Solid – Ashford & Simpson | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance:  Pop (#12) & R&B (#1 for 3 weeks); 1985

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Long before Solid, Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson joined together professionally as a premier songwriting/producing team, and personally as husband-and-wife. They first met in Harlem’s White Rock Baptist Church choir.

In 1965 their co-composition One Step At A Time, sung by Maxine Brown, rose to #55, and the following year A&S scored a #1 R&B smash by Ray Charles, Let’s Go Get Stoned. Soon after, the mighty Motown Records came a-callin’.

A&S quickly established themselves with hits by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, You’re All I Need To Get By), wrote and produced for others at the label, then eventually stepped to the other side of the mic. After some solo Valerie 45’s fizzled, she and Nick committed themselves to recording as a duo.

Twenty eight R&B chart singles later A&S finally soared to the top on a phrase, “Yo, solid!,” Nick kept hearing on the streets of New York. Nick and Valerie not only wrote Solid, they produced and arranged it, and Simpson played synths.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Nickolas Ashford
  • Valerie Simpson

Lyrics Written by:

  • Nickolas Ashford
  • Valerie Simpson