Monday, October 6, 2014

Ashford and Simpson - Solid

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Solid, the twelfth studio album from husband and wife singer/song-writers Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. This one hit number 42 in the UK, number 29 on the US Billboard Album chart (with a total thirty-six week run on the chart) and number 1 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Side one starts with the smash hit “Solid”; the lyrics tell of a couple who have decided to give love another chance, ending up stronger than before. I like how this one starts, with just Val’s vocal, before the rest of the song kicks in. This lead single from the album went to number 34 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, number 15 on the US Billboard Dance chart, number 13 in Sweden, number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 4 in Austria, number 3 in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, number 2 in Germany, and number 1 in New Zealand and on the US Billboard R&B chart. If I remember correctly, I owned the 45 back in 1984 after jamming to it so often on the radio and in the clubs.

The second single was “Outta the World”; it stalled at number 102 on the US Billboard Hot 200 yet rose to number 4 on both the US Billboard R&B and Dance charts. The album version features an extended funk-filled intro groove.

The party continues with the mid-tempo jam “The Jungle”.

Things slow down then with the declarative ballad “Honey, I Love You”.

Side two begins with the bouncing, seductive beat of “Babies”. As the third single, it peaked at number 102 on the US Billboard Hot 200, number 56 in the UK, and number 29 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

“Closest To Love” has to be my second favorite track on the record. It has a high-energy rhythm to it that is great for dancing. I would have loved to have heard this one in the clubs I frequented back in the day.

The slow jam “Cherish Forever More” revisits the topic of a broken relationship on the mends.

The album closes with the beautiful and intimate “Tonight We Escape (We Make Love)”.

This review was my first spin through of the album Solid. Of course, I was very familiar with the hit title track. The rest of the record goes from good to very good; I will definitely be adding a few more of these to my library soon.

For more Ashford and Simpson, click here.

No comments: