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  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by MusicGuy34 View Post
    I'm new to the forum [[long time looker, first time poster haha). I became a fan of Diana's in 2000 when VH1 was doing Diva's Live. I was around 13ish at the time and loved the previous Diva's shows-when I saw they were doing a whole special dedicated to Diana, I was intrigued. I kept watching any and all the clips they showed of her, music videos, segments on Supremes, etc and was loving everything.

    I kept seeing clips of what was the "Take Me Higher" video and I asked my mom to take me to the music shop near where we lived and they had the Take Me Higher album along with Everyday Is a New Day. For me, I started my love of Diana's music with those 2 albums and then worked backwards and learned about "Ain't No Moutain...", "Theme From Mahogany," "The Boss," "I'm Coming Out," etc. They're still my favorite to this day because of the association and memories I have connected.

    I think "Take Me Higher" is just a really great, solid album with lots of potential that was definitely overlooked. With the right promotion, I think she could of had some great chart success. "I Never Loved a Man Before" and "I Thought That We Were Still In Love" are 2 of her most beautiful songs in her catalog. I was just listening to the Japanese release the other day and it's interesting how they omit "Let Somebody Know" which was definitely a song that fit Diana perfectly and added in "Swing It." "Swing It" is unique and while I think the lyrics don't fit her at times [["...Cause I'm the 'roni that'll give you what you need"), it still has a great R&B vibe that could have seen potential airplay. "I Will Survive" seemed like the odd song out. I enjoy it live, but I'm not a fan of her closing each show with it still to this day. "Gone" is my favorite track from the album-her voice, her emotion fit the music perfectly and I love the black and white video released with it. I think there were a lot of opportunities to propel her back onto the charts, but Motown just didn't want to give it the attention it needed and deserved. Going through and looking back at clips, she was all over promoting it, so the failure of it not being a success rests more on Motown then Diana's.
    Interesting observations from a younger person's viewpoint.
    Welcome to the forum. I'm sure you will make some new friends on here. All the best to you and yours.

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by MusicGuy34 View Post
    I'm new to the forum [[long time looker, first time poster haha). I became a fan of Diana's in 2000 when VH1 was doing Diva's Live. I was around 13ish at the time and loved the previous Diva's shows-when I saw they were doing a whole special dedicated to Diana, I was intrigued. I kept watching any and all the clips they showed of her, music videos, segments on Supremes, etc and was loving everything.

    I kept seeing clips of what was the "Take Me Higher" video and I asked my mom to take me to the music shop near where we lived and they had the Take Me Higher album along with Everyday Is a New Day. For me, I started my love of Diana's music with those 2 albums and then worked backwards and learned about "Ain't No Moutain...", "Theme From Mahogany," "The Boss," "I'm Coming Out," etc. They're still my favorite to this day because of the association and memories I have connected.

    I think "Take Me Higher" is just a really great, solid album with lots of potential that was definitely overlooked. With the right promotion, I think she could of had some great chart success. "I Never Loved a Man Before" and "I Thought That We Were Still In Love" are 2 of her most beautiful songs in her catalog. I was just listening to the Japanese release the other day and it's interesting how they omit "Let Somebody Know" which was definitely a song that fit Diana perfectly and added in "Swing It." "Swing It" is unique and while I think the lyrics don't fit her at times [["...Cause I'm the 'roni that'll give you what you need"), it still has a great R&B vibe that could have seen potential airplay. "I Will Survive" seemed like the odd song out. I enjoy it live, but I'm not a fan of her closing each show with it still to this day. "Gone" is my favorite track from the album-her voice, her emotion fit the music perfectly and I love the black and white video released with it. I think there were a lot of opportunities to propel her back onto the charts, but Motown just didn't want to give it the attention it needed and deserved. Going through and looking back at clips, she was all over promoting it, so the failure of it not being a success rests more on Motown then Diana's.

    I have a similar story. I became a fan in the late 90's [[1997) after watching the TMH video on a Soul/R&B program [[U.S. hits) on MTV Brazil [[it was the only time I saw it in rotation). It was the beginning of a long standing love affair! And almost a miracle because TMH wasn't usually played on MTV. I'm happy I catched on and it changed my life, because I became obsessed with her. I was already a big fan of other north american singers like Tina Turner, Janet and Madonna. I was barely a teenager.

