Nick Ashford's 'Solid' Songwriting
By: Linnea Crowther
6 years ago
I can't be the only person who's got "Solid" playing on constant repeat in my brain today. Ever since the news of Nick Ashford's death was released yesterday, Ashford & Simpson's 1984 No. 1 hit has surely been on a lot of personal playlists.
Ashford, along with his wife Valerie Simpson, was probably best known for that R&B classic, but it wasn't the only enduring hit to come from the duo's pens. As songwriters for Motown starting in 1966 – along with other labels – they were also responsible for favorites like "I'm Every Woman" (originally recorded by Chaka Khan), "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (originally recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell), and "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand" (originally recorded by Diana Ross). Perhaps owing to their real-life love, their talent was at its height when they wrote romantic duets, like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing."
Most of their greatest compositions weren't break-up songs filled with desperate longing or spurned anger. The titles alone tell you about the true love Ashford & Simpson's songs celebrated:
• "Your Precious Love"
• "You're All I Need To Get By"
• "Never Had It So Good"
And of course, there's that top hit for the duo as performers, the one that's stuck in heads across America today. Both the song and the video bring to mind the enduring love of many Ashford & Simpson favorites.