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  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    That's almost a backhanded complement , "no one else would have us so we were left doing Diana Ross"... It's not even accurate, Chic had not crashed , they were the hottest ticket of 1979... and DIANA just cemented their worth.
    But I'm glad they're friends, they should be.
    So is thisc also backhanded?











    • Nile Rodgers This is a song I wrote to thank her. It was great playing with her two nights ago. I'll be forever grateful and loaded with love for Diana and Bernard Edwards.











  2. Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    "no one else would have us so we were left doing Diana Ross"... It's not even accurate, Chic had not crashed , they were the hottest ticket of 1979... and DIANA just cemented their worth.
    But I'm glad they're friends, they should be.

    Rodgers' autobiography is one I have not read....need to ....I wonder if in it , he discusses the WORKIN' OVERTIME project. Would love to hear his perspective. Is it a proud work of his ?
    In 1980 - when 'diana' came out Chic were not at all hot. Their own album was a flop (like the next one would be), the follow-up to Sister Sledge's great 'We Are Family' album had also flopped and the album by Sheila (& B Devotion) was also not much of a success. All of these were released around the same time as Diana's and it was probably only her star power that helped it escape from the 'disco sucks' mentality of the time. It is true that Nile & Nard were probably spreading themselves a bit thin in 79/80.

    One of the curious things back then was that with the dramas about Diana remixing the album to make it 'less Chic' there was a quote from her in the press saying 'I loved working with Bernard' (and no mention of Nile) but obviously they patched up any differences by Working Overtime (for better or for worse).

    Unfortunately Nile's autobiography is very light on in regards to the musical detail of many of his most famous works, let alone WO.

  3. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    So is thisc also backhanded?



    • Nile Rodgers This is a song I wrote to thank her. It was great playing with her two nights ago. I'll be forever grateful and loaded with love for Diana and Bernard Edwards.
    don't know .....haven't seen the lyrics

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    don't know .....haven't seen the lyrics
    Oh sorry.....i thought you could read the inner mind and thoughts of Nile Rodgers.

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    In 1980 - when 'diana' came out Chic were not at all hot. Their own album was a flop (like the next one would be), the follow-up to Sister Sledge's great 'We Are Family' album had also flopped and the album by Sheila (& B Devotion) was also not much of a success. All of these were released around the same time as Diana's and it was probably only her star power that helped it escape from the 'disco sucks' mentality of the time. It is true that Nile & Nard were probably spreading themselves a bit thin in 79/80.

    One of the curious things back then was that with the dramas about Diana remixing the album to make it 'less Chic' there was a quote from her in the press saying 'I loved working with Bernard' (and no mention of Nile) but obviously they patched up any differences by Working Overtime (for better or for worse).

    Unfortunately Nile's autobiography is very light on in regards to the musical detail of many of his most famous works, let alone WO.
    we are on the same page with this. by 1980 Chic had crashed. But 1979 was a huge year for them . Their own platinum album hit #5 on the Billboard top 200 album chart , and Sister Sledge's platinum album reached #3 on that same chart that year. Hard enough heights for rock albums, never mind disco .
    That's where they were at when Diana Ross signed on with them at the end of '79.
    You're right, Chic's next album would tank when it came out a couple of months after DIANA. I wouldn't completely blame the anti-disco sentiments that existed that Rodgers mentions, the album stank then and still does to this day. The same for the follow-up Sister Sledge album which came out in 1980 a couple of months before DIANA. Were they as good as their predecessors , their fans would've forced their success on a reluctant industry ( just as DIANA did).

    Looking over all of this now, Nile' s gratitude for the Diana Ross project is spot on. How it shone the way it did , seems to have beaten the odds and maybe it drained the last spurt of Niles and Rodgers' creativity. Ross herself likely deserves a good amount of credit as it was her input about what she wanted the material to express that helped give them direction.
    Certainly the success of the DIANA album paved the way for the duo to further work with known acts like Carly Simon and Debbie Harry , for whom , unfortunately , they provided more crap, before finding their way to more successful results with others.

    So to be sure , Nile Rodgers , now looking back at the total picture, has every reason to consider Diana Ross one of his most valuable friends.

    I wonder how that Sheila & B. Devotion project came to be?? They were European and only popular there. How did they team up?

    Sorry to learn the Rodger's auto is thin on details. I was afraid of that . So many of them are. Wish these people would learn from the Mary Wilson/Raynoma Gordy handbook of book writing, if you're going to write about it, REALLY do it , other wise why waste our time.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Chic's next album would tank when it came out a couple of months after DIANA. I wouldn't completely blame the anti-disco sentiments that existed that Rodgers mentions, the album stank then and still does to this day.
    I quite liked that album (particularly '26' and 'I Loved You More') but there weren't any obvious hits on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I wonder how that Sheila & B. Devotion project came to be?? They were European and only popular there. How did they team up?


