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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    In regard to the original topic, I don't think it would have worked.

    As a teenage music fan in 1980, I probably thought Diana Ross was something of a has-been. A singer of dreary love songs and best suited to K-Tel albums.

    But Chic were hot and so the diana album caused me (and, no doubt, many other young people) to realise Diana Ross still had it! She could still put out groovy new music which the kids could dance to.

    The Guilty album (as good as I later realised it was) would not have done this. I would have just thought 'more dreary love songs'.

    The diana album was EXACTLY what her career needed at this point.
    That's actually a very good take on the idea -

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    In my opinion Streisand is THE greatest female vocalist of all time. I am amazed by some of the comments on here. Technically she is in a class of her own. Ella said it. Aretha said it. Sinatra said it. I am happy to be in agreement with those late legends.
    I guess we all hear things in different ways.
    I also regard Barry as one of the all time great singer/songwriter/producers of the pop era. The Bee Gees great body of work stands up alongside any of the great songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. Their songs have been covered by so many artists in so many genres over the past 53 years or so. Their legacy is almost unrivalled.
    Bluebrock, I only find fault with Gibb's voice alongside Barbra's on the "Guilty" album. I think he has considerable talent as a songwriter and producer, and as a vocal artist in his own right. I love the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack and the title song from "Grease." As noted, "Heartbreaker" is one of Dionne's best efforts at Artista, I love it. Coincidentally, during the Christmas break I saw an excellent Bee Gees documentary "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" on HBO in the U.S. So his artistry is impressive.

    That said, "Eaten Alive" is an unforgivable assault on the senses 🙂

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    No one's artistry is unassailable. It's art, up for interpretation, discussion, and the beauty, or lack thereof, is in the eye- or in this case, ear- of the beholder. I think it's clear that Barbra is vocally talented, but she and most of her music does nothing for me. I prefer my singers to have some soul and IMO Barbra lacks that. SB compared her to a bowl of mayo, and for me he's almost spot on. (A better analogy would be me eating a bowl of mayo with a few bits of hamburger crumbled in it. I'd enjoy the bits of burger but nothing else. I enjoy "Guilty" and "No More Tears", but not really anything else.)
    I get it. We all have opinions and share them here unreservedly. The folks at SD have great knowledge and appreciation for music. I love SD and always come here for a boost. We can all tolerate and participate in a little shade-throwing.

    But it is jarring to read comments dismissing Barbra Streisand as if she were Apollonia Kotero. Given her longevity, the quality of her recording output and the magnitude of her gift she deserves respect on her name. It's OK to never listen to her, it is less OK to disparage her.

    Somewhere in the world there are people who cannot appreciate Aretha Franklin -- I don't ever want to know them.

  4. #54
    when Streisand and Summer were recording "Enough Is Enough" both were seated on stools alongside each other in the recording booth..as they both belted out their notes Donna actually passed out and fell off the stool..she later recalled drily that when she came to she looked up to see Streisand still sitting there..holding the same note lol

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    Diana could have recorded with Rogers a year or so later from Guilty and two smashes..she had successfully alternated between the dance floor and ballads for the 5 yrs previously at this time period.
    I think it would have been much better if a Gibb album had come after the Chic one, preferably with an up-tempo song like Chain Reaction.

    Thic Chic sound became less popular after 1980 - thanks to 'disco sucks' etc - that year was really its' last hurrah (until later when critics and listeners realised how great the music had been).

    I'd argue Diana hadn't quite 'successfully alternated' in the late 70s. After 'Love Hangover' she didn't really have a major hit (only one single out of the ten released made the top 20) until 'Upside Down'.

    The Boss and its' singles deserved more success certainly but I blame Motown's poor marketing for this (and for even 'diana' and its' singles not achieving more success).

    For me, the kid, the 'alternating' didn't really work. I remember seeing Diana's new single at the record store and rushing home to play it. "Oh" said I as 'It's My Turn' started to play. "She's gone back to the dreary old ballads"..

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I think it would have been much better if a Gibb album had come after the Chic one, preferably with an up-tempo song like .

    For me, the kid, the 'alternating' didn't really work. I remember seeing Diana's new single at the record store and rushing home to play it. "Oh" said I as 'It's My Turn' started to play. "She's gone back to the dreary old ballads"..
    If my memory serves me correct, a lot of fans at the time felt exactly the same way. Diana lost a lot of the momentum she had built when “To Love Again” was released.
    She had successfully proved she could appeal to a younger generation then suddenly here she was back to same old.
    I agree in that a Gibb collaboration might have been better accepted coming after the ‘diana’ album. Preferably featuring plenty of up-tempo songs.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I think it would have been much better if a Gibb album had come after the Chic one, preferably with an up-tempo song like Chain Reaction.

