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  1. #1

    Workin' Overtime..... 30 Years Old

    Hard to believe it was 30 years ago. I even feel old typing it!!.
    30 years on and there are still so many songs i still enjoy from this album.
    I don't really think Nile was the best choice of producer and many of the songs are cut in to high a key. Having said that Diana sings with passion and it was nice that she threw something new at us.
    I love the albums artwork which made a nice change from the usual glamour shots.
    I know i am in the minority, but for me WO was a solid.consistant album with some very catchy numbers. Had it produced a few chart hits and been a tad more pop in production i think it would be viewed far more kindly today by Ross fans at large.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Hard to believe it was 30 years ago. I even feel old typing it!!.
    30 years on and there are still so many songs i still enjoy from this album.
    I don't really think Nile was the best choice of producer and many of the songs are cut in to high a key. Having said that Diana sings with passion and it was nice that she threw something new at us.
    I love the albums artwork which made a nice change from the usual glamour shots.
    I know i am in the minority, but for me WO was a solid.consistant album with some very catchy numbers. Had it produced a few chart hits and been a tad more pop in production i think it would be viewed far more kindly today by Ross fans at large.
    Thirty years, where does the time go? I remember buying this on release date, getting it home, listening... and being so very disappointed. I appreciate it more now—I love What Can One Person Do in spite of the key—but it’s still one of my least favorite Ross LP’s...

  3. #3
    I have always enjoyed this album. Loved it when it first came out.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by vgalindo View Post
    I have always enjoyed this album. Loved it when it first came out.
    I as well. A fun, uptempo lp.

  5. #5
    This reminds me of how I was after listening all her middle to late eighties albums starting with Eaten Alive. Great expectation and major disappointment. "Workin overtime" was the worst of all. I'v tried hard to convince myself I loved it, but in the end it doesn't work.
    Lyrics are consistant, interesting, but the production is a mess.

    I like a few songs and the cover. During her tour, she was spectacular, total beauty, darker than in 84/85.

  6. #6
    I have this album but can't remember any of the songs on it or what they sound like. What would you say are its best tracks?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    I have this album but can't remember any of the songs on it or what they sound like. What would you say are its best tracks?
    This House, Bottom Line and Goin’ Through The Motions are the best in my opinion. I also like the title track. The key hurts What Can One Person Do.

    Just my opinion...

  8. #8
    I thought SAY WE CAN, THIS HOUSE, PARADISE, and the title track were good.

  9. #9
    The key hurt most of the songs. Too often she’s severely straining. To me, this album always seemed like the one the just got too close to there deadline for release and they had to go with what they had. And unlike Ross 83 which was able to still sort of hold together, this one was a dud. But there are some moments. bottom line is quite good. Maybe almost excellent. That late 80s sound has never been my fav anyway but this song does pretty well

    As poor as I think WO is as an album, IMO it’s slightly ahead of Eaten Alive. The songs are stronger on EA but i absolutely hate the combination of the Gibbs nasal backgrounds and Diana’s nasal (and often strained) vocals.

  10. #10
    Workin' Overtime was a major disappointment, although there are some good songs on it. The whole project just screams "I'm trying to stay relevant" and that works counter-productive (they were clearly going after a second "diana" album, even using the same logo). Also musically, the album misses warmth, even for the late eighties. Some of the remixes of Workin' Overtime and Paradise are much better than the album versions, with much more "real" base sounds. I love the Workin' Overtime "house mix" (which is quite a ironic label, as the mix is definitely not "house") that is much more funky than the other versions--I still play the vinyl once in a while.

  11. #11
    i liked Keep On Dancin and Paradise....wonder if her 90s albums will ever get the expanded edition

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    i liked Keep On Dancin and Paradise....wonder if her 90s albums will ever get the expanded edition
    It would be great if WO were to receive the expanded treatment if only for all the wonderful remixes. The 12 inch club mix of "Paradise" is ** BRILLIANT**.
    I have always felt Say We Can" (a positive message song) should have been the lead single followed by "Bottom Line". My personal favourite is "This House" although i would never have released it as a single.

  13. #13
    In order: Bottom Line, Paradise, Keep On Dancing. The rest is either too noisy or way too high - I’m surprised neighborhood dogs don’t go crazy.

