Saturday, November 12, 1983

Lionel Richie hit #1 with “All Night Long”

All Night Long (All Night)

Lionel Richie

Writer(s): Lionel Richie (see lyrics here)

Released: August 31, 1983

First Charted: September 16, 1983

Peak: 14 US, 13 CB, 14 GR, 13 RR, 14 AC, 17 RB, 2 UK, 13 CN, 16 AU, 4 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK, 1.6 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 80.43 video, 275.60 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

After a hit-laden career with the Commodores and the monstrous success of “Endless Love,” his #1 duet with Diana Ross, Lionel Richie released his first solo album in 1982. The album generated three top 10 hits, including the #1 song “Truly,” but it was merely a precursor to the even bigger smash that was to come with his 1983 album, Can’t Slow Down.

That album produced five top-10 hits, the biggest of which was the #1 lead single “All Night Long (All Night).” The song “was a joyous celebration with Caribbean influences and lots of partying.” FB The multi-cultural vibe for the song was inspired by his vacations in the Caribbean and his observation of calypso dancing. SF As he told Motown when he wanted to release the song, “This is the rhythm that the whole world dances to on vacation.” SF

Regarding the lyrics “Tom bo li de say de moi ya” and “jambo jumbo,” Richie said he tried to get his wife’s Jamaican gynecologist to help with pronunciations. FB He also called a friend at the United Nations for some African phrases, but was told there were 101 African dialects and could take a few weeks just to come up with a few words. In the end, Richie said the words were gibberish, NYP a “wonderful joke,” written when he ran out of time to hire a translator to come up with the foreign-language lyrics he wanted for the song. WK

In early 1984, Richie performed the song for 2.6 billion people in 120 countries at the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles with 200 breakdancers and athletes from all over the world. FB


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First posted 11/26/2020; last updated 12/6/2022.

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