    Thic Chic sound became less popular after 1980 - thanks to 'disco sucks' etc - that year was really its' last hurrah (until later when critics and listeners realised how great the music had been).
    Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards shaped the sound of 80s pop and rock. Nile produced the biggest selling albums in the careers of David Bowie ("Let's Dance") and Madonna ("Like A Virgin"). Separately, they produced the biggest hits Robert Palmer, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Duran Duran had during the decade.

    Apparently, Disco only sucked when Black artists made it.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    I get it. We all have opinions and share them here unreservedly. The folks at SD have great knowledge and appreciation for music. I love SD and always come here for a boost. We can all tolerate and participate in a little shade-throwing.

    But it is jarring to read comments dismissing Barbra Streisand as if she were Apollonia Kotero. Given her longevity, the quality of her recording output and the magnitude of her gift she deserves respect on her name. It's OK to never listen to her, it is less OK to disparage her.

    Somewhere in the world there are people who cannot appreciate Aretha Franklin -- I don't ever want to know them.
    Yes, there are indeed people who don't/can't appreciate the Queen Aretha. It is jarring when confronted with it, but I don't pass judgement. If we all liked and appreciated the same stuff the world would be super boring. As for me, I wouldn't categorize any of my opinion regarding Streisand as "shade-throwing". She does nothing for me, although I do respect her talent. She has been a lauded vocalist at a time when you had to have real talent to be so well respected. But while I'm no Apollonia fan either, I would listen to "Sex Shooter" all day before one Barbra song, even the ones I like, cuz I love me some "Sex Shooter".

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    when Streisand and Summer were recording "Enough Is Enough" both were seated on stools alongside each other in the recording booth..as they both belted out their notes Donna actually passed out and fell off the stool..she later recalled drily that when she came to she looked up to see Streisand still sitting there..holding the same note lol
    Now that's hilarious!!!

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I think it would have been much better if a Gibb album had come after the Chic one, preferably with an up-tempo song like Chain Reaction.

    Thic Chic sound became less popular after 1980 - thanks to 'disco sucks' etc - that year was really its' last hurrah (until later when critics and listeners realised how great the music had been).

    I'd argue Diana hadn't quite 'successfully alternated' in the late 70s. After 'Love Hangover' she didn't really have a major hit (only one single out of the ten released made the top 20) until 'Upside Down'.

    The Boss and its' singles deserved more success certainly but I blame Motown's poor marketing for this (and for even 'diana' and its' singles not achieving more success).

    For me, the kid, the 'alternating' didn't really work. I remember seeing Diana's new single at the record store and rushing home to play it. "Oh" said I as 'It's My Turn' started to play. "She's gone back to the dreary old ballads"..
    Interesting takes! And it is enlightening to ponder the different ways Diana's fans of different age groups might have viewed her output. I was a baby during this time, so for me I look at it all with hindsight and it's hard for me to see anyone thinking Diana was a has been at that point in her career. But I can see a point where Baby It's Me and The Boss, even "It's My Turn" might have appealed to a more mature crowd than a bunch of 14 year olds.

    I think Diana's best bet post diana80 was Quincy Jones, maybe Lionel Richie. I also would've loved her working with Arif Mardin.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards shaped the sound of 80s pop and rock. Nile produced the biggest selling albums in the careers of David Bowie ("Let's Dance") and Madonna ("Like A Virgin"). Separately, they produced the biggest hits Robert Palmer, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Duran Duran had during the decade.

    Apparently, Disco only sucked when Black artists made it.
    I'm sure you're well aware of the racist component to the disco backlash. I would add though that the folks you mention being produced by Chic throughout the 80s weren't recording disco music. Dance tunes, sure, but not disco. Not to mention that none of that stuff sounds like Chic. The Chic sound was a huge part of the disco explosion. Diana recorded a Chic album. Remove her and replace with Chic's vocals and no one would've been the wiser. That was not the case with Like A Virgin.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Interesting takes! And it is enlightening to ponder the different ways Diana's fans of different age groups might have viewed her output. I was a baby during this time, so for me I look at it all with hindsight and it's hard for me to see anyone thinking Diana was a has been at that point in her career. But I can see a point where Baby It's Me and The Boss, even "It's My Turn" might have appealed to a more mature crowd than a bunch of 14 year olds.

