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  1. #1

    Aretha : Upside Down was MY song

    On the Talk. Niles and Bernard brought it to her to record it immediately but she wanted "to sit with it and rehearse." Will post link tomorrow. Was this common knowledge?

  2. #2
    Oh she feels like she owns everything that she sings or is offered to her and then gets upset when people sing "her" songs. "The Shoop Shoop Song," "Son Of A Preacher Man," and now "Upside Down." Your loss, Aretha, their gain.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    On the Talk. Niles and Bernard brought it to her to record it immediately but she wanted "to sit with it and rehearse." Will post link tomorrow. Was this common knowledge?
    I recall an interview with Aretha stating how much she loved the "Diana" album but she did not say "upside down" was meant for her.
    Aretha did indeed turn down "son of a preacher man" only to record it when Dusty's version came out. You win some you lose some.

  4. #4
    Aretha Franklin has said this before, but it has also been debunked several times by Nile Rodgers, who has clearly stated that they wrote Upside Down specifically for Ross (see his autobiography page 166). In this case, I take the word of the actual producer.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaap View Post
    Aretha Franklin has said this before, but it has also been debunked several times by Nile Rodgers, who has clearly stated that they wrote Upside Down specifically for Ross (see his autobiography page 166). In this case, I take the word of the actual producer.
    In that case I would agree with you. It is such an iconic tune so it is understandable that Aretha would have wanted to have got her hands on it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    In that case I would agree with you. It is such an iconic tune so it is understandable that Aretha would have wanted to have got her hands on it.
    Well then she should have recorded a year or two after Diana's hit and made it a hit all over again. She did this with a lot of songs, gave them entirely new arrangements, and made them her own. Respect, I Say A Little Prayer, Bridge Over Troubled Waters and more.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    Well then she should have recorded a year or two after Diana's hit and made it a hit all over again. She did this with a lot of songs, gave them entirely new arrangements, and made them her own. Respect, I Say A Little Prayer, Bridge Over Troubled Waters and more.
    And don't forget: "It's My Turn" ;-)

  8. #8
    I don't think of Bridge Over Troubled Waters as her song..Simon & Garfunkle get the airplay, and Warwick still has a hold on "Little Prayer"

  9. #9
    Aretha wrote about this in her book, stating that she ended up not working with Nile and Bernard because of "unmentionables" concerning their attitudes. As written above, Nile has often said that UPSIDE DOWN and I'M COMING OUT were written for Diana, and reflected what was going on in her life at the time.

    I think Aretha is most likely confused about the songs themselves and mentioned those two titles as they went on to be hits. A similar situation happened with songwriters Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy. They brought her a bunch of songs which she rejected. She says among these songs were THIS WILL BE and I'VE GOT LOVE ON MY MIND, big hits for Natalie Cole. I can hear her singing these, but I don't hear her singing UPSIDE DOWN at all.

  10. #10
    She said Niles and Bernard flew to her California home and presented her with Upside Down.

  11. #11
    As I recall back in the day, the Disco/Dance music craze temporarily sidetracked many classic soul/R&B singers careers of artists like Aretha, James Brown, etc. By the time Aretha warmed up to the trend with "Touch Me Up" by Lamont Dozier and some tracks on her La Diva Album, it was too little, too late. Thanks to Luther Vandross she got her groove back with massive dance orientated hits like "Jump to It" And "Get it Right." Even James Brown went with the flow and had a career boost. Nile and Bernard had a very tight musical vision that worked very well when they had absolute control. Aretha couldn't be boxed in like that, smelt the coffee and bolted. Probably a smart move in the long run, but at the expense of a quick hit record. Diana Ross proved more willing to experiment and it payed off big time for her. However remember that she and Russ remixed the Chic project, to the team's initial dismay. When Motown/Universal released both mixes some years back, the differences were startling. Frankly I enjoy both concepts equally. Aretha, for all her peculiarities, is a total original, and I respect that she needs that space.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    She said Niles and Bernard flew to her California home and presented her with Upside Down.
    Dun, dun! Somebody's got some s'plainin' to do! LOL!!!!!

