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  1. #1

    You Are Everything: The Stylistics Lead the Way for Diana and Marvin


  2. #2
    Lovely version. Two lovely versions in fact.

  3. #3
    this song, along with You're a special part of me and Just Say, Just say, made the entire collection for me. I rarely listen to any of the other tracks.

  4. #4
    Love Twins was the best; and My Mistake

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    this song, along with You're a special part of me and Just Say, Just say, made the entire collection for me. I rarely listen to any of the other tracks.
    My mistake, Stop Look Listen and You are Everything are my personal favorites. The rest of the album is pleasant but not essential.

  6. #6
    it is one of the most uneven LPS in the DR catalogue... despite the legendary in studio reefer squabble and pregnancy related song key issues some of the tracks are very good. I like Love Twins, You Are Everything, Just Say and the energy of the staccato horns on Don't Knock My Love.....some songs drag....(Include Me) and some sound like Marvin is singing along with a fan (The 2 US singles You're a Part / My Mistake) Pledging My Love is a beautiful song. DR's vocal is SOOO bad on this, I can't believe it wasn't left in the can or finished for a MG solo cut....I had a T shirt with the inner panel photo on it I wore a lot...

  7. #7
    What a strong A and B side single You Are Everything and Include Me In Your Life was in the UK.

    Whoever came up with the idea of releasing this combination deserves a pat on his/her back.

  8. #8
    given that both artists were mega hot with Touch me and Let's get it on, it's certainly understandable that motown had to do this project. and let's face it - this would hardly be the first time that they ignored artistic quality or statement in favor of money

    Just Say is a track that i took a while to get into. the intro is a bit weird. but it evolves into a beautifully lush track.

    but the disconnect between the artists is quite evident throughout most of the material. and i don't think it's so much because of the 420 myth. I think marvin did NOT want to do the project regardless, due to his crisis with Tammi's death. That combined with his jealousy of Berry's devotion to Diana led him to oversing his parts. And Diana seems too locked in her jazzy Billie Holiday. her vocal work is so laid back it often comes off as disengaged. like she couldn't care less about being there.

    the concept is amazing but the execution was not

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    given that both artists were mega hot with Touch me and Let's get it on, it's certainly understandable that motown had to do this project. and let's face it - this would hardly be the first time that they ignored artistic quality or statement in favor of money

    Just Say is a track that i took a while to get into. the intro is a bit weird. but it evolves into a beautifully lush track.

    but the disconnect between the artists is quite evident throughout most of the material. and i don't think it's so much because of the 420 myth. I think marvin did NOT want to do the project regardless, due to his crisis with Tammi's death. That combined with his jealousy of Berry's devotion to Diana led him to oversing his parts. And Diana seems too locked in her jazzy Billie Holiday. her vocal work is so laid back it often comes off as disengaged. like she couldn't care less about being there.

    the concept is amazing but the execution was not
    I disagree. If anything i think Marvin holds back on a lot of the songs. For me this is a classic duets album, sung to perfection by both artists. Diana sounds loose and laid back and Marvin just glides through in his usual soulful style.
    It's interesting that some fans find Diana's vocal on "Pledging My Love" less than great. I have always loved her voice on this song, sounding clear, crisp and emotional.
    A classic motown album.

  10. #10
    I think that a challenge for both artists was to find a key in which they could both sing.

    There are a number of tracks where Diana has to sing at the bottom of her register and Marvin at the top of his so that the track works. "My Mistake" is an example of that. So Marvin sounds strained and Diana sounds laid back.

    If, alternatively, you listen to "Endless Love" by Diana and Lionel, the registers are swapped a bit, with Lionel low and Diana high. Plus they do some decent harmonies that accommodate their natural registers.

    (Diana and Lionel sounds like the name of a naff early 60s duo. "Ladies and Gentleman, here to sing their latest record "I Love Simple And Inane Pop Music" , it's Diana and Lionel. Let's give them a big round of applause. Diana and Lionel!")

    Also, Marvin had moved on vocally by that time. If you listen to his style on his own albums around that time (WGO and LGIO), his vocal heart is really somewhere other than Stylistics covers and OK mid-tempo pop-y soul.