    I think it was just that her record company got in touch with Nile/Nard after she'd had a hit with a disco version of 'Singin in the Rain' as they were wanting a hit album (which didn't quite work out even though 'Spacer' was a reasonable success though not in the US).
    Last edited by Levi Stubbs Tears; 03-17-2019 at 09:48 PM.

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I quite liked that album (particularly '26' and 'I Loved You More') but there weren't any obvious hits on it.



    I think it was just that her record company got in touch with Nile/Nard after she'd had a hit with a disco version of 'Singin in the Rain' as they were wanting a hit album (which didn't quite work out even though 'Spacer' was a reasonable success though not in the US).
    I thought "Spacer" was a great record in 1980.

  8. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I quite liked that album (particularly '26' and 'I Loved You More') but there weren't any obvious hits on it.



    I think it was just that her record company got in touch with Nile/Nard after she'd had a hit with a disco version of 'Singin in the Rain' as they were wanting a hit album (which didn't quite work out even though 'Spacer' was a reasonable success though not in the US).
    It makes sense that Sheila , (she used to be Sheila B), being eager to break the US market, would seek out what appeared to be the hottest production team in the US. SPACER is quality lively Chic stuff but to me the somber sounding vocal delivery is at odds with the composition. It looks like after this effort Sheila lost her devotion to having a singing career.



    I wonder if this tune was offered to Diana Ross for her LP, but she declined it. Does the vocalizing here seem to sort of mirror her? Reminds me somewhat of MY OLD PIANO.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 03-18-2019 at 02:36 AM.

  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    It makes sense that Sheila , (she used to be Sheila B), being eager to break the US market, would seek out what appeared to be the hottest production team in the US. SPACER is quality lively Chic stuff but to me the somber sounding vocal delivery is at odds with the composition. It looks like after this effort Sheila lost her devotion to having a singing career.



    I wonder if this tune was offered to Diana Ross for her LP, but she declined it. Does the vocalizing here seem to sort of mirror her? Reminds me somewhat of MY OLD PIANO.
    I think it was under consideration for the album, but was overlooked prior to the recording of the album.

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I quite liked that album (particularly '26' and 'I Loved You More') but there weren't any obvious hits on it.
    Agree. Musically, "Real People" is elegant and funky and shows Nile & Bernard trying to move beyond disco. It still holds up today. Unfortunately, Chic was so synonymous with disco it suffered the backlash.

  11. #111
    Fact remains "WO" sold rings around/multiples of/exponentially better/hella more than anything any other Supreme issued as a solo. In fact, probably more than all of them put together over the entire course of their careers. The advantage the out-of-the-box, first-solo-project scud-missile bomb debuts have is that there is never any success in the first place to come down from.

  12. #112
    I find it odd that while discussing Working Overtime the topic of sales, or lack thereof, of the other Supreme's is brought up. Why is that necessary in this thread?

    We ALL know that Diana has the career, the hits, the movies and is still selling out concerts; that is not new information. I find it disconcerting to drag the other Supremes "down" in this thread. It's mean-spirited and so unnecessary.

  13. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by motownlover1964 View Post
    I find it odd that while discussing Working Overtime the topic of sales, or lack thereof, of the other Supreme's is brought up. Why is that necessary in this thread?

    We ALL know that Diana has the career, the hits, the movies and is still selling out concerts; that is not new information. I find it disconcerting to drag the other Supremes "down" in this thread. It's mean-spirited and so unnecessary.
    Hi there Motownlover! I believe that it is necessary as there are several here who don't believe your first sentence is correct. Best to you!

  14. #114
    Thanks, PNH. After I posted it I had second thoughts as I didn't want to be perceived as giving you a load of b.s. I appreciated your response. Kind regards to you, too.

  15. #115
    WO it seems is a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. I for one have always loved it.
    Perhaps Diana could have played it safe and made a more pop orientated album to mark her return to the company. It probably would have been the sensible thing to do. As it was she took a risk, put the sequin frocks in storage and went for it.
    IMO the album is fresh and innovative, featuring some really inspiring songs and sensitive ballads. My only critique being the vocals are a little to high on a couple of the songs.
    For fans who hate the album, i find it just as perplexing how anyone can enjoy the soulless and quite anaemic WDFFIL project..... Horses for courses as we say in the UK.

  16. #116
    Maybe the album would have been better received if 1) the songs were recut in a slightly lower key and 2) there was a big more variety on the album. she dove into the deep end with this sound and perhaps wading in from the shallow end would have been more prudent. Add in a few more classic pop/r&b tunes and cut some of the harsher material. But she'd still have some up to date and modern tracks like Bottom Like, Say We Can, etc.

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    WO it seems is a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. I for one have always loved it.
    Perhaps Diana could have played it safe and made a more pop orientated album to mark her return to the company. It probably would have been the sensible thing to do. As it was she took a risk, put the sequin frocks in storage and went for it.
    IMO the album is fresh and innovative, featuring some really inspiring songs and sensitive ballads. My only critique being the vocals are a little to high on a couple of the songs.
    For fans who hate the album, i find it just as perplexing how anyone can enjoy the soulless and quite anaemic WDFFIL project..... Horses for courses as we say in the UK.
    I agree with you that WDFFIL was a dull and bland affair. It was by far her worst effort since Last Time i Saw Him., but i would even have to give those two turkeys the nod over Workin Overtime. Maybe i shall have to re-evaluate it when (if) the proposed 2 disc expanded edition ever sees the light of day, along with the far superior 3 Motown albums that followed it. I am still hopeful they will appear this year.

