Nicholas Ashford - vocals; Valerie Simpson - vocals, keyboards; Bobby Gene Hall, Jr. - lead guitar; John P. Cooksey, Jr. - drums; Eluriel "Tinker" Barfield - bass; Kevin Nance - keyboards, clavinet; Nathaniel Adderley Jr. - piano; Raymond Simpson - backing vocals; Ullanda McCullough - backing vocals
This performance was done as part of a tour promoting 1977's Send It album, and also represents a sort of sampling from the record they were working on at the time, Is It Still Good to Ya. From these two albums, both of which would eventually attain gold status, "Over and Over," "Somebody Told A Lie," "Tell It All" and the captivating "Gimme Something Real" are captured on this recording.
Together as a songwriting team and a couple since 1964 (they finally married in the late 1970s), this duo first started writing hits for Ray Charles and Dionne Warwick before moving over to Motown in the late 1960s to write for Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, and Diana Ross just after she had left the Supremes for a solo career in 1970.
These songs are timeless, and have become an unequivocal part of the fabric of American pop music: "You're All I Need To Get By," "Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing," and "Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand," to name a few. The duo tried launching a performing career in the 1970s, and although they made some critically acclaimed recordings and a few medium-level radio hits, they never saw a great deal of commercial success. Their live shows are primarily a mix of original new material and a collection of their classic Motown hits, which they perform here in the form of a ten-minute "Greatest Hits" medley.
The newer material is solid, but put against classics like "You're All I Need To Get By" and "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing," there is no comparison.