Lionel Richie – Say You, Say Me

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.

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One Response to Lionel Richie – Say You, Say Me

  1. RBerman says:

    Yay, another Lionel Richie block chord ballad! This time showing that he knows his way around a ballet studio, or something. There’s not a whole lot of movement from the chorus to the verse, but the double-time middle eight section (sometimes called a bridge) goes off in a Ghostbusters direction. The lyrics are pretty vague, from the psychedelic first verse to the “O I wish I had a friend” second verse.

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