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  1. #1

    Ain't No Mountain follow up

    so we all know that Mountain was the perfect Diana Ross song and had been (and always will be) her signature

    there's been lots written about what to do to follow up Mountain. They went with Remember Me, which is an excellent song. But Surrender was recorded on the same dates. Would that have made a more exciting follow up? the "give it to me" sections are amazing and it has fire!

    or should they have explored another track off of the debut album?

    or should they have really jumped on I'm Still Waiting?

  2. #2
    I wonder if "These Things" would have been a success?

  3. #3
    if they'd not released Mountain, I think These Things would have been a strong single.

    but after Mountain, i think they needed something much more powerful

    Darkside of the world and Something On My Mind are also favs of mine from the debut. i wonder if they might have been a first single contender.

  4. #4
    I think REMEMBER ME was a great follow-up.

    As much as I love her debut album, I don't hear another single on it. THESE THINGS... is particularly nice, but IMO, a bit too close to SOMEDAY WE'LL BE TOGETHER.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I wonder if "These Things" would have been a success?
    These Things is one of my favorite Ross songs marybrewster.

  6. #6
    I would have gone with Remember Me followed by My Place then I'm Still Waiting then Surrender.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    I would have gone with Remember Me followed by My Place then I'm Still Waiting then Surrender.
    I always thought of MY PLACE as a lost hit.

  8. #8
    i like My Place too. i think it and I'm Still Waiting are both great pop songs and could have carried that album (assuming a couple of track changes to tighten it up a bit). But i think after Mountain they needed something more powerful than either of MP or ISW.

    i think they should have gone with Surrender first. it's more powerful than Remember yet different enough from Mountain to stand on its own. Then release Remember which is more pop than Surrender. it would transition better to the EIE album and tracks.

    then go with MP and then ISW. Those would have probably tied her over enough until they released Lady

  9. #9
    My Place was strong

    I always wondered about Baby Itís Love

    But I thought Remember Me was strong too

  10. #10
    I agree with "My Place." It's a strong track. I have to wonder if there are mono mixes in the vaults for possible single consideration.

    I would have pushed "Surrender" as a follow-up. I'm surprised it didn't chart higher. It's a top 10 hit in my eyes.

    If they wanted to follow the style then "Reach Out, I'll Be There" could have been next, but the single edit is so bad. I would have just released it as it was recorded.

    "These Things" was intended as a follow-up to "Someday We'll Be Together." Both have the same guitar lines. At first "These Things" was intended for the Jean-Supremes, but then given to Diana.

  11. #11
    Motown UK was brave to issue Doobedoo.... as the follow up to ISW. For me it was a good album track but it dragged on as a single. I think I would have stopped taking songs off EIE after MP and ISW.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    so we all know that Mountain was the perfect Diana Ross song and had been (and always will be) her signature

    there's been lots written about what to do to follow up Mountain. They went with Remember Me, which is an excellent song. But Surrender was recorded on the same dates. Would that have made a more exciting follow up? the "give it to me" sections are amazing and it has fire!

    or should they have explored another track off of the debut album?

    or should they have really jumped on I'm Still Waiting?
    I'm a strong believer in getting as much mileage out of an album as possible, so to my mind it would've made good business sense to release a third single from the debut album. However, to my ears there doesn't seem to be a sure fire hit among the remaining tracks. I think had "These Things" been released as the debut single it would've been a hit. It has shades of "Someday We'll Be Together", and released as the followup to the last thing listeners heard Diana sing, I think the song would've taken off. I don't think it would've hit number one. It might have done as well as "Reach Out and Touch" on the R&B chart, probably a little better than "Reach Out" on pop. But releasing it after the masterpiece that was "Mountain", "These Things" would've been a let down in sound. So it ultimately was a good idea to move on to the next project.

    Of course this is where Motown screwed Ross, by releasing an album without a single and releasing a single without an album. The whole Everything/Surrender and their singles schedule had to be the result of someone doped up or drunk as hell because great care of Diana Ross' solo career was supposed to be of the utmost importance at this point, lest the drama of the last couple of years with the Supremes be in vain. If EIE was going to be the next album then I would've released "My Place" or "Baby It's Love" (with a different mix) as the next single. I think "I'm Still Waiting" was also a good go (even though I'm not a fan of the song) and it would've hit had it had better promotion.