    I think Diana's best bet post diana80 was Quincy Jones, maybe Lionel Richie. I also would've loved her working with Arif Mardin.
    I was always a huge Diana fan, starting from a small child. LOVE HANGOVER came out when I was in maybe the 4th or 5th grade. That was a popular song with my peers but I think Diana was thought of as sort of old-fashioned. I remember being so excited that I was going to see Diana's AN EVENING WITH DIANA ROSS live in concert. My teacher was impressed but the kids weren't. Later, I remember bringing the AN EVENING WITH DIANA ROSS album to music class. By mistake, the teacher put the needle down on THE LADY IS A TRAMP and the kids were like "Why are you playing that? That's jazz!" and similar comments. Things settled down when she put the needle on LOVE HANGOVER.

    After that, I don't recall Diana being all that popular with my peers again until THE BOSS and then when she really invented herself with the "diana" album. Suddenly she was looking and sounding hip, until maybe 1985 or so.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I was always a huge Diana fan, starting from a small child. LOVE HANGOVER came out when I was in maybe the 4th or 5th grade. That was a popular song with my peers but I think Diana was thought of as sort of old-fashioned. I remember being so excited that I was going to see Diana's AN EVENING WITH DIANA ROSS live in concert. My teacher was impressed but the kids weren't. Later, I remember bringing the AN EVENING WITH DIANA ROSS album to music class. By mistake, the teacher put the needle down on THE LADY IS A TRAMP and the kids were like "Why are you playing that? That's jazz!" and similar comments. Things settled down when she put the needle on LOVE HANGOVER.

    After that, I don't recall Diana being all that popular with my peers again until THE BOSS and then when she really invented herself with the "diana" album. Suddenly she was looking and sounding hip, until maybe 1985 or so.
    Thanks for the added recollections Reese. I guess from now on when dissecting Diana's career and hypothesizing on would'a, should'a, could'as, I have to come at it from two different angles: the adult fans and the young fans. Yeah, thanks a lot Reese. That means more work for my brain.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Remove her and replace with Chic's vocals and no one would've been the wiser. That was not the case with Like A Virgin.
    Although Nile, Bernard & Tony were the backbone of the music on that Madonna album as they were with every Chic production to this point. And the original Chic singer Norma Jean Wright had even done back-up vocals on Madonna's first album (including on 'Holiday'. Back then, Madonna knew where the talent was at.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    it's hard for me to see anyone thinking Diana was a has been at that point in her career
    Yeah - I was just trying to think back to my teenage years and seeing that hot black & white Diana in the tight jeans on the album cover singing dance tunes. Wow - she's not some old lady in fur stoles & a ball gown doing the Mum & Dad ballads

    I like those ballads much more now that I'm just out of my teenage years of course

    I guess it's the same dichotomy teen fans who loved the Supremes in the 60s might have felt if they bought a copy of 'At the Copa'. '"OMG why is the hottest pop group in the world singing these show tunes?"

    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I think Diana's best bet post diana80 was Quincy Jones, maybe Lionel Richie. I also would've loved her working with Arif Mardin.
    A Lionel Richie written/produced album could have been great - especially with up-temp songs like 'Dancing on the Ceiling' or 'Running with the Night' rather than just 10 'Hellos'. Even one side of an album with someone like Daryl Hall doing the flip side.

    Quincy Jones would have been a great producer but it would all have depended on the songs that might have been available.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I'm sure you're well aware of the racist component to the disco backlash. I would add though that the folks you mention being produced by Chic throughout the 80s weren't recording disco music. Dance tunes, sure, but not disco. Not to mention that none of that stuff sounds like Chic. The Chic sound was a huge part of the disco explosion. Diana recorded a Chic album. Remove her and replace with Chic's vocals and no one would've been the wiser. That was not the case with Like A Virgin.
    i tend to agree with you here. Upside Down and I'm Coming Out are very notable Diana Ross hits but unlike Mountain, it is possible to imagine someone else singing them and doing well on the charts.

    same with many of the sup songs. No one but Diana could sing Baby Love. But i think other artists might have also had a big hit with Love Is Here or maybe My World Is Empty. while the songs are definitely recognizable Sup hits, they're somehow not as "signature" as some others.