  13. #13
    I believe there is a simple explanation. They bought her the music track, . not a finished song with lyrics. It was not "upside down" at that point.

  14. #14
    I read something about this from the interview and from what I remember she turned it down or wasn't interested. The same way Mary Wilson turned down Holiday and The Marvelettes turned down Where Did Our Love Go. Folks loved to talk about what they thought they had first. The fact is Diana owned it, flavored it, tuned it and took it to NUMBER 1.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaap View Post
    Aretha Franklin has said this before, but it has also been debunked several times by Nile Rodgers, who has clearly stated that they wrote Upside Down specifically for Ross (see his autobiography page 166). In this case, I take the word of the actual producer.
    This wouldnt be the first time Arethas embelished a story lol.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    This wouldnt be the first time Arethas embelished a story lol.
    Yeah like when she went to Gary Indiana for an event with Mayor Richard Hatcher and discovered the Jackson Five!

  17. #17
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=983u2EjKV-8 The View. The Queen reveals.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=983u2EjKV-8 The View. The Queen reveals.
    Out of her own mouth she said it , so I believe her.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Out of her own mouth she said it , so I believe her.
    Well good for you. Nile Rodgers writes differently in his autobiography and he also wrote the songs, so I guess Aretha knows better than Nile... ;-)

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaap View Post
    Well good for you. Nile Rodgers writes differently in his autobiography and he also wrote the songs, so I guess Aretha knows better than Nile... ;-)
    Do yourself a big favor and dont even waste your energy responding Jaap.

    Fondly,

    Roberta

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaap View Post
    Well good for you. Nile Rodgers writes differently in his autobiography and he also wrote the songs, so I guess Aretha knows better than Nile... ;-)
    Aretha is a devout Christian. Niles is not. I believe Aretha. Thank you.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Do yourself a big favor and dont even waste your energy responding Jaap.

    Fondly,

    Roberta
    Yes, I know. Ignorance is bliss is many different ways! ;-)

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaap View Post
    Yes, I know. Ignorance is bliss is many different ways! ;-)
    .....and the truth shall set you free since this is so important to you. I heard what Aretha had to say about it. I haven't heard anything from Nile.

  24. #24
    Agreed. It's a bit presumptuous for some to say Aretha is lying. She made up a whole story about Niles and Bernard flying to California? Went on TV and told it? It doesn't change the fact Diana had a hit with it. Why not know the facts behind it?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Agreed. It's a bit presumptuous for some to say Aretha is lying. She made up a whole story about Niles and Bernard flying to California? Went on TV and told it? It doesn't change the fact Diana had a hit with it. Why not know the facts behind it?
    Because they can't stand that Diane's big record was turned down by the Queen! LOL! Ok maybe she didn't formally turned it down, but being a true artist, she wanted time to get into the song. After all she has won 18 Grammy Awards so she must have been doing something right!

  26. #26
    how many #1 pop singles does Ree have?

  27. #27
    supremester Guest
    Aretha is a devout Christian who has committed adultery since she was 12, lies when it suits her, bears false witness and steals. I don't care if she turned down Upside Down or Johnnie Mae's bed, but The Queen is hardly a beacon of accuracy, honesty or devout Christian living.



    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Aretha is a devout Christian. Niles is not. I believe Aretha. Thank you.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by supremester View Post
    Aretha is a devout Christian who has committed adultery since she was 12, lies when it suits her, bears false witness and steals. I don't care if she turned down Upside Down or Johnnie Mae's bed, but The Queen is hardly a beacon of accuracy, honesty or devout Christian living.
    What sins have you committed? That's what you need to be worried about.............

  29. #29
    supremester Guest
    I have nothing to worry about (but then again, I'M not the one who stated publicly that "I know for a fact that Diane is broke after investing and losing all of her money with with Bernie Madoff.) It's not me who needs a Doctah, Blanche!