    Once EIE was exhausted, then I would've started on releasing stuff from "Surrender". "Remember Me" had obvious hit potential, as did the title track. I also think "I'm a Winner" had hit potential and a different mix of "And If You See Him" might have made some noise also. "Reach Out I'll Be There" was brilliant, and while I understand the temptation to try to recreate the success of "Mountain", "ROIBT" sounds like a gorgeous album track, not a hit single.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    THESE THINGS... is particularly nice, but IMO, a bit too close to SOMEDAY WE'LL BE TOGETHER.
    I don't think that would've worked against it had it been the debut single. I think that would've been one of the selling points. It's clearly a different song, but it has enough similarities that it might attract the record buying public, who clearly loved followups that sound like the song that came before it. But releasing "These Things" after "Mountain" would've been a horrible decision. "Aint No Mountain High Enough" was a ten. "These Things" sounds like a 4 (5 at best) in comparison.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    Motown UK was brave to issue Doobedoo.... as the follow up to ISW. For me it was a good album track but it dragged on as a single. I think I would have stopped taking songs off EIE after MP and ISW.
    I love "Doobedoo". Beautiful song. But I think you're right. It has all the elements of a great album track, but I think it lacked a certain something as a single.

  15. #15
    Ran - from what i've pieced together, motown released Reach out and Touch in April mostly due to Diana demanding it. when it limped to #20 Pop Berry panicked. he and motown had been lauding her talents since before the DRATS name change. this was to be the launch of the most highly anticipated solo singer for the 70s and her debut was 20?!?!? Most of the A&S was either done or nearly finished but all of those tunes had a much stronger r&b flavor than much of her Sups stuff. so i think the heads at motown thought "holy shit!! this A&S stuff might be SO not the right launch material - it's too black, it's too this, it's too that."

    so Berry ran to Deke and said give me a pop album on Diana and i need it tomorrow. Deke and Hal quickly pulled together a range of tracks and the result was EIE. Motown rushed the lp out but then radio had started to favor Mountain, a song Berry didn't like because it defied every rule he'd ever had about what a hit single should be. But due to radio demand he released it and it exploded.

    EIE was still slated for the fall released and went out. but then with Mountain being so big, Berry decided the follow up needed to be something spectacular and (probably) more r&b than anything on EIE. So A&S pushed out Remember Me

    what's odd is that they didn't hold back the EIE release. mountain was released in July and by mid Sept was #1. EIE was released in Nov. plenty of time to put that release on hold and focus on the A&S stuff

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I love "Doobedoo". Beautiful song. But I think you're right. It has all the elements of a great album track, but I think it lacked a certain something as a single.
    I think it's pretty strong. the choruses had a punch to them. the overall production is more of the EIE "sound" which is hard to explain. it's grittier and tinnier than the high gloss A&S. not bad though. just a totally different sound

    i think maybe a little more work on the song could have been warranted. and the title was idiotic.

  17. #17
    Doobedoo reached number 12 in the UK which isn't bad at all.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Ran - from what i've pieced together, motown released Reach out and Touch in April mostly due to Diana demanding it. when it limped to #20 Pop Berry panicked. he and motown had been lauding her talents since before the DRATS name change. this was to be the launch of the most highly anticipated solo singer for the 70s and her debut was 20?!?!? Most of the A&S was either done or nearly finished but all of those tunes had a much stronger r&b flavor than much of her Sups stuff. so i think the heads at motown thought "holy shit!! this A&S stuff might be SO not the right launch material - it's too black, it's too this, it's too that."

    so Berry ran to Deke and said give me a pop album on Diana and i need it tomorrow. Deke and Hal quickly pulled together a range of tracks and the result was EIE. Motown rushed the lp out but then radio had started to favor Mountain, a song Berry didn't like because it defied every rule he'd ever had about what a hit single should be. But due to radio demand he released it and it exploded.

