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  1. #1

    Diana Ross and Sade: The Song Stylists

    Any song by Sade fits into the vocal range and style of jazzy Diana Ross. Of all the Sade sings, which one would you love Diana Ross to sing in her own distinct phrasing as a song stylist.

    My Choice: This is "No Ordinary Love".

    Imagine if these two singers did a duet!

    What song, in any songbook, would you choose for their duet?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by TNSUN View Post
    Any song by Sade fits into the vocal range and style of jazzy Diana Ross. Of all the Sade sings, which one would you love Diana Ross to sing in her own distinct phrasing as a song stylist.

    My Choice: This is "No Ordinary Love".

    Imagine if these two singers did a duet!

    What song, in any songbook, would you choose for their duet?
    I'd love a Diana solo version for Your Love Is King.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TNSUN View Post
    Any song by Sade fits into the vocal range and style of jazzy Diana Ross. Of all the Sade sings, which one would you love Diana Ross to sing in her own distinct phrasing as a song stylist.

    My Choice: This is "No Ordinary Love".

    Imagine if these two singers did a duet!

    What song, in any songbook, would you choose for their duet?
    Never given it much thought. I am not a big Sade fan but i agree Ms Ross could have done justice to the Sade back catalogue.

  4. #4
    Didnít Diana say in the Vanity Fair interview that she either was a fan of her music, or wanted to record songs like that for her next album? Wont get into what the next album turned out to be 🙂.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Never given it much thought. I am not a big Sade fan but i agree Ms Ross could have done justice to the Sade back catalogue.
    I don't see it. They are so different aesthetically. Ross is pop -- joy, inspiration and exuberance with only occasional melancholy. Sade is her opposite -- torchy, lovelorn, yearning, sometimes sad with only hints of joy.

    All those years ago, when Ross said in Vanity Fair that she wanted to do an album 'like Sade' I thought that was so curious because they are so different to me. She also name-checked Anita Baker, Janet and Whitney in that interview. So I rationalized that she meant she wanted Sade's consistently huge album sales without having to produce hit singles.

    Also interesting to me is that Sade is that rare instance of a British singer/band more popular in the US than in the UK. Sade's last US tour -- an excellent show -- was soldout coast-to-coast with the most interesting cross-section of humanity in the audiences.

    Bluebrock, any thoughts on why British audiences love Ross [and her FBTP] but have seemed relatively indifferent to multi-platinum hometown girl, Sade Adu CBE?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    Didn’t Diana say in the Vanity Fair interview that she either was a fan of her music, or wanted to record songs like that for her next album? Wont get into what the next album turned out to be ��.
    I think there was one interview where she talked about what she listened to while hiking and she said something like "Sade on the way up and [another artist] on the way down." But I can't remember if it was Vanity Fair or another mag.

  7. #7
    ive never understood Sade's popularity..
    Last edited by nomis; 04-11-2021 at 06:52 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    I don't see it. They are so different aesthetically. Ross is pop -- joy, inspiration and exuberance with only occasional melancholy. Sade is her opposite -- torchy, lovelorn, yearning, sometimes sad with only hints of joy.

    All those years ago, when Ross said in Vanity Fair that she wanted to do an album 'like Sade' I thought that was so curious because they are so different to me. She also name-checked Anita Baker, Janet and Whitney in that interview. So I rationalized that she meant she wanted Sade's consistently huge album sales without having to produce hit singles.

    Also interesting to me is that Sade is that rare instance of a British singer/band more popular in the US than in the UK. Sade's last US tour -- an excellent show -- was soldout coast-to-coast with the most interesting cross-section of humanity in the audiences.