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by supremester View Post
    I have nothing to worry about (but then again, I'M not the one who stated publicly that "I know for a fact that Diane is broke after investing and losing all of her money with with Bernie Madoff.) It's not me who needs a Doctah, Blanche!
    who said that?

  31. #31
    supremester Guest
    YOU did - at MWOS! LOL

  32. #32
    Lord have mercy...

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    Lord have mercy...

    I know, right? LOL!

  34. #34
    I love Aretha and her music, but I have learned to take her stories with a grain of salt. Whether its deliberate or not, her interpretations seem to be sprinkled with her own personal bias. It's understandable, but I don't believe "Upside Down" was actually ever meant for Aretha. Gonna have to go with the producers here.

  35. #35
    Do you know where the producers said that? I don't know. Still seems odd to me Ree would go in TV and make it up.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Do you know where the producers said that? I don't know. Still seems odd to me Ree would go in TV and make it up.
    Why dont you google it or buy Nile Rogers book instead of stirring up drama.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Why dont you google it or buy Nile Rogers book instead of stirring up drama.
    Why do we have to believe Nile and not Aretha? I believe Aretha. It was a rather silly child-like sing-a-long song anyway. It was even more simplistic than "Where Did Our Love Go?" LOL!

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Do you know where the producers said that? I don't know. Still seems odd to me Ree would go in TV and make it up.
    That's because she did not make it up. She told the truth. Even had the time frame out far enough for it to be totally possible. She just didn't remember Bernard Edward's name from 36 year ago.

  39. #39
    This is a rather long article, so just scan down to the highlighted sentence.

    http://www.nilerodgers.com/about/projects/chic

    There can be little argument that CHIC was disco's greatest band; and, working in a heavily producer-dominated field, they were most definitely a band. By the time CHIC appeared in the late '70s, disco was already slipping into the excess that eventually caused its downfall. CHIC bucked the trend by stripping disco's sound down to its basic elements; their funky, stylish grooves had an organic sense of interplay that was missing from many of their overproduced competitors. CHIC's sound was anchored by the scratchy, James Brown-style rhythm guitar of Nile Rodgers and the indelible, widely imitated (sometimes outright stolen) bass lines of Bernard Edwards; as producers, they used keyboard and string embellishments economically, which kept the emphasis on rhythm. CHIC's distinctive approach not only resulted in some of the finest dance singles of their time, but also helped create a template for urban funk, dance-pop, and even hip-hop in the post-disco era. Not coincidentally, Rodgers and Edwards wound up as two of the most successful producers of the '80s.
    alt

    Rodgers and Edwards first met in 1970, when both were jazz-trained musicians fresh out of high school. Edwards had attended New York's High School for the Performing Arts and was working in a Bronx post office at the time, while Rodgers' early career also included stints in the folk group New World Rising and the Apollo Theater house orchestra. Around 1972, Rodgers and Edwards formed a jazz-rock fusion group called the Big Apple Band. This outfit moonlighted as a backup band, touring behind smooth soul vocal group New York City in the wake of their 1973 hit "I'm Doin' Fine Now." After New York City broke up, the Big Apple Band hit the road with Carol Douglas for a few months, and Rodgers and Edwards decided to make a go of it on their own toward the end of 1976. At first they switched their aspirations from fusion to new wave, briefly performing as Allah & the Knife Wielding Punks, but quickly settled into dance music. They enlisted onetime LaBelle drummer Tony Thompson and female vocalists Norma Jean Wright and Alfa Anderson, and changed their name to CHIC in summer 1977 so as to avoid confusion with Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band (who'd just hit big with "A Fifth of Beethoven").
    alt