    EIE was still slated for the fall released and went out. but then with Mountain being so big, Berry decided the follow up needed to be something spectacular and (probably) more r&b than anything on EIE. So A&S pushed out Remember Me

    what's odd is that they didn't hold back the EIE release. mountain was released in July and by mid Sept was #1. EIE was released in Nov. plenty of time to put that release on hold and focus on the A&S stuff
    I don't have recording dates in front of me. But in the midst of all of this, I think Ashford and Simpson might not have been ready yet with a full album to follow Diana's solo debut. Valerie had recorded REMEMBER ME for her own solo debut, and Berry thought it would be a great follow-up to MOUNTAIN, so Diana recorded it. But it wasn't released until December, after EIE.

    I suppose REMEMBER ME's success might have influenced any possible plans to release something from EIE as a single. Then a lot of attention probably went to her TV special as well, where she sang a couple of EIE's songs.

    In any event, there seemed to be a lot of confusion over releases in Diana's early solo career.
    Last edited by reese; 12-07-2018 at 01:13 PM.

  19. #19
    For a solo debut as huge as Diana Ross' they should have skipped over that mysterious "Everything" album and released Surrender perhaps earlier in 1971. I too always felt "My Place" was a missed opportunity along with "Something On My Mind". I can see why they overlooked "I'm Still Waiting" here in the U.S. It was just plain dull and alright for an album track. I don't know what the U.K. was hearing. "Remember Me" was a great song but they missed out on further success with it not having it on an album until months later. Then it was over a year before we heard from Diana and it was her first film.

  20. #20
    How do you follow a monumental record like ANMHE? Looking back, apparently even Motown didn't know. My young self in 1970 didn't really ponder this. I had faith in Motown (which seemed to be able to do no wrong that year). I really liked the debut album (I love it now). Looking back, ANMHE should have been the debut single. "Reach Out And Touch" might then have been an interesting "artistic-statement" follow-up. (Or not). Nothing that followed could have been as powerful as ANMHE. I vote for "Dark Side of the World", "I'm Still Waiting" and then "Remember Me". Also, I like the idea of reworked versions of "Baby, It's Love" and "And If You See Him". I don't think any of those would have been #1 but they might have been worthy entries in Diana Ross' discography.
    I was working around the house one day, with "Surrender" playing in the background, and I was struck by the similarity of the rousing chorus to that of ANMHE. I don't know the recording timelines, and those two songs seem outwardly very different, but "Surrender" immediately following ANMHE is also an interesting thought.

  21. #21
    both Surrender and Remember were recorded around the same time. The tracks were laid down in august and then addition recording dates for strings, vocals, etc occurred through aug and sept.

    Mountain definitely presents a problem of what the heck do you follow it up with. it's a masterpiece, without a doubt.

    If i was sitting in QC, it'd probably do with Surrender simply because it's, overall, a more powerful record. Remember is beautiful with the ups and downs throughout but Surrender has the aural power of mountain but doesn't simply copy it. it's different enough IMO. now i don't know that it would have gone #1. but i think top ten

    remember then makes a fine follow up to surrender as it's powerful but starts to vary the formula more. it's more pop

  22. #22
    I suppose we should also consider which mix of Surrender would have been the best to release. I prefer the harder hitting alternate mix found on the expanded Surrender album.

  23. #23
    ^oh i prefer that one too. you're right that it's more hard hitting. the backing track is more exciting as the instruments seem more forward in the mix

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Ran - from what i've pieced together, motown released Reach out and Touch in April mostly due to Diana demanding it. when it limped to #20 Pop Berry panicked. he and motown had been lauding her talents since before the DRATS name change. this was to be the launch of the most highly anticipated solo singer for the 70s and her debut was 20?!?!? Most of the A&S was either done or nearly finished but all of those tunes had a much stronger r&b flavor than much of her Sups stuff. so i think the heads at motown thought "holy shit!! this A&S stuff might be SO not the right launch material - it's too black, it's too this, it's too that."

    so Berry ran to Deke and said give me a pop album on Diana and i need it tomorrow. Deke and Hal quickly pulled together a range of tracks and the result was EIE. Motown rushed the lp out but then radio had started to favor Mountain, a song Berry didn't like because it defied every rule he'd ever had about what a hit single should be. But due to radio demand he released it and it exploded.