  14. #14
    I'm a huge fan of Nile Rodgers but the only good thing about this album was the cover.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I'm a huge fan of Nile Rodgers but the only good thing about this album was the cover.
    I thought the cover was almost as bad as the music on the album. I cannot convey into words how much i hate this ghastly album. It was a career low point until the pitiful "i love you" album came along.

  16. #16
    I have to say I liked it too and thought the criticism was a little unfair at the time. It had a cohesive sound, but perhaps very much of its time. I was young enough to be wearing ripped jeans at the time myself! My favourites were "Bottom Line" and "Goin' Through The Motions". I am encouraged now to check out the remixes and would like to see it get an expanded release too.
    Last edited by markdtiller; 02-27-2019 at 11:59 AM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I thought the cover was almost as bad as the music on the album. I cannot convey into words how much i hate this ghastly album. It was a career low point until the pitiful "i love you" album came along.
    Sorry blue - shoulda said 'the cover was the best thing'. So many wasted opportunities for Diana in the 80s.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by markdtiller View Post
    I have to say I liked it too and thought the criticism was a little unfair at the time. It had a cohesive sound, but perhaps very much of its time. I was young enough to be wearing ripped jeans at the time too. My favourites were "Bottom Line" and "Goin' Through The Motions". I am encouraged now to check out the remixes and would like to see it get an expanded release too.
    I was doing my ripped jeans thing at the time as well Mark and quite a while beyond if i'm being honest lol...
    The album received quite a few positive reviews here in the UK though i can see why fans who prefer Diana in full glamour mode may have been put off. Not a "One More Chance" in sight.
    In hindsight the album might have benefited had the production been a little more pop and a little less hip-hop, but that does not stop me enjoying it.
    I have always thought Nile an odd choice as producer considering what the concept of the album was. Jam and Lewis would have been better suited although Janet might not have agreed.

  19. #19
    Thanks for the suggestions guys! I shall check out those tracks now.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions guys! I shall check out those tracks now.
    Tom, since you are listening with fresh ears, please let us know which tracks you feel are best after 30 years...

  21. #21
    I listened to all the tracks on the album and can't really remember any highlights!! I guess that's what happened last time !! I think "Keep On (Dancin')" was my the one I liked best.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    I listened to all the tracks on the album and can't really remember any highlights!! I guess that's what happened last time !! I think "Keep On (Dancin')" was my the one I liked best.
    There are no "highlights" as such Tom. It is an embarrassment for everyone involved directly or indirectly.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    There are no "highlights" as such Tom. It is an embarrassment for everyone involved directly or indirectly.
    I have never blamed Diana for this disaster. I think she sings very well, convincingly. The opposite of Eaten Alive in fact.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Albator View Post
    I have never blamed Diana for this disaster. I think she sings very well, convincingly. The opposite of Eaten Alive in fact.
    Eaten Alive is the other project that left me disappointed. Yet, many fans cite EA as a favorite, and their favorite of the RCA years. Just like WO, there are a few songs from EA that I really love, the rest being too much of a sound/style that should have been offered in small doses...

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
    Eaten Alive is the other project that left me disappointed. Yet, many fans cite EA as a favorite, and their favorite of the RCA years. Just like WO, there are a few songs from EA that I really love, the rest being too much of a sound/style that should have been offered in small doses...
    I shouldn’t have been disapointed by EA since I thought Barry Gibb style was not suited to Diana. But I was disapointed by her voice. She sings so high, it’s unpleasant.

  26. #26
    EA is the most disappointing Diana album, IMO. the title track is a mess, most of the songs are arranged too high for her, the mix was terrible and she's so buried and the combination of Ross/Gibbs is one of the worst things i think ever to be put on wax. She vocal tone and his/their are so incompatible as they're both quite nasal. just an absolute horrible blend.

  27. #27
    Join Date
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    30 years ago I was tremendously disappointed, again, with another lousy Ross album. You got to admit she was batting 1000 during the 80's.

  28. #28
    We probably have to believe Barry Gibb when he describes Diana's approach during the RCA years. Minimal involvement as a performer, studio sessions interspersed with various activities (flying to record the American Music Awards in L.A, buying hats in New York, going to and from Europe, and others).
    Since Gary Katz said the same and that's what she also liked to show in a 1981 TV report, it's understandable that the albums are disjointed.