    Augmented in the studio by keyboardists Raymond Jones and Rob Sabino, CHIC recorded the demo single "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" and shopped it around to several major record companies, all of which declined it. The small Buddah label finally released it as a 12" in late 1977, and as its club popularity exploded, Atlantic stepped in, signed the group, and re-released the single on a wider basis. "Dance, Dance, Dance" hit the Top Ten, peaking at number six, and made CHIC one of the hottest new groups in disco. CHIC scrambled to put together their self-titled first album, which spawned a minor follow-up hit, "Everybody Dance," in early 1978. At this point, Wright left to try her hand at a solo career (with assistance from Rodgers and Edwards), and was replaced by Luci Martin. It was a good time to come onboard; "Le Freak," the first single from sophomore album "C'est CHIC", was an out-of-the-box smash, spending five weeks on top of the charts toward the end of 1978 and selling over four-million copies (which made it the biggest-selling single in Atlantic's history). Follow-up "I Want Your Love" reached number seven, cementing the group's new star status, and "C'est CHIC" became one of the rare disco albums to go platinum.
    alt

    1979's Risqué was another solidly constructed LP that also went platinum, partly on the strength of CHIC's second number one pop hit, "Good Times." "Good Times" may not have equaled the blockbuster sales figures of "Le Freak," but it was the band's most imitated track: Queen's number one hit "Another One Bites the Dust" was a clear rewrite, and the Sugarhill Gang lifted the instrumental backing track wholesale for the first commercial rap single, "Rapper's Delight," marking the first of many times that CHIC grooves would be recycled into hip-hop records. Also in 1979, Rodgers and Edwards took on their first major outside production assignment, producing and writing the Sister Sledge smashes "We Are Family" and the oft-sampled "He's the Greatest Dancer." This success, in turn, landed them the chance to work with Diana Ross on 1980's Diana album, and they wrote and produced "Upside Down," her first number one hit in years, as well as "I'm Coming Out."
    alt

    The disco fad was fading rapidly by that point, however, and 1980's "Real People" failed to go gold despite another solid performance by the band. Changing tastes put an end to CHIC's heyday, as Rodgers and Edwards' outside production work soon grew far more lucrative, even despite aborted projects with Aretha Franklin and Johnny Mathis. Several more CHIC LPs followed in the early '80s, with diminishing creative and commercial returns, and Rodgers and Edwards disbanded the group after completing the lackluster "Believer" in 1983. Later that year, both recorded solo LPs that sank without a trace. Hungry for acceptance and respect in the rock mainstream (especially after accusations that they had ripped off Queen instead of the other way around), both Rodgers and Edwards sought out high-profile production and session work over the rest of the decade. Rodgers produced blockbuster albums like David Bowie's "Let's Dance", Madonna's "Like a Virgin", and Mick Jagger's "She's the Boss". Edwards wasn't as prolific as a producer, but did join the one-off supergroup the Power Station along with Tony Thompson as well as Robert Palmer and members of avowed CHIC fans Duran Duran; he later produced Palmer's commercial breakthrough, "Riptide". Edwards also worked with Rod Stewart ("Out of Order"), Jody Watley, and Tina Turner, while Rodgers' other credits include the Thompson Twins, the Vaughan Brothers, INXS, and the B-52's' comeback "Cosmic Thing".
    alt

    After a 1989 birthday party where Rodgers, Edwards, Paul Shaffer, and Anton Fig played old Chic hits to rapturous response, Rodgers and Edwards re-formed CHIC in 1992 with new vocalists Sylver Logan Sharp and Jenn Thomas, and an assortment of session drummers in Thompson's place; they toured and released a new album, CHIC-ism. In 1996, Rodgers was honored as the Top Producer in the World in Billboard Magazine, and was named a JT Super Producer. That year, he performed with Bernard Edwards, Sister Sledge, Steve Winwood, Simon Le Bon, and Slash in a series of commemorative concerts in Japan, which provided a career retrospective. Unfortunately, his longtime musical partner Edwards died of pneumonia at age 43 during the trip on April 18, 1996. His final performance was recorded and released as Live at the Budokan. Chic continued to tour with new musicians.

