The Commodores certainly have no shortage of hits to play any time the stalwart R&B troupe hits the stage -- "Brick House," "Sail On," "Three Times a Lady" and many more. But as the group celebrates its 50th (actually 52st) anniversary this year, what co-founder William "Wak" King wants most is to make some new music.
"It's been a minute," King, the sole founding member left in the lineup, tells Billboard by phone from his home recording studio in Atlanta, where he is in fact working on fresh tracks for the Commodores. "It's very exciting right now. Everybody's kinda pumped. It's taken awhile to get everybody in the frame of mind to get back in the studio, but we've been cutting four tracks and we want to get them completed and figure out what to do with them."
King blames the long gap between Commodores' releases -- its last album, No Tricks, came out during 1993 -- on the success the group has on the road. "We've been working a bunch lately within the last number of years," he explains. "And when everyone comes back home again they're tired and they just want to rest and not see each other for a while. And just when you're getting a little comfortable you get a phone call that we need to push the tour dates up a bit and get back on the road. We've had to make time to get in the studio." King has a wish list of producers he'd like to work with, including Usher, and he's open to the idea of letting them guide what the new material will sound like.
"It's a different process to go through because normally we all write on our own or some or all of us get together in a room and we just fight it out, literally," King says. "But one of the things we've been bumping our head up against is radio has a certain sound they want to hear. Since we're not from the millennial era we're going to write the songs and then bring someone in from today and let them take a listen to see if they can make it more like the sound of the times of today. That's the plan. Our only concern in (the studio) is making the songs the best they can be, period."
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