    By that time, Marvin was also his own producer with full creative control. Makes you wonder what would have happened had Marvin been asked to produce "Diana and Marvin". Where would that have taken things?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sotosound View Post

    Also, Marvin had moved on vocally by that time. If you listen to his style on his own albums around that time (WGO and LGIO), his vocal heart is really somewhere other than Stylistics covers and OK mid-tempo pop-y soul.


    By that time, Marvin was also his own producer with full creative control. Makes you wonder what would have happened had Marvin been asked to produce "Diana and Marvin". Where would that have taken things?

    Marvin had total creative control at that point, so recording such pop valentines as "You Are Everything" must have felt like a step backwards.
    I have never thought what if Marvin had produced. Good one. I'm guessing a more soulful sound overall with perhaps some longer instrumentals.

  12. #12
    I think Marvin is in fine vocal form on many of the album's songs. Just listen to this section of YAE:

    I just can't go on
    Living life as I do
    Comparing each girl with you
    Knowing they just won't do
    They're not you
    Now, now baby...

    So much feeling to my ears.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I disagree. If anything i think Marvin holds back on a lot of the songs. For me this is a classic duets album, sung to perfection by both artists. Diana sounds loose and laid back and Marvin just glides through in his usual soulful style.
    It's interesting that some fans find Diana's vocal on "Pledging My Love" less than great. I have always loved her voice on this song, sounding clear, crisp and emotional.
    A classic motown album.
    that's what's so fun about this forum. i see this album as a disappointment while you see it as a success. and there have been times when discussions on here have helped reform some of my opinions on songs. love sharing ideas and info

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Marvin had total creative control at that point, so recording such pop valentines as "You Are Everything" must have felt like a step backwards.
    I have never thought what if Marvin had produced. Good one. I'm guessing a more soulful sound overall with perhaps some longer instrumentals.
    It might also have just been a lot of fun as well.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I disagree. If anything i think Marvin holds back on a lot of the songs. For me this is a classic duets album, sung to perfection by both artists. Diana sounds loose and laid back and Marvin just glides through in his usual soulful style.
    It's interesting that some fans find Diana's vocal on "Pledging My Love" less than great. I have always loved her voice on this song, sounding clear, crisp and emotional.
    A classic motown album.
    I agree that the album is classic. While there are definitely things I would change, such as too many covers, and I do think the album could've been even better than it ultimately ended up, as is it's a great piece of 70s soul. I think of Marvin's duetting with Diana as a progression of what he did with Tammi. The sound of Marvin and Tammi is unbeatable in my book, but they always sound like young lovers. Even when the lyric is serious, there's something youthful about the way they approach it. One gets the impression that Marvin and Tammi are school kids in love, or college sweethearts. With Diana the sound is more mature. Together they sound like they've been through some shit. Even as they coo lovingly at one another, to me it's like a reaffirmation of love that might have been interrupted at various times by various things. The Diana and Marvin album is grown folks music, I guess is what I'm saying. And for that reason the album works.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Sotosound View Post
    By that time, Marvin was also his own producer with full creative control. Makes you wonder what would have happened had Marvin been asked to produce "Diana and Marvin". Where would that have taken things?
    To court.

    I actually pondered this recently and contemplated posing the question to the group, but decided to skip it because I figured the consensus, probably unanimous, would've been the same as mine: there's no way an album of Diana and Marvin would've been completed with Marvin in charge. There would've been so much fussin and fightin, wrestling for control. It would've been so ugly.

    In a dream world I think Marvin producing the album would've been fantastic. I can imagine we might have gotten songs like "Symphony", "Dream Of A Lifetime", "My Love Is Growing".

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    To court.
    Love it.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    that's what's so fun about this forum. i see this album as a disappointment while you see it as a success. and there have been times when discussions on here have helped reform some of my opinions on songs. love sharing ideas and info
    I agree with you. I found it to be a generally disappointing project. Too many insipid covers for my liking. I have tried so hard to get into it but after dozens of futile attempts i have to accept that i just do not care very much for it.

  19. #19
    This album is clearly like Marmite!

