“Solid” (sometimes titled “Solid as a Rock,” which sounds too much like a Chevy pickup commercial) by married duo Ashford & Simpson is the “funkiest” song on this blog, and frankly neither Joanna nor I is much into funk. But there several good reasons to include this song on the blog.
First, Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford have a compelling personal story; like Joanna and me, they were friends before they fell in love, and then were married for more than 30 years.
A second reason to feature a song by the couple is the fact that they wrote some of the best Motown songs (and a few others), including “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (sung by the Coasters and Ray Charles); “I’m Every Woman” (Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston); “Cry Like a Baby” (Aretha Franklin); “Didn’t You Know You’d Have to Cry Sometime,” (Gladys Knight & the Pips); “Is It Still Good to Ya?” (Teddy Pendergrass); “California Soul” (5th Dimension); “Never Had It So Good” (Ronny Milsap, who became a country music star); “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Good Lovin’ Ain’t Easy to Come By,” “Your Precious Love” and “You’re All I Need to Get By” (all sung by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell); “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” “Remember Me,” and “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Maybe” (all sung by Diana Ross, who also made a personal anthem out of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough“); “Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing“and numerous others. Now that ain’t a bad list.
A third reason for “Solid” is a pair of lines that particularly resonates with me in relation to own relationship: “We were willing to take a chance, so against all odds, we made a start.” I regret little that has happened in my life. But as may be true of most people, I regret more the things I failed to do than things I did. I’m glad that I (and Joanna) took a chance on us.
Fourth, the song recognizes that meaningful relationships — despite the love-at-first-site-fall-in-love-forever fantasies of fairy tales, movies and romance novels — grow because the people involved work at it: “We build it up and build it up and build it up.” Doing that work is why “The thrill is still hot, hot, hot; hot, hot, hot, hot, hot.”
Fifth, and finally: That’s a lot of hot.
“Solid” lyrics here, with video below.