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Gruesome Twosome: Nick and Val, Sittin’ in a Tree Edition

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Diana Ross: “I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You”
LP: Surrender, 1971

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: “Won’t It Be So Wonderful”
LP: Natural Resources, 1970 | BUY

On the menu today, a couple of later Motown efforts written and produced by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. Nick and Val made for Diana Ross’ most sympathetic collaborators. The dramatic “Can’t Give Back The Love” (previously a failed single for Syreeta Wright) gave the DUI Diva one of her best performances, with Diana’s seductive speaking voice and shrieks matching the thrilling ebb and flow of the production. Martha Reeves’ joyous vocal on “Won’t It Be So Wonderful” is an undiscovered gem which was buried on one of the last Vandellas albums. Ashford and Simpson’s perky melodies were all about the optimism of love, even when the lyrics conveyed the opposite. Solid, solid as a rock, you might say.

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