The Commodores met as freshmen at the Tuskegee Institute (now University) in 1968, and were signed to Motown in 1972 after opening several shows for the Jacksons. Although best known now for soft ballads like "Easy" and "Three Times A Lady," the group started out in much more of a hard funk/soul vein. It was only with "Zoom," their fifth album released in 1977, that Lionel Richie took a more prominent role in writing and performance and the group began the shift to a adult contemporary, pop style. "Movin' On," the group's third album, charted at #29 on the Billboard Album chart and #7 on the R&B chart. The single "Sweet Love," a soulful, gospel-influenced number, reached #5 on the pop and #2 on the R&B charts, becoming the group's first top ten hit. The more gutsy, funky "Mary, Mary," "(Can I) Get A Witness" and "Gimme My Mule" are also strong efforts.
Album info. here: