Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Street Corner" by Ashford & Simpson

Song#:  1058
Date:  06/05/1982
Debut:  85
Peak:  56
Weeks:  10
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  This husband and wife duo were major stars behind the scenes before securing their own hits. As songwriters, they are responsible for Motown classics like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," and "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)." The duo signed on to Warner Bros. in 1973 and began a streak of low-peaking R&B singles. They finally broke through to the R&B Top 10 in 1978 with "Don't Cost You Nothing" (#10 R&B, #79 pop). Along the way, they kept writing for other artists and scored with major hits like Chaka Kahn's 1978 "I'm Every Woman" (#1 R&B, #21 pop). By the time the 80s arrived, they already had their first #1 R&B album and amassed three gold record. However, their first two albums of the new decade didn't perform as well, so they moved over to Capitol and got a fresh start with their tenth LP "Street Opera." This first single got them to #9 at R&B and onto the pop chart for the fourth time.

ReduxReview:  I've often felt that the duo doled out their best songs to other artists. With a few exceptions, I don't find their own recordings very interesting. But they were most likely writing what they really wanted for themselves, which is different from being a staff writer who has to come up with hits. But they could have at least saved a couple to promote their own career. This funky jam certainly wasn't one of them. It motors along fine, but it just doesn't go anywhere. They are far better writers than what this demonstrates.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  "Street Opera" was the duo's attempt at a concept album. The whole of side two consisted of a suite of songs that focused on a relationship that gets strained by poverty. The song "Street Corner" is part 3 of the suite.


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