Various Artists

A Tribute to Ashford & Simpson

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This collection features 14 songs written by Ashford & Simpson and performed by various combinations of ex-Motown artists, as recorded for the Motor City label and initially compiled on the Motor City Hits and The Sounds of Motorcity collections. Despite the lackluster productions, this is an interesting disc. The Andantes were Motown's favorite female voices, appearing as backing vocalists on countless tracks, yet only had one Motown release, "Like a Nightmare." Here they redo "The Boss," and for 5:41 show why their glorious voices and the Motown sound were inseparable. Pat Lewis sang with the Andantes, but gets an opportunity to solo on "Remember Me." Louvain Demps, another Andante and sister of the Dramatics' Larry Demps, solos on "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand." Sherrie Payne, who sang with Glass House and the Supremes, solos on "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Syreeta redoes her first Motown recording, "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel for You," which comes off better than the original. Some unique duet combinations spice things up: Martha Reeves & G.C. Cameron, Marv Johnson & Carolyn Gill, Kim Weston & Frankie Gaye, and the most obscure, Frances Nero & Gino Parks. Nero, who had one Motown release, is represented by two solo numbers, and holds the distinction of being the most successful Motor City artist.

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