    TMH was not promoted here in the country, but Diana was known to be one of the biggest american icons. I thought the song was a big hit in U.S., and to my surprise I discovered it wasn't. I'm still surprised to this day.
    Last edited by Nitro2015; 02-23-2021 at 02:05 PM.

  3. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Yes she did. She was resigned to the album flopping in the USA. She knew Motown were not in her corner but she was determined to put herself in the public eye by doing the late night talk shows despite being no fan of Jay Leno.
    As regards the UK she was open to hosting her own tv special. Talks were held with the BBC but an agreement could not be reached. She eventually did the Audience with Diana Ross for ITV whilst promoting Everyday is a new Day.
    She expected TMH to hit big in the UK, and i wanted to reissue the title track in a slightly remixed version to follow IWS but i was outvoted.
    I remain convinced to this very day that it could have rivalled FBTP had the promotion been handled better from the start.
    Thank you Bluebrock, it's always amazing to hear about your stories and background information.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro2015 View Post
    Thank you Bluebrock, it's always amazing to hear about your stories and background information.
    Thank you Nitro. I found your memories of being introduced to Ms Ross's music very interesting. I love hearing these stories from younger generations than my own. Ms Ross would also be very pleased to know she has a whole new generation of fans and admirers. Take care and stay safe.

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Thank you Nitro. I found your memories of being introduced to Ms Ross's music very interesting. I love hearing these stories from younger generations than my own. Ms Ross would also be very pleased to know she has a whole new generation of fans and admirers. Take care and stay safe.

    Take care and stay safe too, Bluebrock! And let's keep the conversation going.

  6. #106
    I was looking at my old Billboard chart books and just looking at the years 1970-1985 on the pop chart only, Diana had 27 top 40 pop hits, roughly averaging 2 a year. In only 2 years, 1972 and 1978, did she not have a song in the top 40. 20 out of the 27 made the top 20 which is very significant as some have mentioned that she either hit No. 1 or missed completely which is not an accurate representation of how successful she was, again, on the pop chart. No other female was as successful as her with the exception of Donna Summer, maybe. I am putting her in comparison with the ladies of her era such as Patti, Dionne, Aretha, Tina, Cher, Streisand, Olivia Newton John, Linda Ronstadt and Bette Midler.

    Tina Turner had 6 top 40 hits with Ike, the last being the #22 charting Nutbush City Limits in 1973 and did not reach the top 40 again until the #26 remake of Let's Stay Together in 1984. In effect she was a new artist.

    As for Cher, It's a Man's World was a fantastic album. Believe is a great gimmick of a song but the album was awful and the subsequent singles couldn't even reach the top 40 and she has not been close to the top 40 since. Also the huge gaps in her charting from 1974, nothing until Take Me Home in 1979 then nothing until I Found Someone in 1988 then nothing from Save Up All Your Tears in 1991 to Believe in 1999 then nothing since.

    Patti Labelle - Lady Marmalade #1 in 1975 and nothing until New Attitude #17 in 1985 then On My Own and O, People in 1986 then nothing since.

    As for hodge-podge of styles, Whitney's and Mariah's albums were hodge-podge of styles, multiple producers, etc. They were great albums because of the multiple hit singles not because of cohesive artistic statements. I would give that to the "lesser" singers like Janet and Madonna and Prince over Michael.

    R&B had become way more producer oriented from the mid-80s on. I posit that if Workin' Overtime, as is, unchanged, had the name of Teddy Riley, LA Reid & Babyface or Jam & Lewis as the producer, it would have been a huge success, The Bottom Line is such a great track.

    In the end, Diana was a huge success in spite of her record labels and her sometime questionable artistic choices. Imagine if she was with a label like Warner, Columbia or MCA.

    Motown in the 70s, as has been documented by all of you here, made a mess of all her releases. I would also point out how they were a relative failure with all their female artists from the 70s Supremes, Thelma Houston, Tata Vega, Teena Marie, High Energy, Good Girls, 702, Vanity, Stacy Lattisaw, Shanice, India.arie, etc. They could not maintain or sustain success for any of them. Erykah Badu shifted over from Universal when Kedar Massenburg was name the head of Motown.