    Bluebrock, any thoughts on why British audiences love Ross [and her FBTP] but have seemed relatively indifferent to multi-platinum hometown girl, Sade Adu CBE?
    I think Sade was quite popular in the UK. The albums sold well and there were a few hit singles too, but Miss Adu was not one who was comfortable in the spotlight and her desire for privacy perhaps made her seem aloof to her fans and the media in general.
    Ms Ross has always retained an affection in the hearts of the UK record buying public despite a somewhat fearsome reputation. It is probably a combination of talent, hard work and glamour that has sustained her career. When i asked her many years ago for the secret of her longivity she said she thought it was down to having a "clear and clean" voice, great management, working very hard and more than a little luck.
    I think she summed it up better than i ever could.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Ms Ross has always retained an affection in the hearts of the UK record buying public despite a somewhat fearsome reputation. It is probably a combination of talent, hard work and glamour that has sustained her career. When i asked her many years ago for the secret of her longivity she said she thought it was down to having a "clear and clean" voice, great management, working very hard and more than a little luck.

    I would argue in terms of great management, especially in U.S. after Motown. I'm aware Diana kept making money and being a major live attraction. And I also think Diana did pretty good in her career as a veteran artist. But I'd say if she did have right management her career in later decades would be in another level, because she was so huge in the first two decades of her stardom. UK Emi was the only place who really knew how to deal with her and promote her products in the 1990's. She needed that type of care all over the world and only great management could afford it to her. But still she did pretty good for someone who didn't really have a manager for most of her 40s, 50s and so on.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro2015 View Post
    I would argue in terms of great management, especially in U.S. after Motown. I'm aware Diana kept making money and being a major live attraction. And I also think Diana did pretty good in her career as a veteran artist. But I'd say if she did have right management her career in later decades would be in another level, because she was so huge in the first two decades of her stardom. UK Emi was the only place who really knew how to deal with her and promote her products in the 1990's. She needed that type of care all over the world and only great management could afford it to her. But still she did pretty good for someone who didn't really have a manager for most of her 40s, 50s and so on.
    She was referring to Berry Gordy when she mentioned great management. It was Mr Gordy who spotted, developed and perhaps exploited that unique talent.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    She was referring to Berry Gordy when she mentioned great management. It was Mr Gordy who spotted, developed and perhaps exploited that unique talent.
    If so, she is absolutely right. He really did a lot for her. Ironically, it also traumatized her to the point that, after Berry, she would never let someone to take any control of her career.

    Tina had Ike in the first stages of her career then she had Roger Davies, who was the mastermind of her comeback and amazing popularity in the later decades. I think Diana needed a Roger-type of figure after Berry, but she wouldn't accept it.

  12. #12
    Diana's fans have such a hard time accepting the detached tone of her Ross 83 album, they certainly couldn't handle a Sade type of album for her.
    I discovered Diana with the Ross LP, so to me, she was there before Sade, with this soft soul, soft jazzy tone

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Albator View Post
    Diana's fans have such a hard time accepting the detached tone of her Ross 83 album, they certainly couldn't handle a Sade type of album for her
    Thats a point. I don’t think it was a question of Diana not giving her all to those ross 83 tracks. She was aiming for a more relaxed, less emotional vibe on those songs which for the most part worked well.
    I personally would have been more then happy for a Sade type album from her, but suspect the majority of fans would have ended up disappointed.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I personally would have been more then happy for a Sade type album from her, but suspect the majority of fans would have ended up disappointed.
    I always thought that in her interview with Vanity Fair, when she said she wanted to make an album like, Sade, Janet, Withney, she meant that she wanted to be as successful as those girls.


    It's kind of the story of her contract period with RCA, she was looking for the right formula to sell records without really knowing where to go.
    This is the weakness of RCA albums and at the same time, it is their wealth. She saw the limits as a producer and went to Steely Dan's side. On Swept away, there is something for everyone. She was too late for Barry Gibb.
    During her '85 European tour, all she could say about Eaten Alive was "the Bee Gees did the best selling album of the 70's, Michael of the 80's and I took both".


