“Hot On The Tracks” by Commodores (1976)
Release Date: June 1976
Produced by James Anthony Carmichael and Commodores
Genre: R&B, Soul, Funk
Chart Positions: #12 (US), #28 (Canada), #39 (New Zealand)
Singles: “Just To Be Close To You” #7 (US), #12 (Canada), #62 (UK), “Come Inside,” “Let’s Get Started,” “Fancy Dancer” #39 (US), #2 (France), #65 (Canada)
Hot on the Tracks is the fourth studio album by the Commodores, released by Motown Records in 1976. It includes the Top Ten single "Just to Be Close to You". The album was the band's first to top the R&B albums chart, where it stayed for six non-consecutive weeks, and peaked at number twelve on the pop albums chart.
Song after song this album never strays from its focus of funk and R&B jams. Several songs groove with a tight dance beat that gets you movin’. This was their last album that was pure funk and soul.
This was Commodores' last album true funk and soul album before taking the complete dive in pop and adult contemporary sound such as the classics "Easy" and "Three Times A Lady." "Hot On The Tracks" has a wonderful tight quality - never slick or too smooth, but just nicely put together - commercial, but not so much that it loses it's soul. It's a mixture of funk and sweet soul, done with a focused well crafted approach, and enough of a blend of the two style to keep things interesting.
Just To Be Close To You (1976)
The first single “Just To Be Close To You” was Commodores’ second Top Ten hit hot on the heels of “Sweet Love.” "Just to Be Close to You," initially met with strong resistance from pop radio stations. The song stayed at number one on the R&B chart for two weeks, and reached number seven on the US singles chart in the fall of 1976. The second single, a great funk groove, “Come Inside” failed to chart though continued the reputation they built on delivering heavy jams blended with soulful vocal harmonies. “Let’s Get Started,” the album’s third single reached #3 on the US Dance charts bringing a great dance jam to the table. The hard stompin’ guitar led jam; “Fancy Dancer” was the fourth and final single from the album. The song soared to the Top 40 reaching US #39 and #2 in France.