  29. #29
    What I like about this forum (among many things) is the discussing of albums that I have forgotten about or rejected. EA and WO are the two Ross albums I never listen to. Yet, in another thread, someone posted the EA video and I found myself liking and enjoying it. Funny how I never liked it when it came out. I still hesitate to subject myself to the whole album, but these threads are opening up my mind again. I recall at least not hating This House, Bottom Line, Paradise on WO.

  30. #30
    A least the WO album had a litlle fire in it's belly, unlike the bland, vanilla production on much of The Force Behind The Power Album.
    For me Workin' Overtime is a solid, consistent effort, far superior then any of her rca albums if only for the fact Diana is not vocally resting on her laurels. It has always been in my top 5 Diana albums. If some of the songs had been cut in a lower key, namely "What Can One Person Do" i would rate it even higher.

  31. #31

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Albator View Post
    We probably have to believe Barry Gibb when he describes Diana's approach during the RCA years. Minimal involvement as a performer, studio sessions interspersed with various activities (flying to record the American Music Awards in L.A, buying hats in New York, going to and from Europe, and others).
    Since Gary Katz said the same and that's what she also liked to show in a 1981 TV report, it's understandable that the albums are disjointed.
    Sadly this seems to be true. For much of the 80's Diana appeared more interested in making money then putting out good music. Mercifully this musically arid period came to an end when the sparkling WO set hit the shops and fans like me could once again play a D.R album from start to finish.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Albator View Post
    We probably have to believe Barry Gibb when he describes Diana's approach during the RCA years. Minimal involvement as a performer, studio sessions interspersed with various activities (flying to record the American Music Awards in L.A, buying hats in New York, going to and from Europe, and others).
    Since Gary Katz said the same and that's what she also liked to show in a 1981 TV report, it's understandable that the albums are disjointed.
    wow - i hadn't really heard that she was so uninvolved in her recordings during the RCA years

  33. #33
    Well I guess to each his own. Her EA album is one of my favorite Diana Ross albums. I absolutely love it. I really don't care for the title song but the rest of the album is a masterpiece IMHO.

  34. #34
    I remember all of the hype. The Vanity Fair cover. The Queen returns to Motown hoopla. And then this dreadful album. 30 years later, I am still bitter.

    I actually like the lyric of "Workin Overtime" but the music and production is terrible. The only listenable song is "This House" and it's not one you'd want to listen to repeatedly.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by vgalindo View Post
    Well I guess to each his own. Her EA album is one of my favorite Diana Ross albums. I absolutely love it. I really don't care for the title song but the rest of the album is a masterpiece IMHO.
    I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but there were some good songs on there. The title track needed a remix, as the released mix was a bit of a mess. It could have been a classic had Diana given it the attention it demanded. She was making tons of money at the expense of making good albums during the 80's. So many lost opportunities.....

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    I remember all of the hype. The Vanity Fair cover. The Queen returns to Motown hoopla. And then this dreadful album. 30 years later, I am still bitter.

    I actually like the lyric of "Workin Overtime" but the music and production is terrible. The only listenable song is "This House" and it's not one you'd want to listen to repeatedly.
    Totally agree. No-one involved in it was happy with the finished product, especially Diana herself.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    wow - i hadn't really heard that she was so uninvolved in her recordings during the RCA years
    Very much so. She showed very little interest or respect for anything or anyone involved with her professionally during this period.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but there were some good songs on there. The title track needed a remix, as the released mix was a bit of a mess. It could have been a classic had Diana given it the attention it demanded. She was making tons of money at the expense of making good albums during the 80's. So many lost opportunities.....
    Well maybe not a masterpiece. But none the less I love the album. It is one of my all time favorites of her RCA and Motown output.

