1986 Lionel Richie – Dancing On The Ceiling

Dancing on the Ceiling is Lionel Richie’s third solo album, recorded beginning in 1985 and released in mid-1986. The album was originally to be titled Say You, Say Me, after the Academy Award-winning track of the same name, but it was renamed after Richie rewrote the album. The album was released to generally positive reviews and warm sales, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 and moving 4 million copies. Following the album’s release Richie went on a long hiatus, releasing his first album of entirely new material ten years later.

Lionel Richie had risen to prominence as a member of the Commodores during the late 1970s, but after tensions arose in the band he left in 1981. His first two solo albums, Lionel Richie (1982) and Can’t Slow Down (1983), were runaway successes: Lionel Richie moved 4 million units, while Can’t Slow Down sold 10 million copies and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Dancing on the Ceiling was his third solo album.

Recording of the songs later used on Dancing on the Ceiling began in 1985. The track “Say You, Say Me” was used in that year’s White Nights, for which it had won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Work on the album was done while Richie was finalizing his work with “We Are the World”.

During early production, the album was intended to be titled Say You, Say Me and released in December 1985. However, Richie found that he did not “want to do those songs” owing to the social conditions he saw, and as such he began rewriting it “to express what [he] felt the world was boxing itself into”. Ultimately, the album’s title was changed to Dancing on the Ceiling, as the titular song was Richie’s next single. Recording for the album took over a year and a half, and Richie later stated that he tried to include a mixture of sounds.

Tracks

1 Dancing On The Ceiling (Lionel Richie) 4:35
2 Sela (Greg Phillinganes, Lionel Richie) 5:56
3 Ballerina Girl (Lionel Richie) 3:39
4 Don’t Stop (John Barnes, Lionel Richie) 8:10
5 Deep River Woman (John Barnes, Lionel Richie) 4:38
6 Love Will Conquer All (Cynthia Weil, Greg Phillinganes, Lionel Richie) 5:45
7 Tonight Will Be Alright (Lionel Richie) 5:09
8 Say You, Say Me (Lionel Richie) 4:05
9 Night Train (Smooth Alligator) (Jeffrey Cohen, Narada Michael Walden, Preston Glass, Walter Afanasieff) 4:57

Musicians

1 Dancing On The Ceiling

BassNeil Stubenhaus
DrumsJR Robinson
GuitarCarlos Rios
PianoJohn Barnes
SynthesizerCarlos Rios
SynthesizerMichael Boddicker


2 Sela

BassNathan East
DrumsPaul Leim
GuitarCarlos Rios
KeyboardsMichael Boddicker
SynthesizerGreg Phillinganes
PercussionPaulinho Da Costa


3 Ballerina Girl

BassNathan East
DrumsPaul Leim
GuitarTim May
KeyboardsMike Lang
KeyboardsNeil Larsen
SynthesizerMichael Boddicker


4 Don’t Stop

GuitarCharles Fearing
SynthesizerJohn Barnes
PercussionPaulinho Da Costa
PercussionSheila Escovedo


5 Deep River Woman

BassJoe Chemay
DrumsPaul Leim
GuitarTim May
GuitarLouie Shelton
KeyboardsGreg Phillinganes
KeyboardsMichael Boddicker


6 Love Will Conquer All

BassNathan East
DrumsPaul Leim
GuitarDavid Cochrane
KeyboardsLionel Richie
SynthesizerGreg Phillinganes
SynthesizerMichael Boddicker
PercussionPaulinho Da Costa


7 Tonight Will Be Alright

BassJoe Chemay
DrumsPaul Leim
GuitarCarlos Rios
GuitarTim May
Guitar (solo)Eric Clapton
KeyboardsGreg Phillinganes
KeyboardsLionel Richie
SynthesizerMichael Boddicker
PercussionPaulinho Da Costa


8 Say You, Say Me

BassAbe Laboriel
DrumsJR Robinson
DrumsPaul Leim
GuitarSteve Lukather
GuitarTim May
Acoustic GuitarCarlos Rios
KeyboardsGreg Phillinganes
KeyboardsLionel Richie
SynthesizerMichael Boddicker
SynthesizerGreg Phillinganes
PercussionPaulinho Da Costa

Other Musicians

Background VocalsMaxine Anderson
Background VocalsBillie Barnum
Background VocalsKitty Beethoven
Background VocalsJames Anthony Carmichael
Background VocalsMelinda Chatman
Background VocalsJeff Cook
Background VocalsKevin Dorsey
Background VocalsTeddy Gentry
Background VocalsJennifer Hall
Background VocalsWayne Hargrave
Background VocalsRichard Marx
Background VocalsJulia Tillman Waters
Background VocalsCarmen Twillie

Liner Notes

Producer – James Anthony Carmichael, Lionel Richie
Producer – Narada Michael Walden (Track 9)
Arranged By (Background, Rhythm, Vocals) – Lionel Richie (Tracks 1, 5)
Arranged By (Choir, Rhythm, Vocals) – Lionel Richie (Track 2)
Arranged By (Rhythm, Vocals) – Lionel Richie (Tracks 3, 7, 8)
Arranged By (Background, Vocals) – Lionel Richie (Track 4)
Arranged By (Horns) – James Anthony Carmichael (Track 1, 7)
Arranged By (Rhythm) – Carlos Rios (Track 1)
Arranged By (Rhythm) – James Anthony Carmichael (Tracks 1, 2, 6, 7)
Arranged By (Rhythm, Strings) – James Anthony Carmichael (Tracks 3, 5)
Arranged By (Rhythm) – Greg Phillinganes (Track 6)
Arranged By (Rhythm) – Lionel Richie (Track 6)
Arranged By (Rhythm, String) – James Anthony Carmichael (Track 8)

Art Direction – Johnny Lee
Photography By – Aaron Rapoport

Phonographic Copyright (p) – Motown Record Corporation
Copyright (c) – Motown Record Corporation