  18. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I agree with you that WDFFIL was a dull and bland affair. It was by far her worst effort since Last Time i Saw Him., but i would even have to give those two turkeys the nod over Workin Overtime. Maybe i shall have to re-evaluate it when (if) the proposed 2 disc expanded edition ever sees the light of day, along with the far superior 3 Motown albums that followed it. I am still hopeful they will appear this year.
    But what WDFFIL had going for it , to make it seem like an event , was a ton of hype put behind it from RCA. How else are you going to make its lead single of which the album is titled after , a 50's tune remake --- seem like something we've all been waiting for from Diana Ross.
    That's what baffles me about WORKIN' OVERTIME , Diana Ross is finally back on Motown , and this is it?? This is the result? And even if no one thinks this is going to be a home run , you fake it!! Like RCA, you work what you got ! How often do you get to welcome Diana Ross back? This is a one shot opportunity , you gotta milk it.

    I can only conclude that the confidence in this work was that low , it really wasn't worth pumping effort into and would likely be an embarrassment. Much ado about nothing.
    The collaboration with Nile Rodgers alone should've been a winning angle. Together again at last. But Motown only subtlety references the Chic connection by using the same "diana" logo on the cover . I'm guessing they didn't want to over promise by promoting this renewed association.
    There is nothing "Chic" sounding about the LP. Nile does not pick up and play his trademark guitar once. The entire LP's music is just artificial programming , great if you like that sound , but not Chic sounding , and with plenty of current artists of the day pumping that stuff out, ... which of Diana's fans were hoping to hear it from her ? Apparently not many.

    BTW it's not a dig at Diana Ross to say WORKIN' OVERTIME was her worst chart performing album, when you release 20 albums and rank them , one of them has to be at the bottom. It's just astonishing to me that it would turn out to be this one , her first Motown album in twenty years.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 03-22-2019 at 01:29 AM.

  19. #119
    another angle that we've not discussed is Motown as a label. by the late 80s, motown was NOT the solid and innovative label it once was. frankly it had never rebounded from their peak years in the 60s. if one was looking to find hot and new hip hop and new jack swing music, motown would not have been an initial label you'd have looked to. So perhaps some blame falls on them too. perhaps they were desperate as a label to crack this category and hoped that a mega name like DIANA ROSS would help facilitate that.

    also Diana didn't initially sign with Motown. after she left RCA she signed with MCA and released If We Hold On Together on that label. MCA then bought motown and "they" decided to place diana back on her home label. not sure exactly who all decided or pushed for this - did diana ask for it once the sale was finalized? did the MCA execs want to do it? did the motown team request it?

  20. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    another angle that we've not discussed is Motown as a label. by the late 80s, motown was NOT the solid and innovative label it once was. frankly it had never rebounded from their peak years in the 60s. if one was looking to find hot and new hip hop and new jack swing music, motown would not have been an initial label you'd have looked to. So perhaps some blame falls on them too. perhaps they were desperate as a label to crack this category and hoped that a mega name like DIANA ROSS would help facilitate that.

    also Diana didn't initially sign with Motown. after she left RCA she signed with MCA and released If We Hold On Together on that label. MCA then bought motown and "they" decided to place diana back on her home label. not sure exactly who all decided or pushed for this - did diana ask for it once the sale was finalized? did the MCA execs want to do it? did the motown team request it?
    In my poking around , I was surprised to discover this, and was about to get into it as well. Diana Ross signed with MCA and was flabbergasted that about that time MCA then bought out Motown and wanted to transition her to that label! The way I read it, if Diana had any idea it was headed this way she never would've signed with MCA.
    I guess Berry talked her into going along with it, got some perks added to the deal, a partial ownership for her.
    So maybe WORKIN' OVERTIME was an MCA project that then wound up being on Motown?? This to me would explain the decision to approach her first Motown album this way, with this kind of content . Because even if Motown was no longer the label it once was , they still had a strong roster of acts from Diana's era, it (to me) defies logic that you wouldn't tap into that to create a welcome back to the family story line.

    One thing that is clear , there was little fanfare centered around Diana's return , so it doesn't seem like a thrill abounded from any angle.

    What also still puzzles me is why choose Nile Rodgers and then not really use him . Looks like all the programming of the synths were done by Greg Smith and Nile mostly hung around.

    Here're some rather unconvincing comments imo about this project from Diana:

    Last edited by Boogiedown; 03-21-2019 at 04:47 PM.