  39. #39
    EA did have some gems and good vocals by Diana. the title cut is the my least fav but i love the video. it had potential. i always been fond of CRIMES OF PASSION. could been a hit. Teacher has grown on me. i think a few tracks had to much Bee Gees on them and i would have used other singers but i am also a fan of the Bee Gees.but i agree the title cut needed a different mix.i could hardly understand the lyrics

  40. #40
    maybe its me, but perhaps that is what Diana was used to. the HDH guys producing everthing and she would just come in and record her vocals and leave. i suppose she thought the producers would just handle it. i dont get it especially since , i thought , she wanted control of her music in the 80s. one minute she was in control and then it seems she wasnt. when Streisand releases an album she always seems to have an idea of what kind of album she is working on start to finish.
    I think I LOVE YOU and LAST TIME I SAW HIM are the worst 2 lps of her career ,followed by WHY DO FOOLS FALL.
    WO has some moments, but I would have remixed this album like they did DIANA. although I do like the original CHIC mixs.
    if they continue with eric kupper mixs, maybe he could work magic on a few of these duds

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Sadly this seems to be true. For much of the 80's Diana appeared more interested in making money then putting out good music. Mercifully this musically arid period came to an end when the sparkling WO set hit the shops and fans like me could once again play a D.R album from start to finish.
    Was it just money that was the engine? Wasn't it rather that she ended up like a princess who can afford anything she wants? At that time, money was flowing in the record companies, and Diana was offered many possibilities, from fashion, to make-up to concerts and albums. We were in the middle of the Super Woman and she was one of them.
    I really think she did something wrong in terms of self-management.
    Strangely, her glamorous but also disastrous performance for the Tonight Show in 81, sums up the situation a little bit.
    I remember the first concert I saw in Paris back in 1985. I was dazzled but while Eaten Alive LP was out a very few weeks before the concert, she only promoted Swept away. For the tour around Red Hot, it was the same thing.

  42. #42
    Diana's rca years have bee reviewed and discussed many a time by fans on this forum Albator.
    Diana proved herself an astute business woman during this period. Sadly, this was counterbalanced by her obvious lack of creative vision as to what the public wanted from her who she was as a recording artist.
    WDFFIL was a hit ONLY because she was at the peak of her popularity, not because it was a good album. It fact it was for the most part dreadful. Her live performance of "Mirror Mirror" on the Tonight Show was for someone of Diana's stature nothing short of embarrassing.
    Moving away from the gloom and doom, the years 83 through to 87 for me produced a mixed bag. I actually think EA a decent effort, with ross, SA and RHR&B having their creative moments.
    The years 89, 95 and 99 produced three brilliant albums which for myself and i'm sure many a fan are thought of as classic Diana albums. FBTP imo is a solid if unexciting effort.
    Last edited by Ollie9; 03-03-2019 at 08:20 AM.

  43. #43
    I agree that the 80s saw diana prove that while she’s a talented entertainer she’s not a talented entertainment manager. Lots of questionable decisions

    But I’m of the opinion that WDFFIL is a fairly strong album. The rendition of Endless Love is ghastly but many of the other tracks are strong. Sometimes her vocals are a bit generic, as if she’s sort of coasting when she should have been pushing herself. But overall I think it’s a rather strong set. Not her best but far from her weakest. Frankly although the tracks are hot i find many of her vocals on diana 80 to be too mechanical and generic too. Yet everyone lists that lp as one of her finest.

    her subsequent RCA albums also tend to be mixed bags. I find her use of echo annoying and often her vocals are too buried in the mix. Sort of ironic given how fans have complained over the years about the sup background vocals being too buried back in the 60s lol

  44. #44
    I'm not convinced sup lol.... WDFFIL is for me Diana's worst album ever....as in of all time.
    I much prefer "I Love You and thats saying something. The production on Fools is so pedestrian and flat sounding that it kills the entire album. Most of the songs to my ears sound like dime a dozen pop fluff. How the queen of motown went from recording such classics as "The Boss" and Upside Down" to crap like "Two Can Make It" and half baked 50's retreads is beyond me. I do however very much agree that Her solo version of Endless Love is beyond awful. Her vocal is strained, wispy and at times close to being off key. With Richie at the helm on the duet version her vocal is crisp, powerful and engaging.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I'm not convinced sup lol.... WDFFIL is for me Diana's worst album ever....as in of all time.
    I much prefer "I Love You and thats saying something. The production on Fools is so pedestrian and flat sounding that it kills the entire album. Most of the songs to my ears sound like dime a dozen pop fluff. How the queen of motown went from recording such classics as "The Boss" and Upside Down" to crap like "Two Can Make It" and half baked 50's retreads is beyond me. I do however very much agree that Her solo version of Endless Love is beyond awful. Her vocal is strained, wispy and at times close to being off key. With Richie at the helm on the duet version her vocal is crisp, powerful and engaging.
    I have to say, I totally agree with your assessment of WDFFIL album.i wanted to like it, and after the success of Diana. I wanted to. I just cant for all the reasons you stated.
    weak songs and lazy vocals.
    I don't understand how she has repeatedly released a excellent hit album and followed it up with a dud. you would think she would have learned her lesson a few times over and would have been ready to fly in 1981, but she just dropped the ball.
    I am not sure how she sees herself as a singer.?

