Greatest Hits: Album History

Kenny Rogers’ album “Greatest Hits” peaked on both the pop and country music charts in the US.  The album also featured three new singles that Kenny has never released or recorded before. These were “Lady” (Lionel Richie specially wrote and produced this song for Rogers), “Love The World Away” (peaked as a top 5 on the country chart and top 20 on the pop chart), and “Long Arm of the Law.” This also marked Rogers’ third number 1 album of the year which followed the success of “Kenny” and “Gideon.”

This was the second compilation album made special by the three featured singles by Rogers. Together with the new songs, “Greatest Hits” also featured nine hit singles from Rogers’ career. There were some songs that people say should be included like: “Daytime Friends”, Sweet Music Man,” and “Love Or Something Like It.” Nonetheless, this didn’t stop the “Greatest Hits”  from gaining a lot of attention that solidified Rogers’ status as one of the world’s biggest stars.

“Greatest Hits” was awarded a diamond recognition as it sold over 24 million copies worldwide. As of today, Kenny Rogers “Greatest Hits” still holds the record for the best-selling compilation releases of all-time.

Greatest Hits” was also released in the UK, but some revisions were made before its release. First, the album name was changed to “Lady.” Second, it had a different list of songs. “Lady” omitted “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and “Rueben James” and was replaced by “Goodbye Marie” and “Sail Away.”

Yet this wasn’t Rogers’ only greatest hits compilation. In 1971, The First Edition was released that was followed by the release of Rogers’ album “Readers Digest” in 1985.

LADY

Singing while in the bath is a common practice which most of us would probably do. But with the man behind the hit Lady”, Lionel Richie was able to write the song while he was in the toilet. Rogers said that he called Lionel and told him that he would like Lionel to write him a song. Lionel doesn’t write the songs completely but gives ideas that turn into verses. After recording the first verse, Rogers was asking for the second verse. Eventually, he found out that Lionel was still writing it and was in the toilet.

Lionel wrote the song for other singers but they declined. Since Rogers asked Lionel to write him a song, he thought that “Lady” would already make a big splash with his voice. Kenny Rogers’ voice, however, made a tidal wave bigger than what Lionel thought. “Lady” was an avalanche hit in 1980 and was never excluded from the revised versions of the “Greatest Hits.”

“Love the World Away” and “Love or Something Like it”

Love the World Away was one of the three featured singles inside Kenny Roger’s greatest hits. This song was written by Bob Morrison and Johnny Wilson. This was also released in 1980 and made a splash, too right after the release when it peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart and Number 8 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. In Canada, “Love the World Away” peaked at number 25 on the pop singles chart, and a number 1 hit on the RPM Country Tracks Chart.

“Love or Something Like” was co-written by Kenny Rogers with Steven Glassmeyer who was also a former member of Rogers’ backing band. The song also was a hit after its release and stayed for a week as the number one hit on the country chart and stayed for a total of ten weeks on the country charts.

Lionel Richie

Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. was born on June 20, 1949. He is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor. Beginning in 1968, Lionel was seen in the music industry as a member of the funk and soul band the Commodores. Some of the songs that the band popularized were “Machine Gun” and “Brick House.” Eventually, Richie wrote and sang more romantic ballads.

In 1982, Richie launched his solo career with his debut album titled “Lionel Richie” that contained three hit singles. These singles were “Truly” that was a U.S. number 1 hit and the top 5 hits “You Are” and “My Love.” The album also peaked at number 3 on the music charts and sold over 4 million copies. Lionel’s career didn’t stop to grow as he released a follow-up album “Can’t Slow Down” which sold twice as more copies than his first. This solidifies his legacy among the international superstars.

Kenny Rogers

He’s a multi-awarded singer and songwriter.  Kenneth Donald Rogers was born in Houston on August 21, 1938. Despite his registered name “Kenneth Donald”, he grew up with his family calling him “Kenneth Ray.”

Rogers started his own band called “The Scholars” where they produced several local hits. When he was  19, Rogers recorded his first single “That Crazy Feeling.” With Carlton Records. This became a hit in 1958 and eventually opened up bigger opportunities for Rogers to be exposed to the music industry. This led Rogers to perform with Dick Clark’s band named “American Bandstand,” He also played the bass guitar with the jazz trio “Bobby Doyle.”

But it was no until 1975 where Rogers would make his appearance to the top 20 of the country music charts with his single Love Lifted Me.” After 2 years, Rogers was finally able to reach the top of the country charts with his single Lucille.”  The song made it to the top 5 of the charts and gained Rogers’ first Grammy Award for the Best Vocal Performance, Male.

As his career went on, Rogers began venturing into different markets including his love for photography as he published, “Kenny Rogers’ America” and was eventually followed by another collection the following titled “Your Friends and Mine.” Rogers also started his own franchise restaurant that was named after
himself which he later sold to Nathan’s Famous Inc. in 1998.