  17. #67
    i agree that the To Love Again album we got was essentially a soap opera album. over the top mega ballads, dripping with strings and harps, etc.

    of the 4 new songs, Stay With Me sort of has a bit more pop beat. barely

    My assumption is that with this album, Masser was FINALLY going to get his own entire DR album to produce. I'm also assuming that he would have had enough sense to not simply offer up 9 tearjerker ballads. he would have to provide some variety on it. some simpler songs (like the old and lovely To Love Again), some upbeat numbers.

    what we ended up with was a compromise in order to get It's My Turn onto some sort of album. it was too big of a hit to not find a home somewhere other than the movie soundtrack.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    After that, I don't recall Diana being all that popular with my peers again until THE BOSS and then when she really invented herself with the "diana" album. Suddenly she was looking and sounding hip, until maybe 1985 or so.
    I would say she was hip again until the single Why Do Fools Fall In Love” was released. One for the mums and dads. I was 18 when the single came out and remember my friends ribbing me about the song and subsequent album calling it “Ross dross”.
    Being a massive Diana fan I defended the song and album, even though I hated both.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I would say she was hip again until the single Why Do Fools Fall In Love” was released. One for the mums and dads. I was 18 when the single came out and remember my friends ribbing me about the song and subsequent album calling it “Ross dross”.
    Being a massive Diana fan I defended the song and album, even though I hated both.
    Ollie - how did your friends respond to Mirror or Muscles? agree that WDFFIL is bubblegum. but did she bring them back with these much more aggressive sounds and styles?

    while i enjoy the Why album, i do think if she'd taken a few of the stronger songs on the album and focused on those and that style, you might have a much better artistic statement for a DEBUT. Mirror, Sweet Surrender, think i'm in love and the backing track to Work that Body (with completely different lyrics - perhaps you could keep the title as something steamy and lightly erotic)

  20. #70
    Late to this debate...

    I think Diana would have sung this song from Guilty really beautifully.

    It has all the components of a fabulous recording. A simple level of instrumentation and the use of a gospel choir at the end over which Diana's vocals would have soared.

    https://youtu.be/ov9Bu1FGodY
    Last edited by rovereab; 01-13-2021 at 02:20 PM.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    Late to this debate...

    I think Diana would have sung this song from Guilty really beautifully.

    It has all the components of a fabulous recording. A simple level of instrumentation and the use of a gospel choir at the end over which Diana's vocals would have soared.

    https://youtu.be/ov9Bu1FGodY
    Love this song from Guilty! I agree Diana would have soared on it as well. It's a beautiful song and production.

  22. #72
    I was in high school when disco hit its peak. Prior to that I was always into black music, groups like PFunk, Rufus, David Ruffin, Labelle, Emotions etc. but most of my friends were not. They were into groups I hated like Cheap Trick, Bob Seegar (sp), Rush--I know because due to wanting to fit in I'd go to these shows and watched the clock the whole time, bored stiff. Only a handful of my white friends were into black music--it was, at the time, sort of an underground thing. Knowing and liking The Ohio Players was "cool." Anyway when disco first hit, people were kind of into it. it started out being underground and very hip. Then it got ridiculous.Suddenly EVERYTHING was about disco, dancing, ridiculous clothes and hair. Suburbanites completely highjacked it and it showed.When songs like Disco Duck and Funky Town started to get played incessantly everywhere you went people rebelled against it. Even beloved rock artists like Elton John and The Rolling Stones started putting out disco. That was the end. The fact that so many of the artists were black had nothing to with it. I never once heard any of my white friends say they hated black artists because they didn't. The same people who LOVED Ohio Players and Earth Wind and Fire hated disco. Disco killed many of these acts off and they knew it and didn't like it.That is a side to the story that people pretend didn't happen.It gets really tiresome reading racist comments like "disco was only bad when black people did it." It's a lie and it never was true. Motown would never have happened if not for all those racist white record buyers in the 60's, long before disco. The actual truth is that disco went off the rails, got redundant and formulaic and people rebelled against it. When formally fantastic groups like Rufus Chaka Khan started writing songs about DANCING, like I'm Dancing For Your Love, lots of people lost interest including me.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Woman in love is a very difficult song to sing, as are several tracks on the album.
    I thought this was one of her easiest song ever, but I know nothing in singing technique. She reluctantly sang it live a very few times, and favor Guilty instead.
    From her pop catalogue, she seems to only enjoy "enough is enough"

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    Yeah - I was just trying to think back to my teenage years and seeing that hot black & white Diana in the tight jeans on the album cover singing dance tunes. Wow - she's not some old lady in fur stoles & a ball gown doing the Mum & Dad ballads

    I like those ballads much more now that I'm just out of my teenage years of course

    I guess it's the same dichotomy teen fans who loved the Supremes in the 60s might have felt if they bought a copy of 'At the Copa'. '"OMG why is the hottest pop group in the world singing these show tunes?
    I was in my 20's in the early 80's. Diana Ross was a reigning Pop Queen in 1980, along with Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Olivia Newton-John and Donna Summer. But she hadn't had a #1 Pop hit since Love Hangover and Theme From Mahogany. After the tepid response to Baby, It's Me and The Boss and the failure of The Wiz, I was concerned about her trajectory. Diana 1980 shot her back into the Pop stratosphere. (I think the stunning cover played a major part, too.) It was such a mega-hit and event album that it helped ensure her Pop royalty status for a few years, in spite of To Love Again and the RCA years (until 1984-5 anyways). The mega-hit duet Endless Love also helped.