    In addition to refining a relatively minimalist take on the disco sound, Chic helped to inspire other artists to forge their own sound. For example, The Sugarhill Gang used "Good Times" as the basis for its hit "Rapper's Delight", which helped launch the hip hop recorded music format as we know today. Later that year, Vaughn Mason and Crew sampled "Good Times" on its song "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll." "Good Times" was also used by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five on its hit "..On the Wheels of Steel," which was used in the end sequence of the first hip-hop movie, Wild Style, from 1982. Blondie's 1980 US number-one hit "Rapture" was not only influenced by "Good Times" but was a direct tribute to Chic, and lead singer Deborah Harry's 1981 debut solo album Koo Koo was produced by Edwards and Rodgers.

    Chic was cited as an influence by the majority of successful bands to emerge from Great Britain in the 1980s. John Taylor, the bassist from Duran Duran claims the bass part of their top 10 single "Rio" was influenced by Edwards' work with Chic. Even Johnny Marr of The Smiths has cited the group as a formative influence. Rodgers guitar work has been so emulated as to become commonplace, and Edwards' lyrical bass is also much-cited in music circles, as is Thompson's steady and hard-hitting recorded drumwork. Queen got the inspiration for its hit single "Another One Bites the Dust" from Bernard Edwards' familiar bass guitar riff on "Good Times" after John Deacon met the band in The Power Station recording studio. (Source: "Everybody Dance: Chic and the Politics of Disco")

    Chic's do-it-yourself attitude served as an uptown version of punk rock's fundamental tenets (while remaining upwardly mobile) and represented a new way for R&B acts to approach their own careers. (The group very quickly grabbed the production reins for its own records, wisely shielded themselves in business matters by forming an umbrella organization from which to administer their services, conceived and formulated their own image, and wrote their own material while holding tight to their publishing rights.)

    On September 19, 2005, the group was honored at the Dance Music Hall of Fame ceremony in New York when they were inducted in three categories: 1) Artist Inductees, 2) Record Inductees for "Good Times," and 3) Producers Inductees, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards.

    CHIC has been nominated for inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame five times — 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. CHIC, now billed as Nile Rodgers & CHIC, continue to perform to sold-out venues worldwide.

    ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide & Wikipedia Sources - Mixed.

  40. #40
    I just wish there had been a follow up album with Diana and Nile and Rogers!!!

  41. #41
    Diana and her team took that song, re-worked the music and created her masterpiece.

  42. #42
    Although, the one song which remains my favorite on that LP was never released.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    I just wish there had been a follow up album with Diana and Nile and Rogers!!!
    Well, technically there was...the much-maligned Workin' Overtime.

  44. #44
    so the answer is Ree had 1 #1 pop single.. 2 if you count her weak duet with George Michael....

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi LaLumia View Post
    so the answer is Ree had 1 #1 pop single.. 2 if you count her weak duet with George Michael....
    Well if she had sang this song........maybe it would have won a Grammy.

  46. #46
    supremester Guest
    What was your fave?


    Quote Originally Posted by captainjames View Post
    Although, the one song which remains my favorite on that LP was never released.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by supremester View Post
    What was your fave?
    Friend to Friend

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Why do we have to believe Nile and not Aretha? I believe Aretha. It was a rather silly child-like sing-a-long song anyway. It was even more simplistic than "Where Did Our Love Go?" LOL!
    But a classic record nonetheless. The musicianship on it was 2nd to none.

  49. #49
    Nile Rogers has approached Diana several times in order to get her to come on board for his proposed new Chic album to record the lead vocals on a new song he wrote, "The Queen." Ross has declined the invitation to date, but her son Evan heard a demo of the song and has tried to persuade his mom to record it. No far no luck. It would be fantastic to hear Diana's voice added to a thumping dance track, for one last kick at the can, so to speak.
    Last edited by Mark Desjardines; 11-25-2015 at 02:49 AM.

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