  21. #121
    well if anything, her first MCA effort (if we hold on) is MUCH more Diana than anything on WO. It's a nice song but nothing overly special. Just sort of a typical DR ballad that you can hold hands and sway to. frankly she's done more than enough of those and if IWHOT was any indication of her work to come at MCA, at least WO was a change of pace!

    interesting to hear that she was NOT overly excited about the return to Motwn

  22. 'Eaten Alive' with its' Michael Jackson title track, Supremes-sounding 'Chain Reaction' and follow-up single 'Experience' would have suited a 'return to Motown' album.

  23. #123
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    another angle that we've not discussed is Motown as a label. by the late 80s, motown was NOT the solid and innovative label it once was. frankly it had never rebounded from their peak years in the 60s. if one was looking to find hot and new hip hop and new jack swing music, motown would not have been an initial label you'd have looked to. So perhaps some blame falls on them too. perhaps they were desperate as a label to crack this category and hoped that a mega name like DIANA ROSS would help facilitate that.

    also Diana didn't initially sign with Motown. after she left RCA she signed with MCA and released If We Hold On Together on that label. MCA then bought motown and "they" decided to place diana back on her home label. not sure exactly who all decided or pushed for this - did diana ask for it once the sale was finalized? did the MCA execs want to do it? did the motown team request it?
    It really didn't matter what company name was printed on the label of her records at that point, because by that time she was considered by the public to be an oldies artist. No one that I can remember cared about any new material she released or would release moving forward.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    No one that I can remember cared about any new material she released or would release moving forward.
    You should have made some British friends and they could have told you about the two Top10 and three Top40 songs that charted from 'The Force Behind The Power' album a couple of years later

  25. #125
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    You should have made some British friends and they could have told you about the two Top10 and three Top40 songs that charted from 'The Force Behind The Power' album a couple of years later
    We didn't have the internet then and in America, hardly anyone has ever heard that song or others from that album.

    In America, Diana Ross was a member of the Supremes in the 60s and a Disco diva in the 70s. That is what the general public here will think of when her name is mentioned. Many have forgotten that she made some movies, but if you mention Lady Sings the Blues, they will remember if they are of a certain age.
    Last edited by marv2; 03-22-2019 at 10:13 AM.

  26. #126
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    We didn't have the internet then and in America, hardly anyone has ever heard that song or others from that album.

    In America, Diana Ross was a member of the Supremes in the 60s and a Disco diva in the 70s. That is what the general public hear will think of when her name is mentioned. Many have forgotten that she made some movies, but if you mention Lady Sings the Blues, they will remember if they are of a certain age.
    Again with the fabricattions and fake news. you know thats not really true because you mention Diane Ross every single day so thank you for keeping this Presidential Medal of Freedom award lady and Kennedy Center honoree in the news and helping her sell out Radio City Music Hall in hours. You really are her greatest fan and stalker.

  27. #127
    [QUOTE=Boogiedown;507799]In my poking around , I was surprised to discover this, and was about to get into it as well. Diana Ross signed with MCA and was flabbergasted that about that time MCA then bought out Motown and wanted to transition her to that label! The way I read it, if Diana had any idea it was headed this way she never would've signed with MCA.
    I guess Berry talked her into going along with it, got some perks added to the deal, a partial ownership for her.
    So maybe WORKIN' OVERTIME was an MCA project that then wound up being on Motown?? This to me would explain the decision to approach her first Motown album this way, with this kind of content . Because even if Motown was no longer the label it once was , they still had a strong roster of acts from Diana's era, it (to me) defies logic that you wouldn't tap into that to create a welcome back to the family story line.

    One thing that is clear , there was little fanfare centered around Diana's return , so it doesn't seem like a thrill abounded from any angle.

    What also still puzzles me is why choose Nile Rodgers and then not really use him . Looks like all the programming of the synths were done by Greg Smith and Nile mostly hung around./QUOTE]

    An interesting post, but why do you think Diana would have been flabbergasted at the thought of returning to motown and why do you think she would never have signed with MCA had she known what might happen?.
    Berry said in his book that Diana rang him begging him not to sell Motown and that she was ready to return to the label. It's no secret that she was unhappy at RCA and felt she wasn't supported. She has also said herself in interviews that leaving the label made her realise all the things motown actually did for her.
    Despite any synth programming, i think the WO album sounds a lot looser then diana did which at times is a little mechanical sounding. I never thought that much of the Chic mixes, but have since come to appreciate the more spacious, funky arrangements.

  28. #128
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Again with the fabricattions and fake news. you know thats not really true because you mention Diane Ross every single day so thank you for keeping this Presidential Medal of Freedom award lady and Kennedy Center honoree in the news and helping her sell out Radio City Music Hall in hours. You really are her greatest fan and stalker.
    He is, for sure.