    Although I was disappointed in To Love Again as a follow-up, I welcomed another Diana Ross album and enjoyed the new Michael Masser songs and productions. I believed she would give us something stunning and cutting-edge again, soon. (Little did I know )

    I guess I accepted and welcomed To Love Again in 1981 just as I accepted and welcomed the Supremes At The Copa, Supremes Sing Rodgers & Hart and I Hear A Symphony albums, even before I was a teenager. I just wanted to hear that voice!
    Last edited by lucky2012; 01-13-2021 at 04:42 PM.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    Late to this debate...

    I think Diana would have sung this song from Guilty really beautifully.

    It has all the components of a fabulous recording. A simple level of instrumentation and the use of a gospel choir at the end over which Diana's vocals would have soared.

    https://youtu.be/ov9Bu1FGodY
    this is one of my favorites from that album!!! i agree DR would have been gorgeous on it.

    not that i was trying to be negative on Babs earlier and this song absolutely does display her magnificence in singing. how she makes those jumps on the chorus "gotta get a little of the LOVE inside"

    goosebumps

  26. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Ollie - how did your friends respond to Mirror or Muscles? agree that WDFFIL is bubblegum. but did she bring them back with these much more aggressive sounds and styles?

    while i enjoy the Why album, i do think if she'd taken a few of the stronger songs on the album and focused on those and that style, you might have a much better artistic statement for a DEBUT. Mirror, Sweet Surrender, think i'm in love and the backing track to Work that Body (with completely different lyrics - perhaps you could keep the title as something steamy and lightly erotic)
    Not so much that I remember. There were just to many dime a dozen bullshit songs on the album to make a difference. “The Boss” And “Diana” were solid, vibrant albums that appealed to the youth market. WDFFIL contained A couple of decent, contemporary songs but that was about it. Once you start recording old chestnuts like “Sweet Nothings” and pure dross like “Two Can Make It” you lose some of that cred.

  27. #77
    An album of Diana Ross produced by Luther Vandross would have soared! 1980's "diana" was a smart business move. Disco was still funky and Diana Ross captured the youth market. If she had made 100 albums with Michael Masser, I would have bought every one. The musical chemistry between them continues to be magical, as in the recordings. Make love to a ballad, or perhaps, discover the lover in a ballad...

  28. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yes, there are indeed people who don't/can't appreciate the Queen Aretha. It is jarring when confronted with it, but I don't pass judgement. If we all liked and appreciated the same stuff the world would be super boring. As for me, I wouldn't categorize any of my opinion regarding Streisand as "shade-throwing". She does nothing for me, although I do respect her talent. She has been a lauded vocalist at a time when you had to have real talent to be so well respected. But while I'm no Apollonia fan either, I would listen to "Sex Shooter" all day before one Barbra song, even the ones I like, cuz I love me some "Sex Shooter".
    Yes, you are correct. You did not shade Streisand. Likening her to a "bowl of mayo" is disparagement not 'shade-throwing.'

    I threw shade at Apollonia by pulling her into a discussion where she has no place.

    But I agree that you've every right to voice your opinion, even if it is disparaging.

  29. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I'm sure you're well aware of the racist component to the disco backlash. I would add though that the folks you mention being produced by Chic throughout the 80s weren't recording disco music. Dance tunes, sure, but not disco. Not to mention that none of that stuff sounds like Chic. The Chic sound was a huge part of the disco explosion. Diana recorded a Chic album. Remove her and replace with Chic's vocals and no one would've been the wiser. That was not the case with Like A Virgin.
    I agree that there was an obvious racial component to the disco 'blacklash.' However, the Chic sound was already evolving beyond disco. Their work with Deborah Harry was the intermediary step between "diana" and "Like A Virgin." Their own 80s albums contained songs that would have been pop hits for white artists -- Bowie, Duran Duran, etc. Nile and Bernard are still being penalized for their association with disco. Chic had the best rhythm section of any band of any genre -- but have been shut out of the RNR Hall of Fame year after year.

  30. #80
    Not to derail this thread, but I know someone who thinks Aretha’s vocals are overrated.

