Random play: Diana Ross
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough from Diana’s first solo album; easily the best song she ever recorded, probably my favourite Ashford and Simpson tune, and a better version than Marvin and Tammi’s in my opinion.
This is the full length album version which, from the beautiful string intro (I suspect this was playing in the studio somewhere when ABC were working on the Lexicon Of Love), to the huge testifying of the coda, is epic with a capital E.
And then there is that moment, the massive crescendo in the middle that for me the whole song revolves around. “I know, I know you must follow the sun where ever it leads” the track is just rising upwards behind Diana’s spoken part teasing you for the longest time, “just remember what I told you the day I set you free”…… And then BANG “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” over those funky stop starts. I don’t think Diana ever sounded better or more soulful on the second half of this song, and the arrangement and playing (the fabulous Funk Brothers) is just superb.
It’s one of those Motown tunes that everybody knows, but it never ever sounds stale to me. It defines the word “Uplifting”.