  29. #129
    I'm actually a huge fan of hers and followed her throughout her career. But i will admit that from a contemporary musical force in the US, she really wasn't a major factor by the late 80s and beyond. Sure people remember her name, she appears on talk shows and in the news. but the vast majority of the american public was not aware of her releases through the 90s. there was a bit of activity within some of the dance clubs, and primarily the gay ones with Take Me Higher and I Will Survive.

    but for the most part, when people were looking at current music trends, she was not in their thinking

  30. #130
    [QUOTE=Ollie9;507886]
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    In my poking around , I was surprised to discover this, and was about to get into it as well. Diana Ross signed with MCA and was flabbergasted that about that time MCA then bought out Motown and wanted to transition her to that label! The way I read it, if Diana had any idea it was headed this way she never would've signed with MCA.
    I guess Berry talked her into going along with it, got some perks added to the deal, a partial ownership for her.
    So maybe WORKIN' OVERTIME was an MCA project that then wound up being on Motown?? This to me would explain the decision to approach her first Motown album this way, with this kind of content . Because even if Motown was no longer the label it once was , they still had a strong roster of acts from Diana's era, it (to me) defies logic that you wouldn't tap into that to create a welcome back to the family story line.

    One thing that is clear , there was little fanfare centered around Diana's return , so it doesn't seem like a thrill abounded from any angle.

    What also still puzzles me is why choose Nile Rodgers and then not really use him . Looks like all the programming of the synths were done by Greg Smith and Nile mostly hung around./QUOTE]

    An interesting post, but why do you think Diana would have been flabbergasted at the thought of returning to motown and why do you think she would never have signed with MCA had she known what might happen?.
    Berry said in his book that Diana rang him begging him not to sell Motown and that she was ready to return to the label. It's no secret that she was unhappy at RCA and felt she wasn't supported. She has also said herself in interviews that leaving the label made her realise all the things motown actually did for her.
    Despite any synth programming, i think the WO album sounds a lot looser then diana did which at times is a little mechanical sounding. I never thought that much of the Chic mixes, but have since come to appreciate the more spacious, funky arrangements.
    Ollie, I read it in an interview of Diana Ross I stumbled on. I'll look for it, and post a link , hope I can find it again. I don't want to misstate what I recall reading.

    RE: The sound on WO. I wasn't following Nile Rodgers by this time , was that the kind of music he was doing I wonder ? Otherwise what made Diana Ross think of him ? Doesn't make sense from a guitarist.

    If Diana had an awakening and re-appreciated Motown , why did her return wind up so lackluster ? Shouldn't there have been champagne toasts all-around? If Diana was happy , ( which you'd expect her say publically regardless) then it must be as marv says , it was Motown then that wasn't thrilled being stuck with her. They may have looked at it that way if MCA said , "here's Diana Ross , you've got no choice ."
    And maybe it was simply bad timing. Motown must have been in turmoil , Berry Gordy handing them off to MCA.

    Still they were fools to not have capitalized on it. Did Lionel Richie say "no way!". Smokey? Weren't they all needing a little career boost ? They didn't perceive opportunity ?

    That album cover should have been of Diana Ross standing in front of Hitsville USA, looking gleeful , arms raised , armpits showing ..."here I am back where I belong!".

  31. #131
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I'm actually a huge fan of hers and followed her throughout her career. But i will admit that from a contemporary musical force in the US, she really wasn't a major factor by the late 80s and beyond. Sure people remember her name, she appears on talk shows and in the news. but the vast majority of the american public was not aware of her releases through the 90s. there was a bit of activity within some of the dance clubs, and primarily the gay ones with Take Me Higher and I Will Survive.

    but for the most part, when people were looking at current music trends, she was not in their thinking
    She had a good run though from roughly 1963 -84.

  32. #132
    [QUOTE=Boogiedown;507911]
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post

    Ollie, I read it in an interview of Diana Ross I stumbled on. I'll look for it, and post a link , hope I can find it again. I don't want to misstate what I recall reading.

    RE: The sound on WO. I wasn't following Nile Rodgers by this time , was that the kind of music he was doing I wonder ? Otherwise what made Diana Ross think of him ? Doesn't make sense from a guitarist.

    If Diana had an awakening and re-appreciated Motown , why did her return wind up so lackluster ? Shouldn't there have been champagne toasts all-around? If Diana was happy , ( which you'd expect her say publically regardless) then it must be as marv says , it was Motown then that wasn't thrilled being stuck with her. They may have looked at it that way if MCA said , "here's Diana Ross , you've got no choice ."
    And maybe it was simply bad timing. Motown must have been in turmoil , Berry Gordy handing them off to MCA.

    Still they were fools to not have capitalized on it. Did Lionel Richie say "no way!". Smokey? Weren't they all needing a little career boost ? They didn't perceive opportunity ?

    That album cover should have been of Diana Ross standing in front of Hitsville USA, looking gleeful , arms raised , armpits showing ..."here I am back where I belong!".
    She, Diana Ross said at the time that she was listening to a lot of music her kids were listening to and wanted to do something similar. It just didn't work. It was totally not the image of her that had been cemented with the public.