  31. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    I was in high school when disco hit its peak. Prior to that I was always into black music, groups like PFunk, Rufus, David Ruffin, Labelle, Emotions etc. but most of my friends were not. They were into groups I hated like Cheap Trick, Bob Seegar (sp), Rush--I know because due to wanting to fit in I'd go to these shows and watched the clock the whole time, bored stiff. Only a handful of my white friends were into black music--it was, at the time, sort of an underground thing. Knowing and liking The Ohio Players was "cool." Anyway when disco first hit, people were kind of into it. it started out being underground and very hip. Then it got ridiculous.Suddenly EVERYTHING was about disco, dancing, ridiculous clothes and hair. Suburbanites completely highjacked it and it showed.When songs like Disco Duck and Funky Town started to get played incessantly everywhere you went people rebelled against it. Even beloved rock artists like Elton John and The Rolling Stones started putting out disco. That was the end. The fact that so many of the artists were black had nothing to with it. I never once heard any of my white friends say they hated black artists because they didn't. The same people who LOVED Ohio Players and Earth Wind and Fire hated disco. Disco killed many of these acts off and they knew it and didn't like it.That is a side to the story that people pretend didn't happen.It gets really tiresome reading racist comments like "disco was only bad when black people did it." It's a lie and it never was true. Motown would never have happened if not for all those racist white record buyers in the 60's, long before disco. The actual truth is that disco went off the rails, got redundant and formulaic and people rebelled against it. When formally fantastic groups like Rufus Chaka Khan started writing songs about DANCING, like I'm Dancing For Your Love, lots of people lost interest including me.
    I agree with all this, Bobby. I do think the racial element may have been a part of the backlash, though. And let's not forget the Gay backlash element. But I agree the biggest failure was the decreasing quality, increasing redundancy and sameness and all the major pop/rock stars jumping on the disco bandwagon. Thankfully, Diana Ross jumped aboard fairly early with Love Hangover (thank you, Hal Davis!). I can barely listen to Barbra Streisand's Shake Me, Wake Me or Rod Stewart's Do Ya Think I'm Sexy. But I loved Blondie's Heart of Glass. Chic and the subsequent diana album were, luckily, cutting-edge progressive disco just as the backlash was beginning.

  32. #82
    Thank you, lucky2012. The racist/sexist/homophobic undercurrents of the disco backlash, while not shared by all, were, nevertheless, intensely palpable and impossible to sweep under the rug:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/timelin...p/2d4e63b43a0e
    Last edited by sansradio; 01-13-2021 at 07:26 PM.

  33. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by TNSUN View Post
    An album of Diana Ross produced by Luther Vandross would have soared! 1980's "diana" was a smart business move. Disco was still funky and Diana Ross captured the youth market. If she had made 100 albums with Michael Masser, I would have bought every one. The musical chemistry between them continues to be magical, as in the recordings. Make love to a ballad, or perhaps, discover the lover in a ballad...
    in around 1984 Vandross approached Diana about producing an album for her..she turned the offer down luckily he was included on the "Red Hot" project

  34. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    Yes, you are correct. You did not shade Streisand. Likening her to a "bowl of mayo" is disparagement not 'shade-throwing.'

    I threw shade at Apollonia by pulling her into a discussion where she has no place.

    But I agree that you've every right to voice your opinion, even if it is disparaging.
    That is not disparagement. Disparagement would've been "Streisand is a talentless, overrated has been" or some other nonsensical rant seeking to diminish her talent or status as a legend. I did not do that. What I did was jump on SB's analogy regarding how he/she feels when listening to her, which I found to be a fairly accurate description of how I feel when listening to her: it would give me about the same feeling as eating a bowl of mayo with bits of hamburger in it. And I stand by that analogy.

  35. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    Not to derail this thread, but I know someone who thinks Aretha’s vocals are overrated.
    Point 'em out, I say as I reach for my blade.

  36. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by lucky2012 View Post
    I agree with all this, Bobby. I do think the racial element may have been a part of the backlash, though. And let's not forget the Gay backlash element. But I agree the biggest failure was the decreasing quality, increasing redundancy and sameness and all the major pop/rock stars jumping on the disco bandwagon. Thankfully, Diana Ross jumped aboard fairly early with Love Hangover (thank you, Hal Davis!). I can barely listen to Barbra Streisand's Shake Me, Wake Me or Rod Stewart's Do Ya Think I'm Sexy. But I loved Blondie's Heart of Glass. Chic and the subsequent diana album were, luckily, cutting-edge progressive disco just as the backlash was beginning.
    Thanks Lucky for such a thoughtful and accurate response to that. I love a lot of disco music, although there is some that I don't care for. Personally, I think that disco's backlash was due to how rhythmic the genre is. A singer couldn't really "Pat Boone" disco. What I mean by that is, with r&b and rock and roll, white artists, in particular, were able to take it and turn it into their own brand of pop. A good disco track could make the poppiest (i.e. white) singer come across with a certain amount of soul. There really was no way to take it and transform it into something less soulful. Am I making any sense here? I hope so. I'm trying to explain myself and I'm not sure if I'm coming across the way I hope. Anyway, for instance, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" was #5 on the soul chart; "I Love the Nightlife" was #31; even Cher hit #21 with "Take Me Home". And yeah, on top of the racial aspect, the gay tie in probably pushed the issue over the edge.