    Perhaps a "Diana & Marvin sings Marvin" album would have been interesting. Contemporary updates of some MG songs plus some new MG songs.

    Still, I am one of those here who does like the original album and I can see why it was so popular in the UK, at least. Just wish You Are Everything wasn't edited at the time, a longer version would have been SO good.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Sotosound View Post
    I think that a challenge for both artists was to find a key in which they could both sing.

    There are a number of tracks where Diana has to sing at the bottom of her register and Marvin at the top of his so that the track works. "My Mistake" is an example of that. So Marvin sounds strained and Diana sounds laid back.

    If, alternatively, you listen to "Endless Love" by Diana and Lionel, the registers are swapped a bit, with Lionel low and Diana high. Plus they do some decent harmonies that accommodate their natural registers.

    (Diana and Lionel sounds like the name of a naff early 60s duo. "Ladies and Gentleman, here to sing their latest record "I Love Simple And Inane Pop Music" , it's Diana and Lionel. Let's give them a big round of applause. Diana and Lionel!")

    Also, Marvin had moved on vocally by that time. If you listen to his style on his own albums around that time (WGO and LGIO), his vocal heart is really somewhere other than Stylistics covers and OK mid-tempo pop-y soul.

    By that time, Marvin was also his own producer with full creative control. Makes you wonder what would have happened had Marvin been asked to produce "Diana and Marvin". Where would that have taken things?
    Sotosound, you bring out such great points regarding the 'key' or 'pitch' of the songs and why it doesn't always bring out the 'best' for each artist. Producers/arrangers have to do a lot of scrambling around in selecting the proper key of a song when there are 2 artists involved. One cannot just bring an arrangement to the studio/rehearsal room and say to the artists, "Here, sing this."

    True artists have their 'sweet spot' in regard to what pitches optimize their voices. As Sotosound has stated, Diana's 'sweet spot' in the musical passage might be quite straining for Marvin. Notice that in many of the songs of this duet album and other duet albums from other artists, one will notice that 'key changes' are abundant to be able to place a verse in the key where each artist can showcase his/her own voice. The problem comes, oftentimes, when the 2 artists have to switch lines during the same verse.

    The producers/arrangers of the recent Supremes expanded edition were able to merge the "Shake Me, Wake Me" versions of the Four Tops and Supremes together because each recording was in the SAME key (pitch). This cannot be done any recording. (Disclaimer: with all of the digital capabilities these days, pitch can be manipulated; however, the results are less than natural).

    An example of 'optimal' voice range would be the two versions of "Just Another Lonely Night": one recorded by the Temptations and the other by the Four Tops. They are both in the same key. I LOVE both versions. Paul's lead vocal seems to be more in his 'sweet spot' that he is known for than Levi in his vocal delivery due to the key of the song. Yes, Levi's version is indeed very, very nice; however, he is singing more in his 'bottom range' than we fans are used to resulting in, in my opinion, a slightly less pleading delivery than Paul's.

    When I want some nice, relaxing R&B by two of my favorite artists, I love listening to Diana's and Marvin's duet album. My favorites: You are Everything, Just Say, My Mistake, and Stop, Look, Listen.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    This album is clearly like Marmite!

    Perhaps a "Diana & Marvin sings Marvin" album would have been interesting. Contemporary updates of some MG songs plus some new MG songs.

    Still, I am one of those here who does like the original album and I can see why it was so popular in the UK, at least. Just wish You Are Everything wasn't edited at the time, a longer version would have been SO good.
    I'm not a fan of your concept for the duets, but it might have ended up an even more interesting project if they mixed the songs between classic Marvin and classic Supremes. I'm a bit intrigued by the thought of a duet between the two on "How Sweet It Is" or "Reflections".

  22. #22
    The Stylistics version is the only version I liked. It is the only version I remember when I hear the title of the song.