    It's true that the albums are not satisfactory but some of the recordings are among the best she has ever made.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro2015 View Post
    I would argue in terms of great management, especially in U.S. after Motown. I'm aware Diana kept making money and being a major live attraction. And I also think Diana did pretty good in her career as a veteran artist. But I'd say if she did have right management her career in later decades would be in another level, because she was so huge in the first two decades of her stardom. UK Emi was the only place who really knew how to deal with her and promote her products in the 1990's. She needed that type of care all over the world and only great management could afford it to her. But still she did pretty good for someone who didn't really have a manager for most of her 40s, 50s and so on.
    I largely agree but add a caveat - I don't think that Diana really wanted a Cher - Tina resurgence or the sort of life-sacrifice that would have entailed. And as we have very frequently surmised, I think family had a lot to do with that. It seems that a very high percentage of BIG, worldwide stars, male and female, have ended up with family situations that are well-less than ideal, and it's my opinion that Diana's first priority after 40 or so was her family.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Albator View Post
    I always thought that in her interview with Vanity Fair, when she said she wanted to make an album like, Sade, Janet, Withney, she meant that she wanted to be as successful as those girls.


    It's kind of the story of her contract period with RCA, she was looking for the right formula to sell records without really knowing where to go.
    This is the weakness of RCA albums and at the same time, it is their wealth. She saw the limits as a producer and went to Steely Dan's side. On Swept away, there is something for everyone. She was too late for Barry Gibb.
    During her '85 European tour, all she could say about Eaten Alive was "the Bee Gees did the best selling album of the 70's, Michael of the 80's and I took both".


    It's true that the albums are not satisfactory but some of the recordings are among the best she has ever made.
    She had been a workaholic for 20 years or so, and had achieved and indeed exceeded most of her ambitions. She was very comfortable financially thanks to the rca deal. Her family was growing up and would soon be added to. Work was no longer the be all and end all. She began to cut back slightly on the workload whilst still engineering a successful career. She found a happy medium and a personal contentment that had previously eluded her. We may have covered our ears at some of the dross she produced, but she would do exactly the same again given the chance. As she once said to me "regrets are for fools".

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    She had been a workaholic for 20 years or so, and had achieved and indeed exceeded most of her ambitions. She was very comfortable financially thanks to the rca deal. Her family was growing up and would soon be added to. Work was no longer the be all and end all. She began to cut back slightly on the workload whilst still engineering a successful career. She found a happy medium and a personal contentment that had previously eluded her. We may have covered our ears at some of the dross she produced, but she would do exactly the same again given the chance. As she once said to me "regrets are for fools".
    I agree Bluebrock. As holy Mother Teresa said. "

    Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin.

    Fondly,

    Roberta

  18. #18
    I am both a Diana Ross fan and Sade fan, and in my opinion, neither of these ladies' voices are even remotely similar to each other. Their ranges are very different. Sade has a relatively low voice with a ton of rich depth and Diana has a higher, lighter pop voice that also lends itself to versatility with other genres. Many people tend to forget that Sade is a band, not just a solo artist/singer, so all of Sade's songs were creative collaborations and compositions, created between her and her band. They were tailor made for her voice. She is in a category all in her own, much like Ms. Ross is. For these reasons, I respectfully say that I would not want to hear either of them cover each other's songs. That being said, yes I do feel that Diana could have dabbled more in the smooth jazz genre during the 80's, as it could have worked well for her. Her recording of "It's Too Hard For Me To Say" is a solid example of how well her voice works with that genre. If anything, she could have done more work with Luther, but for various reasons, that did not happen.
    Last edited by carlo; 04-15-2021 at 11:48 AM.

  19. #19
    Diana Ross' voice is perfect for The Luther Vandross Songbook. "No Ordinary Love" by Sade fits perfectly within Diana Ross' vocal realm.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TNSUN View Post
    Diana Ross' voice is perfect for The Luther Vandross Songbook. "No Ordinary Love" by Sade fits perfectly within Diana Ross' vocal realm.
    I agree. Luther's work with Aretha is amazing. Jump To It, Get It Right and many other songs from that era.

