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Exposed / Valerie Simpson: Expanded Version
- Release Date 01 June 2015
- Dispatched within 5 days
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- CD Album
Caroline Records (in association with SoulMusic Records) is proud to present the reissue of two rare Motown solo albums by the legendary songwriter/producer and recording artist Valerie Simpson. Originally issued in 1971 and 1972 respectively, “Exposed” and the self-titled “Valerie Simpson” have been out of print on CD for almost a decade.
As part of the creative duo with her husband, the late Nick Ashford, Valerie’s work as a songwriter and producer was at the forefront during her tenure with Motown from 1967-1972. It was company founder Berry Gordy Jr. who first asked Nick and Val – budding New York songwriters who had their first major success with Ray Charles (via his 1966 hit, “Let’s Go Get Stoned”) – to join the Motown stable as songwriters and then producers. The team created immediate hit songs with Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” and “You’re All I Need To Get By,” which are now acknowledged as timeless contemporary classics, having been recorded by literally hundreds of other artists.
It was in the wake of Gordy’s decision to ask Ashford & Simpson to produce the all-important 1970 solo debut LP by Motown’s reigning female star, Diana Ross that Valerie’s own recording career began. As she recounts in notes in this new 2015 reissue by respected UK writer Charles Waring, her first solo album was “born out of the fact that we had this excess of material and nobody to put it on…I started to record a couple of them and it turned into a whole album.” In addition to eight compositions by Ashford & Simpson, the LP also included a cover of Lennon & McCartney’s “We Can Work It Out” and another Motown songwriter’s tune, “There Is A God.”
EXPOSED (with a handwritten note from Diana Ross replicated on the back cover) was sufficiently critically well-received that Motown gave the green light for Valerie’s second solo project which featured all original compositions, including “Silly Wasn’t I,” Valerie’s one charted single (Billboard R&B Singles #24, Hot 100 #63). Both EXPOSED and VALERIE SIMPSON were also charted US albums, the former reaching #30 and the latter #50 on Billboard’s R&B Albums listings.
Following the release of her second album, Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford left Motown and signed with Warner Brothers Records, igniting a recording career that spanned close to twenty-five years and included the international hit, “Solid,” recorded for Capitol Records in 1982.
Since the passing of Nick Ashford in 2011, Valerie has released one solo CD (2012’s “Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again”); this new reissue highlights the superb early ‘70s creative work of this soulful composer and producer.
Remastering by Alan Wilson of Western Star Studios, artwork by Roger Williams and notes by Charles Waring with additional comments by SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan, who has been interviewing Valerie since 1972.
1. I Don't Need No Help
2. Love Woke Me Up This Morning
3. Now That There's You
4. Sinner Man (Don't Let Him Catch You)
5. Can't It Wait Until Tomorrow
6. I Just Wanna Be There
7. Back to Nowhere
8. There Is a God
9. World Without Sunshine
10. We Can Work It Out
11. Can't It Wait Until Tomorrow
12. Fix It Alright
14. Drink the Wine
15. One More Baby Child Born
16. Keep It Coming
17. I Believe I'm Gonna Take This Ride
18. Could Have Been Sweeter
19. Silly Wasn't Iv 20. Genius I
21. Genius II