Ashford & Simpson – 1974 – I Wanna Be Selfish
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Compared to the variety presented on their debut album this recording has somewhat more of an evenly rounded sound. Almost all the music here variated between mid 70’s soul/pop uptempo tunes and ballads and all have that distinctive Ashford & Simpson sound. It’s beautifully arranged as only this team could do however 1974 was just a strange year for music anyway. In just about every genre of pop music the 60’s flavors were being replaced by a sound more unique to the decade. Uptempo tunes such as “Everybody’s Got To Give It Up” and “Take All The Time You Need” are contemporary enough bout still carry more of a late 60’s soul flavor to them. On the other hand songs such as “Main Line“,”Ain’t That Somethin‘” and “Don’t Fight It” all have that “Motownphilly” combination of syncopation and the light polyrhythms of Gamble & Huff/Thom Bell as well. Overall this is more of a cohesive album than one containing a few good highlite. One song that wound up making a dent all by itself was Valeries “Ain’t Nothing But A Maybe“, also done equally wonderfully by Rufus & Chaka Khan the same year on their own semminal recording Rags to Rufus.
Ashford & Simpson always tended more toward the AOR side of soul and along with Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Barry White and The Isley Brothers helped to add element to the genre we now call “quiet storm“. It was with album such as this that much of the groundwork for this genre was laid. Even for this Nick & Val would continue to refine this sound as time goes on and very close on adding more contemporary elements such as heavier electronic keyboard textures and dancable elements as they times demanded and this album,even though it was somewhat rooted in a style that all too soon would be left somewhat behind would be a big part of musics future.