    EIE was still slated for the fall released and went out. but then with Mountain being so big, Berry decided the follow up needed to be something spectacular and (probably) more r&b than anything on EIE. So A&S pushed out Remember Me

    what's odd is that they didn't hold back the EIE release. mountain was released in July and by mid Sept was #1. EIE was released in Nov. plenty of time to put that release on hold and focus on the A&S stuff
    You're probably right about the origins of EIE. What's interesting about Gordy where Diana was concerned, he clearly thought Pop was where most of the money is (and he was right), but he apparently never wanted Ross to alienate her Black fan base. She has some great straight r&b tunes on most of her 70s albums. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't the reason the Bones Howe project abandoned was because the stuff was considered too pop? Gordy knew Black folks wasn't running out to buy that crap. (I use the term crap very loosely here, as I actually love the tunes she cut with Bones and I definitely think Diana's versions of "Stoney" and "Love's Lines" have more flavor than the ones by Nyro, Streisand and the 5D.)

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by lucky2012 View Post
    How do you follow a monumental record like ANMHE?
    I think that's the issue Lucky. You can't. Not if you're hoping to recreate it's success. Not if you're hoping to do it with what we know of Diana's available recordings at the time. "Mountain" was seemingly a once in a lifetime song because it's so different than anything else going on at the time. Although I guess "I Can't Give Back the Love" has a similar format, and both songs may owe something to "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone", the ability to combine Diana's dramatic speech with equally dramatic arrangements.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    If i was sitting in QC, it'd probably do with Surrender simply because it's, overall, a more powerful record. Remember is beautiful with the ups and downs throughout but Surrender has the aural power of mountain but doesn't simply copy it. it's different enough IMO. now i don't know that it would have gone #1. but i think top ten
    I'm going to have to agree here. My vote would probably be "Surrender". Definitely top 10, possible number one. "Surrender" is certainly a better song than a fourth of the songs that managed to hit the top spot in 1971.

  27. #27
    To my ears, My Place was shrill, both the lead vocal and background vocals. I always considered it to be album filler.

  28. #28
    good question, I would have went with Something On My Mind ...since Surrwender lp would not be ready until jun 71. to much time between the single and the release of the lp.
    I do like Remember Me as the follow up after,... then Surrender, ...reach Out .
    I liked My Place and Baby Its Love. the should have held back the EIE lp until late 71. Im Still Waiting..... but hated Dooobe doo whatever that song is. to me wrong mix. I would have saved all those Doo until the end of the song. it just never takes off. one of her worst singles. BG was starting to loose his touch.

  29. #29
    I seem to recall that Motown had a very big Sales Convention in the Fall of 1970. There seemed to be considerable promotion in Billboard magazine. (My memorabilia is in the attic.) I think there were about 35-40 albums released from July through October to promote at this convention.

    From what I've read through the years, the Surrender album would not be ready for that Sales Convention so Berry wanted something for Diana. I guess at your largest sales convention you want to be able to promote new material from your biggest star. Thus the Everything Is Everything album was set into motion and promoted. I saw a pic of the cover in Billboard about a month before the actual album was available. So at least an album cover was available to help promote upcoming material for Diana Ross.

    I guess by the time the actual EIE album came out the Remember Me single had already been scheduled for release in late December. Maybe this was about the time they recorded the Diana! TV Special for it's April broadcast. Probably just too much going on in such a short period of time.

    I love My Place but I think I'm Still Waiting was the best option for a follow-up. Like ANMHE it had a soft intro as well as a spoken passage. I loved the song back in the day but not such a fan now - but it is catchy and perfect for Pop radio. I mean it was #1 for 4 weeks in the UK, it probably would have had at least one week at the top in 1970.

    I also think Baby It's Love would have been a softer follow-up to the high-energy ANMHE. It would have been a nice place-saver until Remember Me was released.

