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  1. #1

    How Diana Ross Turned It Upside Down with 'Diana'


  2. #2
    I love how she proved Motown executives wrong who made her cry telling her the album would flop..I much prefer her mix to chic's..

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    I love how she proved Motown executives wrong who made her cry telling her the album would flop..I much prefer her mix to chic's..
    Right?!?!? And I agree that, as much as I love the 'darker' Chic mix, the Terrano mix catapulted this lp into the stratosphere.

  4. #4
    I think they should have used the Terrana mixes for the singles and left the album alone.. It could have increased overall sales.

    As could having released 'Upside Down' a few weeks before the album, having music videos to promote the singles and releasing the follow-up singles in a logical manner.

    It was a dog's breakfast really in 1980.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I think they should have used the Terrana mixes for the singles and left the album alone.. It could have increased overall sales.

    As could having released 'Upside Down' a few weeks before the album, having music videos to promote the singles and releasing the follow-up singles in a logical manner.

    It was a dog's breakfast really in 1980.
    I agree there should have been music videos levi..marvin gaye.the Supremes and Commodores got promo music videos but diana didn't.. someone was slow on the ball..the hastily edited promo video for upside down didn't really gel

  6. #6
    What surprises me the most is that there are no 12 inch versions of any of the songs [[the 12 inch versions being just the album versions).

  7. #7
    Diana's vocals on a couple of the original mixes don't convey much engagement and excitement in the way the remixed songs do. My Old Piano in its original form just drags along, whereas the remix has greater vibrancy which clearly underpinned its single success.

    For me, the Chic mixes are very interesting and I do prefer the original Friend To Friend. However, the remixed album is a masterpiece, even to this day.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    Diana's vocals on a couple of the original mixes don't convey much engagement and excitement in the way the remixed songs do. My Old Piano in its original form just drags along, whereas the remix has greater vibrancy which clearly underpinned its single success.

    For me, the Chic mixes are very interesting and I do prefer the original Friend To Friend. However, the remixed album is a masterpiece, even to this day.
    I love her energy in my old piano the track sizzles ...the remix definitely benefits from rerecorded vocals..she was able to enhance her performance so we benefit from her having layed her vocal on the chic mixes..the killer for me is the unique bass overdub mixed with the original on "now that your gone "..nile was critical of it on the albums release...I find it unique and the raised volume of the strings midway thru is beautiful..such an underrated ross track it gives me shivers

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rovereab View Post
    Diana's vocals on a couple of the original mixes don't convey much engagement and excitement in the way the remixed songs do. My Old Piano in its original form just drags along, whereas the remix has greater vibrancy which clearly underpinned its single success.

    For me, the Chic mixes are very interesting and I do prefer the original Friend To Friend. However, the remixed album is a masterpiece, even to this day.
    Agree. The only original Chic mixes I prefer are “Tenderness” and “Friend To Friend”.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    I love how she proved Motown executives wrong who made her cry telling her the album would flop..I much prefer her mix to chic's..
    Is this truth or folklore? I'd come to understand that it was Berry or Motown who were unhappy with the original Chic product. Nile and Bernard were pissed but never held the decision to remix the album against Ross. Also, taking account of the albums that followed "diana" it seems unlikely that Ross would waste any tears on an album's quality or commercial prospects.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    Is this truth or folklore? I'd come to understand that it was Berry or Motown who were unhappy with the original Chic product. Nile and Bernard were pissed but never held the decision to remix the album against Ross. Also, taking account of the albums that followed "diana" it seems unlikely that Ross would waste any tears on an album's quality or commercial prospects.
    I would agree with you. Ms Ross was not really one to take much of a personal interest in remixing the album. My guess is that someone at Motown decided to remix the album, and whoever that person was i salute you!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I would agree with you. Ms Ross was not really one to take much of a personal interest in remixing the album. My guess is that someone at Motown decided to remix the album, and whoever that person was i salute you!
    Yep. I certainly agree that the singles -- "Upside Down", "I'm Coming Out" and "My Old Piano" -- benefited from the remixes. However, the Chic originals are more musically interesting. In particular, "Tenderness" and "Have Fun [Again]."