  23. #23
    The Stylistics’ version is the one for me. The intro with its phasing is so haunting, and it’s far more believable than Marvin and Diana’s individual monologues on their version.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I agree that the album is classic. While there are definitely things I would change, such as too many covers, and I do think the album could've been even better than it ultimately ended up, as is it's a great piece of 70s soul. I think of Marvin's duetting with Diana as a progression of what he did with Tammi. The sound of Marvin and Tammi is unbeatable in my book, but they always sound like young lovers. Even when the lyric is serious, there's something youthful about the way they approach it. One gets the impression that Marvin and Tammi are school kids in love, or college sweethearts. With Diana the sound is more mature. Together they sound like they've been through some shit. Even as they coo lovingly at one another, to me it's like a reaffirmation of love that might have been interrupted at various times by various things. The Diana and Marvin album is grown folks music, I guess is what I'm saying. And for that reason the album works.
    Totally agree in that Marvin and Tammi always sounded like two young lovers no matter what lyrics they were singing. D & M is a totally different mood and groove which is why i always find it strange that the two pairings are always compared.
    Imagine if instead of WDFFIL, Diana and Marvin had teamed up again. Could have been an explosive album in more ways then one lol.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Totally agree in that Marvin and Tammi always sounded like two young lovers no matter what lyrics they were singing. D & M is a totally different mood and groove which is why i always find it strange that the two pairings are always compared.
    Imagine if instead of WDFFIL, Diana and Marvin had teamed up again. Could have been an explosive album in more ways then one lol.
    That's why we do comparisons. It's not always about finding similarity. It can equally be about finding differences.

    The reason for comparison is that both albums feature Marvin as half of the duet.

    Besides, you just compared them in your reply.

  26. #26

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Sotosound View Post
    That's why we do comparisons. It's not always about finding similarity. It can equally be about finding differences.

    The reason for comparison is that both albums feature Marvin as half of the duet.

    Besides, you just compared them in your reply.
    I suppose i have lol. Perhaps i should have made the point that that D & M is usually compared unfavourably with M & T which i think unfair as the mood and style of the two recordings are so different.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Totally agree in that Marvin and Tammi always sounded like two young lovers no matter what lyrics they were singing. D & M is a totally different mood and groove which is why i always find it strange that the two pairings are always compared.
    Imagine if instead of WDFFIL, Diana and Marvin had teamed up again. Could have been an explosive album in more ways then one lol.
    Artistically, a duet album between them after they had both left Motown would've been HUGE if all of the right pieces came together to make it an artistic and then commercial success.

    Realistically, we're probably dealing with an even more volatile situation than what occurred during the first one. Now Diana is not pregnant and could potentially become physical, Marvin has gotten into heavier coke use, Diana has it in her head that she can produce, Marvin knows he's got the stuff as a producer and he's not about to let the chick who produced an updated version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" call the shots, Diana will not be told what to do by another a man...they would have either tore the studio up and caused a huge tabloid scandal, or they would've given in to the sexual tension and tore the studio up in a whole 'nother way.

  28. #28
    How about Diana doing a guest appearance on Marvin's Midnight Love album. Their duets of Joy and 'till Tomorrow might have worked wonders.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Artistically, a duet album between them after they had both left Motown would've been HUGE if all of the right pieces came together to make it an artistic and then commercial success.

    Realistically, we're probably dealing with an even more volatile situation than what occurred during the first one. Now Diana is not pregnant and could potentially become physical, Marvin has gotten into heavier coke use, Diana has it in her head that she can produce, Marvin knows he's got the stuff as a producer and he's not about to let the chick who produced an updated version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" call the shots, Diana will not be told what to do by another a man...they would have either tore the studio up and caused a huge tabloid scandal, or they would've given in to the sexual tension and tore the studio up in a whole 'nother way.
    This is screaming 'screenplay,' RanRan! Get to work! Or I will!

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    How about Diana doing a guest appearance on Marvin's Midnight Love album. Their duets of Joy and 'till Tomorrow might have worked wonders.
    "Til Tomorrow" definitely would've been an interesting match.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    This is screaming 'screenplay,' RanRan! Get to work! Or I will!
    I'm on it!!

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Artistically, a duet album between them after they had both left Motown would've been HUGE if all of the right pieces came together to make it an artistic and then commercial success.

