LEGENDARY 1980 DIANA ROSS ALBUM, 'diana -- the original CHIC mix', GETS ITS FIRST-EVER VINYL RELEASE ON TWO-45RPM DISCS
Sought after by collectors and considered the rarest of Motown's rare grooves, Diana Ross' diana – the original CHIC mix, made its long-awaited debut on vinyl on April 21, on Motown/UMe/UMGI, with a twist: it will be a double-LP set on pink vinyl at 45rpm for maximum fidelity. This edition of diana includes alternate-mix versions of such classics as "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out," as envisioned by Chic's Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards.
Following 1979's collaboration with Ashford & Simpson, which produced her hit "The Boss," Diana Ross sought a new sound and hired the hot Chic team of Rodgers and Edwards to compose, play on and produce her next release. But she and Motown were dissatisfied with the too-Chic-like results, a feeling supported by influential disc jockey Frankie Crocker, who warned Ross the record might fall prey to the disco backlash at the time. Ross turned to Motown's house engineer, Russ Terrana, the man behind her Supremes and solo hits and much more, and he proceeded to remix the entire album, using alternate vocals or placing her vocals more upfront, creating overall a smoother, "commercial" mix. "Our concept was to make it more avant-garde," Nile Rodgers later told writer Brian Chin, "and their concept was to make it a little bit more accessible." The revised diana, her tenth studio album, was released – with a striking, now iconic cover image – on May 22, 1980.
Rodgers and Edwards were not informed and, protesting publicly, wished to take their names off the record. But they cooled off and saw "Upside Down" – Ross' own description to Rodgers and Edwards as to what she wanted to do to her career – emerge a #1 smash hit.
Subsequent singles included "I'm Coming Out," which went to #5 in the U.S. and became a LGBTQ anthem, while "My Old Piano," was a Top 5 hit in the U.K. The album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200, selling nine million albums worldwide. Soon after Ross moved on to RCA Records in a then-record $20 million deal before returning to Motown in 1989.
Fans now get to hear for the first time on vinyl those original Chic mixes of diana, one of four albums the duo of Rodgers and Edwards produced that year, including Sister Sledge's Love Somebody Today, Sheila and B. Devotion's King of the World and their own studio album, Real People. Available on two pink vinyl 45rpm discs, diana – the original CHIC mix, incorporates tracks first heard on diana: deluxe edition, originally issued July 29, 2003.
diana – the original CHIC mix vinyl track listing
1. "Upside Down"
1. "Friend to Friend"
2. "I'm Coming Out"
1. "Have Fun (Again)"
2. "My Old Piano"
1. "Now That You're Gone"
Joining a star-studded group, Diana Ross — who grew up in public housing in Detroit and went on to become a star of stage and screen and the voice of Motown — received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, at the White House today.
President Barack Obama, introducing Ross before the award was given, credited her with making music history with the Supremes and throughout her career, saying she “exuded glamour and grace” and earned “a permanent place in the American soundtrack."
“Diana Ross’ influence is as inescapable as ever,” Obama said as Ross joined a group of luminaries receiving the award that included basketball stars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan, actors Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford and Cicely Tyson, comedian Ellen DeGeneres and rock star Bruce Springsteen.
In Ross’ citation for the award, she was referred to as “a daughter of Detroit” who “helped create the sound of Motown with her iconic voice.” Ross grew up in Detroit’s Brewster-Douglass Projects and went to Cass Tech before striking gold with the Supremes with such hits as “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Stop! In the Name of Love.” She has won numerous Grammys and is a member, with the other members of the Supremes, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
NEWS / Diana Ross hit the stage in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night (13Apr16) after she was involved in a minor car accident hours before her concert.
The Supremes star, 72, was a passenger in a limousine when the driver of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) reportedly drove through a stop sign and crashed into the Town Car.
Authorities in Bethlehem tell local news station NBC 10 the music legend complained of head and neck pain after the incident, and was treated by paramedics at the scene. However, she insisted she would not require hospitalisation.
Ross, who was on her way to a gig at the Sands Event Center in Lehigh Valley that evening, decided the show must go on and performed her set as planned.
Police say no one else was injured in the crash, and the 22-year-old driver of the SUV received a traffic citation.
Ross assured fans on Twitter Thursday (14Apr16) she is feeling perfectly well, asking others not to fret about her welfare.
"I was involved in a car accident yesterday, but I'm fine.I ask you not to worry. I will see you tonight at the show in Providence :)," she tweeted, referring to the concert she is performing at Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
Fans will have the opportunity to see Ross perform in several cities throughout North America in the spring and the summer (16). She is planning to dazzle audiences in Calgary, Canada, Los Angeles, California and more, closing out the string of concerts in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan on 30 July (16). (Bron: Music-News)
CD NEWS / With NBC’s airing of ‘The Wiz Live!’ on December 3rd, nostalgia is building for the beloved musical “The Wiz.” What better time to release some unreleased music from the 1978 film that starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor and more?
After filming ended, Motown wanted Diana Ross to record an album of the musical’s songs and called Diana Ross Sings Songs From The Wiz. It was slated to be released in 1979 and accompany the Quincy Jones-produced soundtrack. However, the album was shelved, but according to EurWeb, it’s being resurrected from the vault for a digital release on November 27th.
The album features a booklet with never before see photos of Ross and an essay written by the reissue’s producers Andrew Skurow, George Solomon, and Harry Weinger. The album was produced by Ross, veteran Motown executive Suzanne de Passe, and Grammy and Emmy Award-winning producer and arranger Lee Holdridge (the arranger of Ross’ hit “Do You Know Where You’re Going To?”).
According to the album’s review, Eurweb says Ross was not in the best spirts while recording due to some disagreements she had with Motown at the time, but the recordings came out great; Holdridge says she got into the character of all the characters to perform their respective songs.
“On some of the album’s songs, like the Trio Medley including ‘You Can’t Win’, ‘Slide Some Oil To Me’, and ‘I’m A Mean Ol’ Lion’, Ross almost inhabits the characters of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, respectively. In other cases, like “Be A Lion” and “Believe In Yourself”, Ross outdoes her own impressive work on the original soundtrack, with the former song featuring a gospel-inspired trio accompaniment as the singer delivers a stunning vocal,” the review by Michael Coleman writes.
Ross biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli says the recordings are amazing as well. “I was blown away by them because they sounded like completely unrestricted Diana Ross performances. She didn’t have to adhere to the parameters of her character in the movie or of the Quincy Jones productions on the soundtrack, or to any parameters. That’s what fans are going to love about this album: it’s a full-on, unrestricted, unfettered Diana Ross performance that’s never been heard by the general public.” (Bron: Singersroom.com)