Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Love & Marriage (and Music)

So coincidentally enough, only a day before Meredith from Saint Bernadette shared her story with me about Ashford & Simpson playing at her wedding for the last Sunday Spotlight, a copy of their latest release, The Warner Bros. Years: Hits, Remixes & Rarities showed up for me to listen to. For those of you not familiar with the name, I can almost guarantee you've heard some of their stuff, whether sung by them or others. The pair, who married in the early 70's, was responsible, along with Holland/Dozier/Holland, for writing and producing some of Motown's biggest hits, until 1973 when the pair moved over to Warner Bros. because Berry Gordy wasn't providing the couple the support they deserved for their own performing careers.

It is from this period at Warner Bros. that the material for this double LP release comes. During this time, the pair was really able to put together some first rate albums that their new label was willing to stand behind. As a result, some incredible music was put down on vinyl. Don't think it's still relevant? Some of these early singles, really the birth of remixed music, go for over $750 on eBay. The first disc is comprised of songs from their nine albums released between '73 and '82 for WB and includes six songs originally released as promo-only 12" remixes. The second disc includes nine new versions of their songs from some of today's hottest remixers.

If you're still scratching your head wondering who this pair is and what they sound like, their material on this collection balances some soulful R&B grooves and some body moving disco beats. Give the two tracks from the album below a try, and while you're at it, download the two songs at the bottom from Aretha and Diana that Ashford & Simpson wrote. After you've tasted the goods, the album is available now.

Ashford & Simpson - Tried, Tested And Found True (12" Disco Mix)
: The Warner Bros. Years: Hits, Remixes & Rarities (Disc 1)

Ashford & Simpson - It Seems To Hang On (Tommy Musto RE-Touch) : The Warner Bros. Years: Hits, Remixes & Rarities (Disc 2)

Visit their label (for this release) Rhino Records and become their friend on MySpace.

More of their songs performed by others

Aretha Franklin - You're All I Need to Get By : The Very Best Of Aretha Franklin

Diana Ross - Ain't No Mountain High Enough : Ain't No Mountain High Enough 7" (available on The Definitive Collection)

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