    Realistically, we're probably dealing with an even more volatile situation than what occurred during the first one. Now Diana is not pregnant and could potentially become physical, Marvin has gotten into heavier coke use, Diana has it in her head that she can produce, Marvin knows he's got the stuff as a producer and he's not about to let the chick who produced an updated version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" call the shots, Diana will not be told what to do by another a man...they would have either tore the studio up and caused a huge tabloid scandal, or they would've given in to the sexual tension and tore the studio up in a whole 'nother way.
    Nah! One punch and he would have laid her out! LOL!!!!! Now before y'all get all sensitive, it is a joke!

  33. #33
    For the most part, Motown re-working other folks well known songs doesn't work well for me. I far prefer the original versions especially "You Are Everything" and "Stop, Look, Listen" but as well "Don't Leave Me This Way" and "River Deep, Mountain High". The Motown versions sound pale and insipid to me by comparison to the originals. Give me The Stylistics, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes and Ike and Tina Turner anyday on those songs. There have been some exceptions though - "Do What You Gotta Do" by the Four Tops is fantastic.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    For the most part, Motown re-working other folks well known songs doesn't work well for me. I far prefer the original versions especially "You Are Everything" and "Stop, Look, Listen" but as well "Don't Leave Me This Way" and "River Deep, Mountain High". The Motown versions sound pale and insipid to me by comparison to the originals. Give me The Stylistics, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes and Ike and Tina Turner anyday on those songs. There have been some exceptions though - "Do What You Gotta Do" by the Four Tops is fantastic.
    I have to agree with you on all counts, but especially with regard to "Do what you gotta do" which the Tops take to a whole new level. A well deserved UK hit.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Artistically, a duet album between them after they had both left Motown would've been HUGE if all of the right pieces came together to make it an artistic and then commercial success.

    Realistically, we're probably dealing with an even more volatile situation than what occurred during the first one. Now Diana is not pregnant and could potentially become physical, Marvin has gotten into heavier coke use, Diana has it in her head that she can produce, Marvin knows he's got the stuff as a producer and he's not about to let the chick who produced an updated version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" call the shots, Diana will not be told what to do by another a man...they would have either tore the studio up and caused a huge tabloid scandal, or they would've given in to the sexual tension and tore the studio up in a whole 'nother way.
    I'm sure there is a Jackie Collins novel out there with a plot such as that lol.
    Are there any songs that Diana recorded at rca circa 81/2 that you think could have worked well as a Diana & Marvin duet?.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Nah! One punch and he would have laid her out! LOL!!!!! Now before y'all get all sensitive, it is a joke!
    Never underestimate the power of a pissed off woman. She doesn't have to use her fist to get her point across. Besides, how much of a bitch move would it be for Marvin to punch Diana but not punch Berry when Berry smacked the shit out of him that one time? I prefer not to think of Marvin being that bitchy.

    But back to the music...I think if Diana were willing to let loose, a duet album between the two of them in the early 80s would've been so sexy.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I'm sure there is a Jackie Collins novel out there with a plot such as that lol.
    Are there any songs that Diana recorded at rca circa 81/2 that you think could have worked well as a Diana & Marvin duet?.
    I'll go with 82 Ollie since in my mind the duet would occur after Marvin has left Motown and Ross has released her RCA debut. I think a reworked version of "Muscles" would've been perfect. Maybe Diana singing about what it is she wants and Marvin singing about how he has it. And of course there's the obvious "In Your Arms". Lyrically "Fool For Your Love" might've been a good choice also, but the style of song would have to be swapped. "So Close" also probably would've worked but I would've preferred the track be punched way up.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I'll go with 82 Ollie since in my mind the duet would occur after Marvin has left Motown and Ross has released her RCA debut. I think a reworked version of "Muscles" would've been perfect. Maybe Diana singing about what it is she wants and Marvin singing about how he has it. And of course there's the obvious "In Your Arms". Lyrically "Fool For Your Love" might've been a good choice also, but the style of song would have to be swapped. "So Close" also probably would've worked but I would've preferred the track be punched way up.
    Some interesting choices. I agree with "In Your Arms", not so sure on the rest lol. How about "Mirror Mirror". I can hear Marvin's growl on that one.

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