20th Century Masters - The DVD Collection: The Best of the Commodores

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The Commodores title in Universal's collection of DVD compilations issued as part of its 20th Century Masters discount-priced best-of series is, like the others, a set of five music videos by the group. The Commodores' heyday in the second half of the 1970s just pre-dated the music-video era, and these short films come from the '80s, which puts the "best-of" moniker in jeopardy. "Lady (You Bring Me Up)" from 1981, and the post-Lionel Richie come-back single "Nightshift" from 1985 were big hits for the group, and "Goin' to the Bank" scored high on the R&B charts in 1986. But "Take It From Me" barely grazed the R&B Top 40, and "Saturday Night" was a 1981 LP track from In the Pocket. The videos fall into two categories. There are the ones for "Lady (You Bring Me Up)" and "Saturday Night," featuring the six-member group with Richie and shot on film in 1981, and there are the three others, shot on videotape in the mid-'80s. The two- '81 videos are playful efforts: "Lady" finding the group cavorting on a soccer field with a bunch of models, "Saturday Night" gathering them around a piano with the same models eventually arriving. "Nightshift," a tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, is the slickest of the later videos, although it's just a performance piece, and "Goin' to the Bank" is an attack on money-obsessed females and the most humorous cut here. Of course, this brief collection does not contain the best of the Commodores, but it may be all the videos the label has access to.

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