  37. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Thank you, lucky2012. The racist/sexist/homophobic undercurrents of the disco backlash, while not shared by all, were, nevertheless, intensely palpable and impossible to sweep under the rug:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/timelin...p/2d4e63b43a0e
    Ah, Sans...always good for a receipt.

  38. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Point 'em out, I say as I reach for my blade.
    they're definitely overrated on Nessun Dorma, the opera piece she sang for Pavarotti

  39. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Point 'em out, I say as I reach for my blade.
    I quite like Aretha, but am not really what you would call a massive fan. I actually prefer Diana’s version of “Amazing Grace”. Back to you honey.

  40. #90
    "A singer of dreary love songs best suited to K-Tel albums!" LOL!!! Post of the year!!

  41. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Point 'em out, I say as I reach for my blade.
    See what you have wrought, RanRan79? Folks just talking crazy.

    Go ahead and take care, TCB. I'll cover for you, say that you were unarmed and I didn't see what happened.

  42. #92
    The person I was referring to never says anything bad about Aretha. They just don’t think her voice is all that. Raised on gospel music, so knows and appreciates good soulful singing. As far as contemporary singers, they rate Patti and Gladys above Aretha vocally.

  43. #93
    Lucky I agree with you about DR's album with Chic. It came out right before things went radically downhill in terms of disco. Anyway, I never once heard any racial animosity over disco. I also never observed any gay backlash because back then, people didn't even talk about gay people. I remember thinking people on average would rather their kid be a serial killer than gay. That's how bad it was. I remember my grandmother telling me, gravely, that the guy who cut her hair might be "funny." The whole subject was as taboo as it could get. Thank God things have changed for the better. I never knew anybody who was racist though. In fact, when I went back to Western NY for my 20th graduation a few years ago, I took out my cheesy little high school yearbook to refresh my memory. To my amazement, my high school class was packed with "minorities"--I had no clue at the time. Nobody thought about it.I mean one of my friend's names was Pablo Lugo!! LOL!! We were just friends, not separate species.Today that's all changed.

  44. #94
    I am one of the people who always felt Aretha was overrated. Sorry but I found her screechy. I always felt Scherrie Payne or Chaka Khan were much better singers--they could sing any type of music and pull it off. Aretha not so much iMO

  45. #95
    Disco didn’t really die. It just morphed into ‘dance music’ and split into multiple factions, i.e.; house, Chicago house, trance, techno, freestyle, dance pop, EDM, drum and bass, electronica, trip-hop, etc. It has continued to hit the pop charts regularly, just under different names.

  46. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    I was in high school when disco hit its peak. Prior to that I was always into black music, groups like PFunk, Rufus, David Ruffin, Labelle, Emotions etc. but most of my friends were not. They were into groups I hated like Cheap Trick, Bob Seegar (sp), Rush--I know because due to wanting to fit in I'd go to these shows and watched the clock the whole time, bored stiff. Only a handful of my white friends were into black music--it was, at the time, sort of an underground thing. Knowing and liking The Ohio Players was "cool." Anyway when disco first hit, people were kind of into it. it started out being underground and very hip. Then it got ridiculous.Suddenly EVERYTHING was about disco, dancing, ridiculous clothes and hair. Suburbanites completely highjacked it and it showed.When songs like Disco Duck and Funky Town started to get played incessantly everywhere you went people rebelled against it. Even beloved rock artists like Elton John and The Rolling Stones started putting out disco. That was the end. The fact that so many of the artists were black had nothing to with it. I never once heard any of my white friends say they hated black artists because they didn't. The same people who LOVED Ohio Players and Earth Wind and Fire hated disco. Disco killed many of these acts off and they knew it and didn't like it.That is a side to the story that people pretend didn't happen.It gets really tiresome reading racist comments like "disco was only bad when black people did it." It's a lie and it never was true. Motown would never have happened if not for all those racist white record buyers in the 60's, long before disco. The actual truth is that disco went off the rails, got redundant and formulaic and people rebelled against it. When formally fantastic groups like Rufus Chaka Khan started writing songs about DANCING, like I'm Dancing For Your Love, lots of people lost interest including me.
    I also think that disco became so popular and was eclipsing all other genres of music (the way hip/hop and r&b is currently doing) that there was a backlash not necessarily from the listeners and buyers of music, but from white DJs and program directors who favored rock, metal and punk music. Since they could not compete with discos popularity, they tried to kill it off. Disco is nothing but dance music, rock, metal and punk rock...not so much.

