First Hit #1: December 21, 1985
I don’t know how many couples started their married lives together to the sounds of Lionel Richie. I imagine it was a lot, and if I ever get married, I actually would like to do it to Say You, Say Me. This song, an Oscar-winning contribution to White Nights – though not the released soundtrack to White Nights, due to label pride – exhibits Richie’s trademark restraint and a genuinely lovely and simple chorus. There is a very strange tempo change around the three-minute mark, which may have caused a bit of confusion at the many weddings this was inevitably played at, but overall the song has a certain precious intimacy that many of the big, elaborate ballads can’t quite manage. Richie doesn’t try for a big, stadium-filling vocal, he instead makes a song that’s small, delicate and intimate. Perhaps one could suggest it’s a perfect encapsulation of love overall, since it’s a small moment instead of a grand statement. It’s also generally pretty good, and I just plain like Richie overall.