    RCA was a disaster for not just Diana but established stars like Kenny Rogers and Barry Manilow. Kenny's first album there was his only success then pretty much downhill from there. Barry's first studio album there only reached 88 on the pop albums chart. He quickly shifted back to Arista. Swept Away would have been multi-platinum on any other label. I was loving Evelyn Champagne King's come back records like Love Come Down and I'm in Love and all of Melba Moore's EMI/Capital albums from 1981-1990. I would have loved to hear Diana paired with Kashif, Lillo Thomas, Leon Sylvers III, Freddie Jackson, etc. Bluebrock mentioned that Diana was to have recorded with Quincy, or re-teamed with Chic but RCA had to have product. So in effect, they cut their nose off to spite their face yet WDFFIL went platinum plus anyway. Patti Austin's [[my favorite Patti) Every Home Should Have One could have been Diana's? And Chic's Debby Harry's KooKoo was real good too. Could Definitely hear Diana singing Backfired or Now I Know You Know.

    When Diana signed with MCA, I was so excited because of all the success they were having then my heart sank when she shifted to Motown. MCA was the label of Gladys, Patti, Jody Watley, Bobby Brown, Guy etc. They were the premier label charting on the R&B and pop charts. I always imagined Sheen Easton's 1988 MCA Debut The Lover in Me of Karyn White's self-titled 1989 album as being perfect for Diana as well. Motown was a disaster by then and were fortunate to have Boyz II Men.

    Sorry for the very long post.
    Last edited by Deepdishus2001; 03-04-2021 at 03:30 PM.

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by Deepdishus2001 View Post
    When Diana signed with MCA, I was so excited because of all the success they were having then my heart sank when she shifted to Motown. MCA was the label of Gladys, Patti, Jody Watley, Bobby Brown, Guy etc. They were the premier label charting on the R&B and pop charts. I always imagined Sheen Easton's 1988 MCA Debut The Lover in Me of Karyn White's self-titled 1989 album as being perfect for Diana as well. Motown was a disaster by then and were fortunate to have Boyz II Men.

    Sorry for the very long post.
    great point about MCA's strength at the time in the R&B field. Diana has already released If We Hold On Together on the label. i'm not sure who's idea it was to work with Niles Rodgers on WO. was it Diana that reached out to him or someone at the Motown label?

    i'd be curious to know what producers MCA had either in-house or what arrangements they had that might have provided a different POV for her first album.

  8. #108
    Billboard also named Diana as the #1 Hot 100 artist of both 1976 and 1981.

    Was it just a case of Diana being passe by then but why did If We Hold On Together do so badly in the US? - it didn't even do very well on the AC chart.

  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by florence View Post
    Billboard also named Diana as the #1 Hot 100 artist of both 1976 and 1981.

    Was it just a case of Diana being passe by then but why did If We Hold On Together do so badly in the US? - it didn't even do very well on the AC chart.
    i find the song a bit saccharine. it's too kiddie sing-along

  10. #110
    I completely forgot to include Stephanie Mills in that group of artists. She like Patti got a second career wind with them. Putting a Rush on Me is one of my favorites by her.

    I'm not in the music biz, just a tremendous fan of all types of music so I have no idea. LOL Remember that she got to put the Ross Records imprint along with the Motown label so I figured it was her decision. It's also in keeping with her pattern of being a few years too late. She should have worked with Nile in 1985-86 after the huge success of Like a Virgin.

    I'm not sure if it was in this thread or another but someone asked if Voice of the Heart was a US single. It was as a double AA sided CD single with If You're Not Gonna Love Me Right [[the LP mix and the Crenshaw Records remix. It reached number 28 on the AC chart. I heard it a lot on the Lite-FM station in NY when it was released.

    If We Hold on Together reached no. 23, When You Tell Me That You Love Me no. 26 and I've Got a Crush on You with Rod Stewart no. 19. Again, if Motown was any kind of competent label, the tracks all would have gone much higher. Same with If You're Not Gonna Love Me Right. If that was the first single, I'm sure it would have gone much higher on the R&B chart that no. 67.

  11. #111
    this is where my unfamiliarity with the details of a working relationship within the label comes out

    Diana specifically mentions that part of her rationale for leaving motown was that she wanted to do these things. she wanted to select musicians, plan the photo shoots, handle the album track sequencing, etc.

    Would Diana not also have had involvement into the promotion and marketing of her material? If a label has budgeted $X to promote the release, wouldn't she have had visibility into that? was it an FYI only role or would she have been involved in finalizing the expenditures?

    We talk about how motown was so F'd up with their handling of her material. like the totally haphazard and disorganized manner which it handled Force behind the power.

    what role does an artist have in this? what about when that isn't just any random artist but someone like Diana?

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