  33. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I'm actually a huge fan of hers and followed her throughout her career. But i will admit that from a contemporary musical force in the US, she really wasn't a major factor by the late 80s and beyond. Sure people remember her name, she appears on talk shows and in the news. but the vast majority of the american public was not aware of her releases through the 90s. there was a bit of activity within some of the dance clubs, and primarily the gay ones with Take Me Higher and I Will Survive.

    but for the most part, when people were looking at current music trends, she was not in their thinking
    True, and I don't think many of us are really saying otherwise. Most popular music follows a zeitgeist and after nearly 30 years and many changes of public taste in music styles the younger audience (who buy the majority of music) was looking for newer names and styles. That's the same reason why the vast majority of soul artists rooted in the 60's and 70's were off the charts entirely. But Diana, along with a handful of others (Stevie, MJ, etc) still had major deals and still sold out concerts. AND - presented albums like WO to fans who were happy to hear them!

  34. #134
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    But what WDFFIL had going for it , to make it seem like an event , was a ton of hype put behind it from RCA. How else are you going to make its lead single of which the album is titled after , a 50's tune remake --- seem like something we've all been waiting for from Diana Ross.
    That's what baffles me about WORKIN' OVERTIME , Diana Ross is finally back on Motown , and this is it?? This is the result? And even if no one thinks this is going to be a home run , you fake it!! Like RCA, you work what you got ! How often do you get to welcome Diana Ross back? This is a one shot opportunity , you gotta milk it.

    I can only conclude that the confidence in this work was that low , it really wasn't worth pumping effort into and would likely be an embarrassment. Much ado about nothing.
    The collaboration with Nile Rodgers alone should've been a winning angle. Together again at last. But Motown only subtlety references the Chic connection by using the same "diana" logo on the cover . I'm guessing they didn't want to over promise by promoting this renewed association.
    There is nothing "Chic" sounding about the LP. Nile does not pick up and play his trademark guitar once. The entire LP's music is just artificial programming , great if you like that sound , but not Chic sounding , and with plenty of current artists of the day pumping that stuff out, ... which of Diana's fans were hoping to hear it from her ? Apparently not many.

    BTW it's not a dig at Diana Ross to say WORKIN' OVERTIME was her worst chart performing album, when you release 20 albums and rank them , one of them has to be at the bottom. It's just astonishing to me that it would turn out to be this one , her first Motown album in twenty years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    In my poking around , I was surprised to discover this, and was about to get into it as well. Diana Ross signed with MCA and was flabbergasted that about that time MCA then bought out Motown and wanted to transition her to that label! The way I read it, if Diana had any idea it was headed this way she never would've signed with MCA.
    I guess Berry talked her into going along with it, got some perks added to the deal, a partial ownership for her.
    So maybe WORKIN' OVERTIME was an MCA project that then wound up being on Motown?? This to me would explain the decision to approach her first Motown album this way, with this kind of content . Because even if Motown was no longer the label it once was , they still had a strong roster of acts from Diana's era, it (to me) defies logic that you wouldn't tap into that to create a welcome back to the family story line.

    One thing that is clear , there was little fanfare centered around Diana's return , so it doesn't seem like a thrill abounded from any angle.

    What also still puzzles me is why choose Nile Rodgers and then not really use him . Looks like all the programming of the synths were done by Greg Smith and Nile mostly hung around.

    Here're some rather unconvincing comments imo about this project from Diana:

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Ollie, I read it in an interview of Diana Ross I stumbled on. I'll look for it, and post a link , hope I can find it again. I don't want to misstate what I recall reading.

    RE: The sound on WO. I wasn't following Nile Rodgers by this time , was that the kind of music he was doing I wonder ? Otherwise what made Diana Ross think of him ? Doesn't make sense from a guitarist.

    If Diana had an awakening and re-appreciated Motown , why did her return wind up so lackluster ? Shouldn't there have been champagne toasts all-around? If Diana was happy , ( which you'd expect her say publically regardless) then it must be as marv says , it was Motown then that wasn't thrilled being stuck with her. They may have looked at it that way if MCA said , "here's Diana Ross , you've got no choice ."
    And maybe it was simply bad timing. Motown must have been in turmoil , Berry Gordy handing them off to MCA.

    Still they were fools to not have capitalized on it. Did Lionel Richie say "no way!". Smokey? Weren't they all needing a little career boost ? They didn't perceive opportunity ?

    That album cover should have been of Diana Ross standing in front of Hitsville USA, looking gleeful , arms raised , armpits showing ..."here I am back where I belong!".
    Boogie, you are totally right about the album not sounding anything like Chic. It's very new jack swing, which I assume was intentional but doesn't make sense when you think Nile Rodgers was the producer. Why not get a new jack swing producer?!

    However, from what I do know about Nile in the 80s, he definitely branched out away from the Chic sound, with the Madonna, INXS, Duran Duran stuff.

    I'm revisiting Chic's 1992 album Chic-ism right now, which I remember thinking was entirely and utterly average when I first listened to it, but now I like it a lot!!! It's definitely more Chic than Workin' Overtime, I mean it even has horns!!!!