  46. #46
    Lolol love the different points of view

    I don’t think WDFFIL is a stellar album. But I think the title track, mirror mirror, sweet surrender,it’s never too late are very good. Think I’m in love isn’t too bad. Not as strong as others but decent. Sweet nothings and work that body are silly but fun. I think they add some needed camp and light heartedness. 2 can make is a rather weak track and EL hideous

  47. #47
    I just listened to WORKIN OVERTIME for the first time in my life....



    I think better lyrics for this number would have been:

    "get out from that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans!" lol!!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 03-04-2019 at 12:14 AM.

  48. #48
    I think Diana has little musical creative vision. In the 80s she was trying to balance raising children, getting Josephine Baker made, and constant global touring selling out arenas and more arenas and more arenas and making the kind of money she should have made at Motown and never did. I think she did get a little caught up in trying to do too much, and completely lost sight of her self artistically. Red hot rhythm and blues is proof of that: what on earth was that supposed to be? I think that’s her worst album ever…… Even worse than I love you, even though I’ve never played I love you all the way through, I wasn’t expecting anything ...... but an album titled red heart rhythm and blues I really look forward to you until I heard it… I don’t know what it was… But if it wasn’t for summertime, I might’ve taken it back to the used record store for a dollar. I’m sorry that we got so little listenable product after the chic album, But I’m happy that she’s alive and well and has all the money she could ever want and doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want and if that means having to separate through some god awful music along the way it’s OK. I do think if you take all the RCA your albums and mix them up and let the cream rises to the top you have enough for one decent album.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I'm not convinced sup lol.... WDFFIL is for me Diana's worst album ever....as in of all time.
    I much prefer "I Love You and thats saying something. The production on Fools is so pedestrian and flat sounding that it kills the entire album. Most of the songs to my ears sound like dime a dozen pop fluff. How the queen of motown went from recording such classics as "The Boss" and Upside Down" to crap like "Two Can Make It" and half baked 50's retreads is beyond me. I do however very much agree that Her solo version of Endless Love is beyond awful. Her vocal is strained, wispy and at times close to being off key. With Richie at the helm on the duet version her vocal is crisp, powerful and engaging.
    At least we can agree on WDFFIL Ollie. It is indeed a poorly produced and poorly executed album. I just wish she had held out for Quincy to produce it. He would have replaced those awful cover versions with stronger songs, and tested Diana vocally. Only Mirror Mirror emerges with any credit on this uneven mess of an album. For me it is her 3rd worst effort after I love you and Workin Overtime.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    I think Diana has little musical creative vision. In the 80s she was trying to balance raising children, getting Josephine Baker made, and constant global touring selling out arenas and more arenas and more arenas and making the kind of money she should have made at Motown and never did. I think she did get a little caught up in trying to do too much, and completely lost sight of her self artistically. Red hot rhythm and blues is proof of that: what on earth was that supposed to be? I think that’s her worst album ever…… Even worse than I love you, even though I’ve never played I love you all the way through, I wasn’t expecting anything ...... but an album titled red heart rhythm and blues I really look forward to you until I heard it… I don’t know what it was… But if it wasn’t for summertime, I might’ve taken it back to the used record store for a dollar. I’m sorry that we got so little listenable product after the chic album, But I’m happy that she’s alive and well and has all the money she could ever want and doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want and if that means having to separate through some god awful music along the way it’s OK. I do think if you take all the RCA your albums and mix them up and let the cream rises to the top you have enough for one decent album.
    Red Hot had its moments. Cross my heart, It's hard for me to say and Summertime are lovely songs, but there are some stiffs on there.

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