Saturday, July 29, 2017

"Solid" by Ashford & Simpson

Song#:  2115
Date:  11/10/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  12
Weeks:  24
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The last time Ashford & Simpson were on the Pop chart was in 1982 with the song "Street Corner" (#56) which was from their concept LP Street Opera. The LP was their first for their new label, Capitol. Their next album, High-Rise, failed to secure a Pop entry and only managed one slight R&B hit with the #17 title-track. They needed something better to keep Capitol interested and they returned with the album Solid. This title track was issued as the first single and it clicked at R&B reaching #1. It would be the duo's first R&B #1, excluding a 1978 collaboration single with Quincy Jones and Chaka Khan titled "Stuff Like That," which made it to the top spot. The song slowly crept up the Pop chart and finally made it a couple notches short of the Top 10 (#34 AC/#15 Dance). It would be their best showing on the Pop chart and their biggest hit overall. Thanks to the hit, the album made it to #1 R&B/#29 Pop and would turn gold.

ReduxReview:  It always seemed to me that A&S gave away their best material. I believe the reason for that may be that they were hired to write and produce for artists, so they supplied material accordingly. When it came time to do their own records, they went with what fit them. Unfortunately, a lot of it wasn't necessarily hit crossover material. They managed to get eight R&B Top 10's and this #1 over a span of time, but this was the only song to really breakthrough at Pop. It still remains the duo's most recognizable hit under their name. I adored the song when it came out. The chorus is just irresistible with the "Solid! Solid as a rock!" and the stuttering "hot!" I kind of gets parodied now or used in goofy scenes in films and TV shows, but in a way that is great. The song has stood the test of time and people remember it. It's a fun karaoke song too!

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  In 2009, the duo supported presidential candidate Barack Obama by remaking this song. They redid the tune as "Solid As Barack." They didn't set out to create the new version, it just kind of happened. Apparently, the duo performed the song at two different shows in 2008 during the presidential campaign season and when they asked the crowd to sing along, they noticed that many were singing "solid as Barack." Somehow, that phrase made it to the halls of Saturday Night Live and during a skit with two of the cast portraying the Obamas, they sang that line. After the SNL airing, Ashford & Simpson decided to go along with it and write new lyrics to their song. They recorded the tune and issued it as a single on streaming services. They also performed it in concert and at events.


No comments:

Post a Comment