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RICHIE WON'T BE ENRICHING GREATEST-HITS PACKAGE

The Commodores, whose hits include "Three Times a Lady," "Sail On" and "Easy," are releasing a greatest-hits package without vocals by departed member Lionel Richie, who sang lead on those tracks and more.

"They've re-recorded every hit on which Richie had the lead vocal," said Michael Pagnotta, a spokesman for the band. "It's very hard to tell the difference. The music's exactly the same."So why no Lionel? It's a dispute with the Commodores' old label, Motown, which is Richie's current home.

"Motown wouldn't give the Commodores its master tapes. They would only give them to Richie," Pagnotta said. The group split up in 1983.