Stevie Wonder made some great records in the seventies of course but, in terms of a single album, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's Greatest Hits probably does it for me.*
Some bog standard facts:
- Tammi Terrell died tragically of a brain tumour at the age of 24.
- Gaye was so shaken when it happened that he gave up live performance for three years and, rejecting the love song, turned to political issues for his inspiration. As it happened that worked out quite well.
- Rumour was that during the recording of the Greatest Hits album Terrell was already too ill to complete her vocal parts and that songwriter Valerie Simpson was called in to do so in her absence. Simpson has subsequently denied this though.
- Simpson and husband Nickolas Ashford wrote most of the tracks on the album, as well as many great songs for other Motown artists.
- They also scored a number 3 UK hit under their own names in 1984 with "Solid".
Here's a tribute to Nickolas Ashford who died yesterday.