Mindblowing music from the trio of Nick Ashford
, Valerie Simpson
, and Jo Armstead – most of it composed and recorded in New York during the mid 60s – before Armstead left for the Chicago scene, and Ashford
went to work for Motown in Detroit! The three writers have a really beautiful way of putting over a tune – fresh lyrics that are perfect for the budding soul generation of the 60s – and which often get some production work from the members of the trio too, especially on some of the tracks here that were issued by Wand Records. The package does a perfect job of unearthing these early years – pulling together compositions by the three (and occasionally just by Ashford
) – and illuminating this period with notes that are as thorough as the selection of tracks on the set. Titles include "Dance Children Dance" by Mary Love, "The Shoe Won't Fit" by Betty Everett, "Look Away" by The Shirelles, "Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby" by The Crystals, "I Don't Need No Doctor" by Sandy Nelson, "Please Little Angel" by Doris Troy, "The Real Thing" by The Chiffons, "Smokie Joe's" by The Jewels, "Say It Again" by Marie Knight, "Looky Looky" by Candy & The Kisses, "Mr Creator" by The Apollas, "You're Absolutely Right" by Tina Britt, "I'm Satisfied" by Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown, "Cry Like A Baby" by Aretha Franklin, "Same Old Feeling" by Jo Ann & Troy, "Only Your Love Can Save Me" by Betty LaVette, and "Love Ain't What It Used To Be" by The Diplomats.