  13. #13
    Very good article about Diana Ross' classic diana LP. Between that album and "It's My Turn" & "Endless Love" [[with Lionel Ritchie), Diana entered the '80s with a bang [[and left Motown Records on a high note).

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    Also, taking account of the albums that followed "diana" it seems unlikely that Ross would waste any tears on an album's quality or commercial prospects.
    lol - yes, Terrana should have remixed almost all of the RCA albums.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    lol - yes, Terrana should have remixed almost all of the RCA albums.
    That would have been a smart move.

  16. #16
    ah but diana in spring of 1980 was in a very different position than the diana in, let's say, the spring of 1982.

    She had had massive hits in 76 with Hangover, theme from Mahogany and DR 76. interestingly, her Greatest Hits album that summer stalled outside of the Top 10. You'd think a DR GH set would be massive.

    and it was downhill since then

    Evening With was stellar live set but only sold so-so

    Baby It's Me was a commercial flop, even if it was a critical success.

    Ross 78 was essentially useless

    Wiz bombed

    The Boss was a sensational album and dance track, hitting #1 on the Disco charts. but it slowly limped into the top 20, never really achieving the pop success it should have

    After all of these years of commercial disappointments, i would say that she was rightfully worried. She was feeling smothered at motown, was starting to realize she wasn't being properly compensated and was approaching her late 30s. time was definitely ticking. it's quite possible that if her next album didn't hit, she would be sort of a "has been."

    Then Diana hits big, It's My Turn is a hit, and Endless Love is a explosion. her recording career is frankly the hottest it's been since the run of #1s with the Sups in 1966 with A Go Go and the singles through 67.

    Fast forward to 82 and she's proven she can make hit records without Berry [[Fools, Mirror and muscles). and two successful [[at least commercially) albums. she's cemented herself financially and weathered the storm. so she can focus on her top priority, her kids and their future

  17. #17
    I also wish Terranna had remixed all of Diana Ross' RCA albums.

  18. #18
    It's funny isn't it. You think 'what experience did Diana have as a producer in the studio prior to 1980?'.

    I know she always says 'I have xx years of experience in the music industry' but that doesn't mean she can play the drums.

    For me, I imagine Diana & Russ sitting in the mixing booth and she's saying 'it needs more me' so he turns down the Chic singers and ups her volumes a bit and she says 'that's more like it'.

    Then she says 'I have an important appointment with an EST guru, see you tomorrow' and he pretty much re-mixes everything else on his own.

    I hope Diana's 'success' with the re-mixing of the Chic album didn't actually encourage her to take production reins in the RCA years because we all know how that turned out. The "that'll do" method.

  19. #19
    i have no real insider info here so will just toss this idea out there for fun

    Diana was feeling a need for more independence and self reliance. She had insisted on The Wiz, had set up her own offices, started making business decisions [[to some degree) without Berry. She'd moved to NYC to get away from Motown and Berry.

    And supposedly even The Boss was pretty much developed as a project without much or any involvement from Berry. Also according to Randy's books she was much more involved with A&S in the development of The Boss. probably not so much from a mixing standpoint but apparently discussing themes, statements she wanted to make, etc.

    so it's now early 1980 and she completes the chic recordings and no one is really thrilled with them. Did she personally remix everything - i really doubt it. But i could see her playing a more active role with Russ in the mixing booth. She had done a little producing during the years but now as she's pushing for independence maybe she got more involved with him because she knew that going forward she WANTED to be much more involved in her productions and do more producing. so what better way than to work and learn from the master, Russ

    if nothing else, Diana has always seemed to understand the importance of training and working towards something. i don't think she ever approached something with the mindset of "i'll just wing it and figure it out."

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