Most Wanted! Ashford & Simpson – It seems To Hang On (Warner Bros.)
Lookin’ back at the time, I’d be pretty much tempted to highlight (once more) Ashford & Simpson‘s obvious sense of the formula. Even though that’s the least one could expect from reputedly authors/compsers at the end…
‘It Seems To Hang On’ subtly recaptures what would be their whole life as a couple as a matter of fact. And this since the very moment they decided walkin’ hand in hand. From their 1978 ‘Is It Still Good To Ya’ album, ‘It Seems To Hang On’ stands as a timeless masterpiece of sophisticated Soul. With Ray Chew on electric piano. And Paul Riser in charge of the strings arrangements. Not to mention the essential Jimmy Simpson responsible for the remixing work.
‘It Seems To Hang On’… What a beautiful understatement, don’t you think?
Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson stand without a single doubt among the most prolific artists of their generation. With their names being associated to an impressive list of masterpieces…
As songwriters, they delivered the classic ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Diana Ross, Inner Life featuring Jocelyn Brown). But also ‘I’m Every Woman’ for Chaka Khan. If not ‘Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes)’ for Roberta Flack. This in addition to ‘Taste Of Bitter Love’ and ‘Bourgie Bourgie’ for Gladys Knight & The Pips. And ‘No One Gets The Prize’ and ‘The Boss for Diana Ross a to name but a few.
As producers, they collaborated with Teddy Pendergrass, Gladys Knight & The Pips and Ullanda McCullough among others.
And, last but not least, as a singing duo, they released 15 studio albums between 1973 and 1999. Most of their classics bringing us back to their period with Warner. There, they delivered gems such as ‘Over And Over’ (covered by the late Sylvester) and ‘It Seems To Hang On’. But also ‘Don’t Cost You Nothing’, ‘Stay Free’ and ‘Bourgie Bourgie’. Not to mention ‘Found A Cure’. ‘Street Corner’ and ‘Solid’ marking their following period with Capitol.
Nick Ashford sadly died on Aug. 22, 2011 in a NYC hospital after havin’ battled against a throat cancer. He was 70.