Commodores

Just to Be Close to You

Song Review by

The Commodores' first hits were the funk workouts "Machine Gun," "I Feel Sanctified," and "Slippery When Wet." Bandmember Lionel Richie was ecstatic about the group's success, then veteran Motown staff producer Hal Davis came to him with a sobering thought, saying the only way to make money in the record business is year to year, not from a couple of hit records. The comment spurred Richie to began writing songs. His song "Sweet Love" from the Movin' On LP went to number two R&B for two weeks and number five pop in late 1975. It was a precursor for the ballad-oriented direction the band would take, which led to their biggest-selling and most enduring sides. Oddly, "Sweet Love"'s even more mellow follow-up, "Just to Be Close to You," initially met with strong resistance from pop radio stations. The previous Top Five R&B success of "Sweet Love" didn't alleviate the age-old record biz of an R&B record having to sell over 500,000 copies before being able to crossover to the pop chart. "Just to Be Close o You" stayed at number one R&B for two weeks, peaking at number seven pop in the fall of 1976. The Hot on the Tracks LP parked at number one R&B for six weeks, made it to number 12 pop, yielded the top nine R&B/Top 40 single "Fancy Dancer," and the mellow radio-aired favorites "Girl I Think the World About You" and "High on Sunshine."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Hot on the Tracks 1976 Motown 6:21
No Image 1976
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Greatest Hits 1978 Motown 3:19
No Image 1978 Motown
The Commodores Anthology 1983 Motown 6:25
Anthology [1995] 1983 Motown 3:23
All the Great Love Songs 1984 Motown 6:25
The Composer: Great Love Songs with the Commodores and Diana Ross 1985 Motown 6:23
Class Reunion: The Greatest Hits of 1976 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records
Motown Year By Year: The Sound of Young America, 1976 1995
Various Artists
Motown 3:14
Baddest Love Jams, Vol. 2: Fire & Desire 1995
Various Artists
Motown 7:09
No Image 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
The Very Best of the Commodores 1995 Polygram / Motown 3:23
The Ultimate Collection 1997 Motown 6:21
Original Players of Love 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 3:20
Soul Classics: Best of the 70's 1998
Various Artists
Rebound Records 6:21
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of the Commodores 1999 Motown 6:23
Body + Soul: Quiet Storm 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:25
The Universal Masters Collection 1999 Spectrum Music 6:23
Heart of Soul Classics 2000
Various Artists
Hip-O / Polygram 6:24
Body + Soul: Sweet Seduction 2000
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:25
Soul Classics [MCA Special Products] 2001
Various Artists
Irma La Douce 0:00
Old School Love Affair 2002
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:30
The Definitive Collection 2003 Motown / Universal Distribution / Universal International 3:35
Soul: Play That Funky Music 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:31
WDAS 105.3 FM: Classic Soul Hits, Vol. 8 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 7:09
Soul Classics, Vol. 10 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 7:09
Classic Soul Ballads: Sweet Thing [2 CD] 2004
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:23
Midnight Soul: Late Night Love 2005
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 3:36
Peabo Bryson Presents Classic Soul Ballads 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 0:00
Ultimate 16: Classic R&B 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 6:23
Gold 2006 Hip-O / Motown 6:24
Colour Collection 2006 Motown 6:23
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2007 Sound Barrier 3:26
Classic Soul Ballads [Time Life Box Set] 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:23
Valentine's #1s & Other Favorite Love Songs 2008
Various Artists
Chron Reissues 3:34
Gold 2008 Motown 6:25
Motown: The Complete #1s 2008
Various Artists
Motown 3:27
Love Songs 2009 Motown 6:24
The Definitive Collection 2009 Motown 6:21
Sweet Soul of the '70s: Just to Be Close to You 2009
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:18
Sweet Soul of the '70s [Time Life] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:18
202 Motown Songs: The Complete #1's
Various Artists
Island / Def Jam / Universal Music 3:27
No Image Navarre
No Image
Various Artists
Allegro
The Greatest Love Songs of the '70s
Various Artists
Time Life 3:27