Nightshift was the Commodores’ second album without Lionel Richie, who left the band in 1982, and their last album with their original bass guitarist Ronald LaPread. Their previous album Commodores 13 (1983) had featured interim lead vocalist Harold Hudson of Mean Machine.For Nightshift the Commodores permanently replaced Richie with British-born J.D. Nicholas, formerly of Heatwave. Dennis Lambert was chosen as producer, the Commodores hoping to find the same magic created by producer–arranger James Anthony Carmichael, with whom they had worked since 1974 and who was a major impetus in their earlier success.
Despite the album’s middling reviews, it remained in the top of the R&B charts in the US for a month, and it peaked at #3 on the pop chart.By and large, the album’s popularity was due to its hit title track, “Nightshift”. Written by Walter Orange, Dennis Lambert and Franne Golde, “Nightshift” was the band’s biggest post-Lionel Richie hit, reaching #3 on The Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on Billboard’s chart for top R&B/hip-hop singles.
Though not as successful as the “Nightshift” single, “Animal Instinct” was released as the follow-up single. Regarded as an out-of-the-ordinary track for the Commodores, “Animal Instinct”, with Orange on lead vocals, was released almost six months after “Nightshift”, and reached #23 on the R&B charts, and only #43 on the pop charts.
“Animal Instinct” was remixed by John Morales & Sergio Munzibai.
Animal Instinct (Club Mix / Dub Mix) 9:46
Lightin’ Up The Night 4:02