1. All Night Long (All Night) (1983)
It had to be No.1, didn’t it. All Night Long is absolute peak Lionel, a brilliant mix of soul, pop, calypso and dance. And it became a cultural phenomenon – he performed it at the Olympic Games in 1984, bizarrely it became a huge hit years later in Iraq (when US tanks rolled into Baghdad, the civilians were playing All Night Long from their houses and shops) and it was parodied on the Simpsons.
As for the famous “Tam bo li de say de moi ya, hey jambo jambo” line – don’t spend too long trying to work out what it means. Lionel made the words up . “Somewhere in that made-up language, I am actually saying something,” he told the New York Post. “Because even to this day, we’ll play India, and someone will tell me, ‘Yes, you’ve touched on certain words in [our language].’ As long as I am not cursing you out, I am going in the right direction.”
Lionel, with All Night Long, was definitely going in the right direction.