Commodores - Nightshift (1985)
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“Nightshift” is a 1985 song by the Commodores and the title track from their eleventh album of the same name. The ...
“Nightshift” is a 1985 song by the Commodores and the title track from their eleventh album of the same name. The song was written by lead singer Walter Orange in collaboration with Dennis Lambert and Franne Golde, as a loving tribute to soul/R&B singers Jackie Wilson and Marvin Gaye, both of whom died in 1984. The song was released as the album’s first single on January 31, 1985 by Motown Records in the United States.
The verse on Marvin Gaye mentions his song “What’s Going On”, while the verse on Jackie Wilson mentions his songs “Baby Workout” and “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher”.
The song was originally recorded in 1984, and became the first hit attained by the Commodores after Lionel Richie’s departure from the group. It was also their biggest hit after Richie’s departure, peaking at number three for the week of April 20 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart, and rising to number one on the Hot Black Singles chart; the single also became a success on the Adult Contemporary and the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales charts in the first half of that year.
Although the band was against the label’s decision to release it as a single, it won a Grammy Award in 1985 for Best Vocal R&B Performance by a Duo/Group. The song features a lead vocal from drummer Walter Orange, who had sung lead years earlier on “Brick House”. Lionel Richie’s replacement, J.D. Nicholas, sings the second verse and then Orange and Nicholas share lead vocals on the remaining choruses.