  35. #135
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post

    She, Diana Ross said at the time that she was listening to a lot of music her kids were listening to and wanted to do something similar. It just didn't work. It was totally not the image of her that had been cemented with the public.
    You hit the nail on the head . It was less about the genre or quality of the music and more about the image people had of M's Diana Ross and what she SHOULD sound like. Add to that the fact she was 45 at the time and it becomes a hard sell.
    I myself think this a huge shame as there are some very decent songs on the album.
    Last edited by Ollie9; 03-23-2019 at 07:38 AM.

  36. #136
    [QUOTE=Boogiedown;507911]
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post

    Ollie, I read it in an interview of Diana Ross I stumbled on. I'll look for it, and post a link , hope I can find it again. I don't want to misstate what I recall reading.

    RE: The sound on WO. I wasn't following Nile Rodgers by this time , was that the kind of music he was doing I wonder ? Otherwise what made Diana Ross think of him ? Doesn't make sense from a guitarist.

    If Diana had an awakening and re-appreciated Motown , why did her return wind up so lackluster ? Shouldn't there have been champagne toasts all-around? If Diana was happy , ( which you'd expect her say publically regardless) then it must be as marv says , it was Motown then that wasn't thrilled being stuck with her. They may have looked at it that way if MCA said , "here's Diana Ross , you've got no choice ."
    And maybe it was simply bad timing. Motown must have been in turmoil , Berry Gordy handing them off to MCA.

    Still they were fools to not have capitalized on it. Did Lionel Richie say "no way!". Smokey? Weren't they all needing a little career boost ? They didn't perceive opportunity ?

    That album cover should have been of Diana Ross standing in front of Hitsville USA, looking gleeful , arms raised , armpits showing ..."here I am back where I belong!".
    I would really love to read that interview boogie if you can find it.
    There was a fair bit of promotion for the album, at least in the UK. Diana has never been one for sentimentality or nostalgia so i would imagine the last thing in the world she would have wanted at that point in time was an album cover of her standing in front of Hitsville.
    Had Lionel or Smokey wanted to be involved with her return album i feel sure Diana would have said thanks, but no thanks. I think the only reason she hooked up with Nile is because of the "diana" connection. Jam & Lewis would have been a far better choice. One only has to listen to Janet Jacksons "Rhythm Nation" to realise this
    Obviously for those who enjoy Diana's adult contemporary material or her work with the Supremes, WO is most probably not going to be the album for you.

  37. #137
    [QUOTE=Ollie9;508073]
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post

    I would really love to read that interview boogie if you can find it.
    There was a fair bit of promotion for the album, at least in the UK. Diana has never been one for sentimentality or nostalgia so i would imagine the last thing in the world she would have wanted at that point in time was an album cover of her standing in front of Hitsville.
    Had Lionel or Smokey wanted to be involved with her return album i feel sure Diana would have said thanks, but no thanks. I think the only reason she hooked up with Nile is because of the "diana" connection. Jam & Lewis would have been a far better choice. One only has to listen to Janet Jacksons "Rhythm Nation" to realise this
    Obviously for those who enjoy Diana's adult contemporary material or her work with the Supremes, WO is most probably not going to be the album for you.
    Perfectly stated, all around. Historical note: Ella Fitzgerald tried different recording styles, including Cream's 'Sunshine of Your Love', and Ella is still revered, as is Diana.

  38. #138
    All very true PNH.
    Has anyone noticed that the "originally posted by heading seems to have gone a little askew lol!!

  39. #139
    [QUOTE=marv2;507931]
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post

    She, Diana Ross said at the time that she was listening to a lot of music her kids were listening to and wanted to do something similar. It just didn't work. It was totally not the image of her that had been cemented with the public.
    just my thought, it seems to me that every time Diana has branched out and tried something new. Love Hangover, Upside Down, for example. she did well. I have never got into her image thing . some do. I think the bottom line is the music. but this album needed a different mix. some good songs but it was off for me. I remember reading when Diana album came out in 1980, the album was remixed by Russ. I wonder if Russ would have mixed this album , it may have sounded better. to me the answer is yes.
    although I am a fan of the Bee Gees and of the Eaten Alive album. there are tracks that have to much of the Bee Gees sound. I have felt the same way about this album on a few tracks if Russ could have mixed a few of these tracks and different backing vocals were used. bottom line, it seems ,at times attention to detail was not applied and the results were less than thrilling.
    one of the reasons I was excited when I heard there was a chance of these albums getting expanded was the chance to see what Kevin Reeves may do with some updated mixes. whether that happens is a waiting game for us. but the bottom line ,it seems to be unclear to me as Diana wanted more control of her music but kind of went with the flow here. after 25 years in the music business I would think she would have some sense as to what direction she wanted to go ,and if she was unhappy, why not go a different direction. just confusing

  40. #140
    [QUOTE=PeaceNHarmony;508077]
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post

    Perfectly stated, all around. Historical note: Ella Fitzgerald tried different recording styles, including Cream's 'Sunshine of Your Love', and Ella is still revered, as is Diana.


