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Morning Song – It Ain’t Like That

June 14, 2017

In the 1970s they got married and broke through as Ashford & Simpson, but in 1964 they were “Valerie & Nick”, young songwriters newly signed to Motown given a chance to cut a few singles, none of which went anywhere on the charts.

“It Ain’t Like That” is one of them, a cautionary month-by-month tale of a romance that begins in January, blossoms in April, ends in October, with one lover “wanting me to take you back” in December, but “it ain’t like that“.

What I like about “It Ain’t Like That” is the way it captures Motown’s evolving sound from the wide open, four-on-the-beat, straight-ahead sound of hits like The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go?” to the deeper, darker, more mysterious and heavily orchestrated sound of songs like Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine“.

It makes for a good-not-great record (the two sounds don’t quite fit together; you can almost hear the singers, musicians and producers working to find the solution—they’re getting there, but not yet), however you can already hear the potential (and the romantic spark) in Ashford & Simpson’s voices that led to their eventual success, both as performers and as a couple.

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From → Music

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