ and ‘Hello’) reached the top spot.

The title track opens Can’t Slow Down with a dash of Thriller-inspired funk, and indeed this album was referred to as Lionel Richie’s Thriller. It didn’t quite reach those heights (nothing did, after all) but it is a more than worthy addition to the funk-pop canon.

[Verse 1]
The heart of the city street was beating
Light from the neons turned the dark to day
We were too hot to think of sleeping
We had to get out before the magic got away

[Chorus]
We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I, ’til the morning light
We were running, running with the night

[Verse 2]
You were looking so good girl, heads were turning
You and me on the town ooh, we let it all hang out
The fire was in us, we were burning
We were going to go all the way and we never had a doubt

[Chorus]
We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I, ’til the morning light
We were running, running with the night

[Bridge]
We were so in love you and me
On the boulevard wild and free
Giving all we got, we laid it down
Taking every shot, we took the town

[Chorus]
We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I, ’til the morning light
We were running, running with the night
We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I, ’til the morning light
We were running, running with the night

[Outro]
Just you and I, girl it was so right (We were running)
Girl so right (running with the night)
So right

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,281: ‘Running With the Night’ – Lionel Richie

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I just have never been a big Lionel Richie fan. I found “All Night Long” and “Hello” to be particularly annoying. “Stuck on You” is a decent ballad more reminiscent of Commodores songs of old.

  2. Amy says:

    I am beyond shocked to see a Lionel Richie song, let alone album, on any list of your favorites. While I’ve always like him well enough as a human being and been able to tolerate lots of his songs, I’ve never felt particular affection for any of his solo work. I do love some of his work with the Commodores far more, especially Sunday Morning, Still, Brick House, Easy (hell, as I’m looking for them, I realize just how much I really do love the Commodores!) Maybe you should do a week on the best of the Commodores!

    Back to Richie, I know that Daniel adores… is it “All Night Long”?? and will defend (and has defended) its musical greatness when I accuse it of being schmaltzy. Regardless, I think it’s kind of sweet you’re including him here.

    • Amy says:

      Okay… I just searched the blog, and it seems you may have never featured a single song from the Commodores. If that is actually the case, then I hereby request a Coronadore feature of some of the songs I listed above.

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