    Interesting . l'm hearing Janis Joplin in here ....

  41. #141
    [QUOTE=daviddh;508081]
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post

    just my thought, it seems to me that every time Diana has branched out and tried something new. Love Hangover, Upside Down, for example. she did well. I have never got into her image thing . some do. I think the bottom line is the music. but this album needed a different mix. some good songs but it was off for me. I remember reading when Diana album came out in 1980, the album was remixed by Russ. I wonder if Russ would have mixed this album , it may have sounded better. to me the answer is yes.
    although I am a fan of the Bee Gees and of the Eaten Alive album. there are tracks that have to much of the Bee Gees sound. I have felt the same way about this album on a few tracks if Russ could have mixed a few of these tracks and different backing vocals were used. bottom line, it seems ,at times attention to detail was not applied and the results were less than thrilling.
    one of the reasons I was excited when I heard there was a chance of these albums getting expanded was the chance to see what Kevin Reeves may do with some updated mixes. whether that happens is a waiting game for us. but the bottom line ,it seems to be unclear to me as Diana wanted more control of her music but kind of went with the flow here. after 25 years in the music business I would think she would have some sense as to what direction she wanted to go ,and if she was unhappy, why not go a different direction. just confusing
    I am not sure there are any plans to remix any tracks David. It is my understanding that remixes from the time would be included of which there are a great many, and a couple of outtakes. This would be sufficient to make it a 2 disc edition. Similarly with Take me higher. Force and everyday will probably be single disc editions, but there is enòugh material to take them close to 80 minutes.

  42. #142
    [QUOTE=Boogiedown;508090]
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post



    Interesting . l'm hearing Janis Joplin in here ....
    What an outstanding and versatile vocalist Ella was. Not everything she recorded worked, but she was never less than interesting. A true one off.

  43. #143
    [QUOTE=Ollie9;508073]
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post

    I would really love to read that interview boogie if you can find it.
    There was a fair bit of promotion for the album, at least in the UK. Diana has never been one for sentimentality or nostalgia so i would imagine the last thing in the world she would have wanted at that point in time was an album cover of her standing in front of Hitsville.
    Had Lionel or Smokey wanted to be involved with her return album i feel sure Diana would have said thanks, but no thanks. I think the only reason she hooked up with Nile is because of the "diana" connection. Jam & Lewis would have been a far better choice. One only has to listen to Janet Jacksons "Rhythm Nation" to realise this
    Obviously for those who enjoy Diana's adult contemporary material or her work with the Supremes, WO is most probably not going to be the album for you.
    We spent a lot of money promoting Workin Overtime in the UK, and we more than broke even. Had the album actually been a good piece of work it could have gone through the roof. Sadly no-one believed in the album. Diana hated it. I will not repeat here how she actually described the finished product. Nile's production was crass and lazy. It was the biggest creative mistake of her career. She dutifully promoted it like the professional performer she is, but once that tour was over she wanted to forget it ever existed.

  44. #144
    [QUOTE=Bluebrock;508095]
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post

    We spent a lot of money promoting Workin Overtime in the UK, and we more than broke even. Had the album actually been a good piece of work it could have gone through the roof. Sadly no-one believed in the album. Diana hated it. I will not repeat here how she actually described the finished product. Nile's production was crass and lazy. It was the biggest creative mistake of her career. She dutifully promoted it like the professional performer she is, but once that tour was over she wanted to forget it ever existed.
    do you think that different mixes would have worked

  45. #145
    it looks like new jack swing was a sound meant for a new generation, and not one suited for reviving the careers of struggling middle-aged artists.
    Wiki has a list of acts who tapped into it. Not many older artists did , along with Diana Ross, I just see Aretha Franklin and Donna Summer listed , neither of which netted a bounce in their careers by doing so.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 03-23-2019 at 02:55 PM.

  46. #146
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    it looks like new jack swing was a sound meant for a new generation, and not one suited for reviving the careers of struggling middle-aged artists.
    Wiki has a list of acts who tapped into it. Not many older artists did , along with Diana Ross, I just see Aretha Franklin and Donna Summer listed , neither of which netted a bounce in their careers by doing so.
    I remember Donna Summer having a hit at the time of this Diana Ross album in 1989.

  47. #147
    yes , THIS TIME I KNOW ITS FOR REAL, from the SAW camp.

    .... The new jack swing stuff came about later , in '92(?) on her MISTAKEN IDENTITY album.

  48. #148
    [QUOTE=daviddh;508097]
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    do you think that different mixes would have worked
    Perhaps. Had i been given the option i would not have released the album in it's released form. It was a travesty that it was ever sanctioned to be released in the way that it was.

  49. #149
    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.
    Check your inbox Ollie.

  50. #150
    I think working overtime was the worst Diana Ross effort since the Banjo Pkaying song in about 1962

    Diana had massive international success in the 90s but her American potential of 1995 was similar to that of the Supremes and Temptations in 1975

    Diana has recovered awesomely in recent years

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