  47. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I don't think they would have had the time to do a full album on Diana at this time. They were so busy with their own projects and getting Andy's solo career off the ground. I know they did Emotion by Samantha Sang, but they didn't really move into producing other artists on a major level until Babs came calling.
    There is no way in hell that Berry Gordy would have allowed the Bee Gees to produce an album on Diana Ross while she was signed to Motown and if she had still been with Motown in 85, there is no way Mr. Gordy would have allowed the Eaten Alive to have been recorded or released. And thank God. I truly RESPECT your opinion and insight on music and especially Diana Ross, but no sir, this collaboration ranks right up there with Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney doing Ebony & Ivory and Michael Jackson and Paul McCartey doing The Girl Is Mine and Say, Say, Say. Instantly forgettable and regrettable.

  48. #98
    Amen, SatansBlues.Those horrible songs were beneath all of them

  49. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    There is no way in hell that Berry Gordy would have allowed the Bee Gees to produce an album on Diana Ross while she was signed to Motown and if she had still been with Motown in 85, there is no way Mr. Gordy would have allowed the Eaten Alive to have been recorded or released. And thank God. I truly RESPECT your opinion and insight on music and especially Diana Ross, but no sir, this collaboration ranks right up there with Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney doing Ebony & Ivory and Michael Jackson and Paul McCartey doing The Girl Is Mine and Say, Say, Say. Instantly forgettable and regrettable.
    now Satan, lol. I don't know that he would have forbidden the Bee Gees from working with her in the late 70s. of course we all know it would not have been a remote possibility mostly because of their being on different labels and the Bee Gees were mostly producing themselves. they did some with others but not like they would in the 80s.

    but i'm not aware of Berry having any sort of dislike with the Gibbs disco content. or that IF some truly bizarre alignment of the stars occurred and the Gibbs reached out to Motown to see if something could happen, i don't think Berry would have just ignored the concept

  50. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    I was in high school when disco hit its peak. Prior to that I was always into black music, groups like PFunk, Rufus, David Ruffin, Labelle, Emotions etc. but most of my friends were not. They were into groups I hated like Cheap Trick, Bob Seegar (sp), Rush--I know because due to wanting to fit in I'd go to these shows and watched the clock the whole time, bored stiff. Only a handful of my white friends were into black music--it was, at the time, sort of an underground thing. Knowing and liking The Ohio Players was "cool." Anyway when disco first hit, people were kind of into it. it started out being underground and very hip. Then it got ridiculous.Suddenly EVERYTHING was about disco, dancing, ridiculous clothes and hair. Suburbanites completely highjacked it and it showed.When songs like Disco Duck and Funky Town started to get played incessantly everywhere you went people rebelled against it. Even beloved rock artists like Elton John and The Rolling Stones started putting out disco. That was the end. The fact that so many of the artists were black had nothing to with it. I never once heard any of my white friends say they hated black artists because they didn't. The same people who LOVED Ohio Players and Earth Wind and Fire hated disco. Disco killed many of these acts off and they knew it and didn't like it.That is a side to the story that people pretend didn't happen.It gets really tiresome reading racist comments like "disco was only bad when black people did it." It's a lie and it never was true. Motown would never have happened if not for all those racist white record buyers in the 60's, long before disco. The actual truth is that disco went off the rails, got redundant and formulaic and people rebelled against it. When formally fantastic groups like Rufus Chaka Khan started writing songs about DANCING, like I'm Dancing For Your Love, lots of people lost interest including me.

    Interesting post Bobby. I agree with it in parts. (Ohio Players and EW&F also did disco btw). To bring race into the backlash issue , is easy to want to do these days, but back then , it wasn't about that, at all. Disco was the most equal opportunistic music ever, it wasn't burdened by labels of black ,white , brown, American , European, Canadian, male, female ....etc... And you could likely find white producers producing blacks , and black producers producing whites ....or not ! (who cared ? who noticed?).

    The backlash was about the displacement of music by disco on radio stations that otherwise played other formats , both on rock and on soul stations ... abetted by the realization the entire scene was fueled by an emerging gay culture.



    BTW, all these years later, seeing The Ohio Players at the Circle Star Theatre in 1976 at their peak (and they were living the truth of, "when you're hot ,you're hot!") , was likely my best musical performance experience of them all. Right up there for sure.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 01-15-2021 at 03:20 AM.

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