Album of the Day
Among R&B's greatest power couples, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson paid plenty of dues as songwriters in the 1960s, including a string of hits for Motown, before stepping into the spotlight themselves. Landing on Warner Bros. in the early 1970s, the duo finished the decade with STAY FREE, a mix of soul, funk and disco that sounds just as alluring now as on its original release 40 years ago this month. Front-loaded with singles “Found A Cure” (a Top 40 pop hit), “Nobody Knows” and the title track, the collection makes for compulsive listening; Ashford & Simpson were seasoned producers as well as writers, and knew how to get the most out of percussion, string and horn sections. The gold-certified STAY FREE offers musical liberation that's both sophisticated and danceable.