    I love the EIE album, particularly all the songs on Side 1.
    Last edited by johnjeb; 12-08-2018 at 11:39 PM.

  30. #30
    @johnjeb, I too love the "Everything is Everything" album and feel it's often maligned unfairly. It may have been rush released, but what I really like about it is that it is more of a "Diana Ross album" than it is a "Motown album." Ross' debut album and "Surrender" are both, to me, strictly in the Motown mold and even though they contain some great songs, are both pretty formulaic.

    I like "Everything" because Diane does a lot of material that you wouldn't normally associate with her, such as her versions of "Call Me" and "The Long and Winding Road," both of which I think are outstanding. I also really love "I'm Still Waiting," and wonder why it was never pushed here as it was in the UK. As for "Ain't No Mountain" and its soundalike follow ups "Remember Me" and "Surrender," I like the two follow ups but don't think they really add anything to the Ross body of work. One thing about these three songs is that Ross more or less speaks and sings the verse (really, much of "Mountain" is Ross really "talk-singing"), but during the choruses, where the real singing is going on, Ross adds a few embellishments here and there but it's Valerie Simpson and the backup singers who are belting out the choruses, where the strength of the songs really lie.

    Finally, I think "Doobee... etc" might have been a hit song if not for its title. Again, I like it because it doesn't sound like a "Diana Ross song." Ross has always been a great interpreter of many different styles of music, but I think she definitely needs the right producer to bring out the best in her. I still think Michael Masser was her greatest, with Deke Richards a close second, then followed by Ashford and Simpson.
    Last edited by kenneth; 12-13-2018 at 08:54 PM.

  31. #31
    "I'm Still Waiting" is a hit song to my ears (and the UK charts ). It definitely had pop potential IMO. If anything was to be released from Everything Is Everything and follow "Ain't No Mountain" it should have been that. Otherwise I would have moved on to "Surrender".

  32. #32
    i think had the Diana Ross 70 and Surrender sets been issued consecutively and the singles been Mountain (for her debut) and then Surrender and Remember Me, you'd have a nice cohesive period in her debut. she established herself brilliantly with the debut album and Surrender builds on the more R&B approach. true the Surrender set isn't a completely new sound or approach but it wasn't meant to be. it's a wonderful follow up

    then that would have also given Deke more time to really polish up the EIE set. My Place would have been a great lead single, followed by I'm Still Waiting. this would have brought her back into more of the pop field which would have been a good change of pace from the two A&S set.

    then you have her diving into Lady material in 72

    and then 73 see her emerge as this more mature adult artist with the Touch Me set.

  33. #33
    I think that, with EIE out, the only logical choice was I’m Still Waiting and it should have gone out while Mountain was still in the top 20 - no later than Oct 31st. Or, put Remember Me out then and delay EIE - or add it to EIE -what they did was ass-backwards period. No single support for Ross’ sophomore album? It shows you they were in over their heads. Diana! Was originally scheduled to air in January to help boost the single, but production delays kept it back to April and by then, Remember Me was redundant. They should have inserted Reach Out, i’ll Be there in it’s stead.

    Personally, I think I’m Still Waiting was the strong departure from Ain’t that the occasion called for. I’d have saved Remember Me for after Doobe and then go with new edit Reach out and Surrender.

    But there was another consideration - a big one. The Supremes were overdue for a single and you can’t launch both sits together - as it is, I think Remember Me suffered from coming out on the heels of two soaring Supremes singles. Many programmers might have tjought its too much. The single was top ten in both RW and CB, but stalked on BB because of airplay. I think if it had come out in Oct, Remember Me would have gone top 5 - but would gave necessitated a delay for Stoned Love and/or River Deep. As it is, I think River Deep was released too close to Stoned Love and both suffered for it.

    Perhaps Stoned Love Should have dropped in mid Sept When Ain’t hit #1 - give it 6 weeks to go top ten, Then release Remember Meor I’m Still Waiting in late Oct while Ain’t is still top 20. 6 weeks after, Do River Deep.

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