The Commodores' Lionel Richie was taken aback by the initial resistance of pop radio to "Just to Be Close to You." He decided to write a song that would be a hit on the R&B, pop, adult contemporary, and country charts. At first, it might seem odd that a band who first had hits with burning funk sides such as "Machine Gun," "I Feel Sanctified," and "Slippery When Wet" would record a country-ish ballad like "Easy." Then again, the band did hail from Tuskegee, AL. Co-produced by arranger James Anthony Carmichael and the Commodores, "Easy" went to number one R&B and number four pop in the summer of 1977. The Commodores LP held the R&B top spot for eight weeks, going to number three pop, and included the Top Five R&B/pop single "Brick House" and the radio-aired, airy ballad "Zoom." "Easy" did become a country hit through covers done by Barry Kaye, Bobby Hood, Jimmie Rodgers & Michelle, and John Wesley Ryles.