    It was more Diana's style than Sade.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    I am both a Diana Ross fan and Sade fan, and in my opinion, neither of these ladies' voices are even remotely similar to each other. Their ranges are very different. Sade has a relatively low voice with a ton of rich depth and Diana has a higher, lighter pop voice that also lends itself to versatility with other genres. Many people tend to forget that Sade is a band, not just a solo artist/singer, so all of Sade's songs were creative collaborations and compositions, created between her and her band. They were tailor made for her voice. She is in a category all in her own, much like Ms. Ross is. For these reasons, I respectfully say that I would not want to hear either of them cover each other's songs. That being said, yes I do feel that Diana could have dabbled more in the smooth jazz genre during the 80's, as it could have worked well for her. Her recording of "It's Too Hard For Me To Say" is a solid example of how well her voice works with that genre. If anything, she could have done more work with Luther, but for various reasons, that did not happen.
    There is only reason why that did not happen carlo, and that is Miss Ross herself. Luther did everything in his power to persuade her to let him produce an album on her. He attended every night of a UK tour where he followed her around like a forlorn little puppy dog. He sent demo after demo after demo. She was not in the least bit interested, but she was quite charmed by him. I am not going to go further into it at this moment in time, but on a personal level i would have been intrigued by a collaboration. I am not 100% convinced it would have worked. Luther's work with Dionne was less than inspiring, but i agree his work with Aretha was a joy.
    Could this pair of divas have worked together in the studio for a full album? Having worked with them both extensively i would have my doubts.

  22. #22
    That is quite interesting, Bluebrock. Thanks for sharing.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    There is only reason why that did not happen carlo, and that is Miss Ross herself. Luther did everything in his power to persuade her to let him produce an album on her. He attended every night of a UK tour where he followed her around like a forlorn little puppy dog. He sent demo after demo after demo. She was not in the least bit interested, but she was quite charmed by him. I am not going to go further into it at this moment in time, but on a personal level i would have been intrigued by a collaboration. I am not 100% convinced it would have worked. Luther's work with Dionne was less than inspiring, but i agree his work with Aretha was a joy.
    Could this pair of divas have worked together in the studio for a full album? Having worked with them both extensively i would have my doubts.
    Diana's instincts were probably correct. Luther never became a darling of the pop world. He had a great voice though.



    that did not even break the Hot 100.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Diana's instincts were probably correct. Luther never became a darling of the pop world. He had a great voice though.



    that did not even break the Hot 100.
    He was huge in the UK. Numerous hit singles, top selling albums and regular arena tours that got televised on prime time tv. He was really embraced by the UK pop buying public, but i know he tended to struggle in the American pop market.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    There is only reason why that did not happen carlo, and that is Miss Ross herself. Luther did everything in his power to persuade her to let him produce an album on her. He attended every night of a UK tour where he followed her around like a forlorn little puppy dog. He sent demo after demo after demo. She was not in the least bit interested, but she was quite charmed by him. I am not going to go further into it at this moment in time, but on a personal level i would have been intrigued by a collaboration. I am not 100% convinced it would have worked. Luther's work with Dionne was less than inspiring, but i agree his work with Aretha was a joy.
    Could this pair of divas have worked together in the studio for a full album? Having worked with them both extensively i would have my doubts.
    Luther's biography mentioned that he courted her. I have assumed that she was not interested because Luther's sound was too urban. She wanted pop hits and she probably correctly assumed that Luther couldn't give her pop hits. Luther himself wanted pop hits but they eluded him for most of his career. I would have settled for a duet -- their voices would have been great together.

  26. #26
    I donít think she was interested in pop hits at this point. Certainly she wasnít going for that with an album called Red Hot Rhythm & Blues, and then her next album of new jack swing music. I think Luthers reputation may have been the issue. Didnít both Dionne and Aretha have issues in the studio with him?

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    I donít think she was interested in pop hits at this point. Certainly she wasnít going for that with an album called Red Hot Rhythm & Blues, and then her next album of new jack swing music. I think Luthers reputation may have been the issue. Didnít both Dionne and Aretha have issues in the studio with him?
    "Red Hot Rhythm & Blues" was not an apt title. It included some good tracks -- "Selfish One", "Summertime" and "Dirty Looks" -- that were about as R&B as Olivia Newton-John. She still wanted pop hits. I agree though that Luther had a reputation for being prickly and she may have known they would not do well together in the studio.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    Luther's biography mentioned that he courted her. I have assumed that she was not interested because Luther's sound was too urban. She wanted pop hits and she probably correctly assumed that Luther couldn't give her pop hits. Luther himself wanted pop hits but they eluded him for most of his career. I would have settled for a duet -- their voices would have been great together.
    Luther's biography was a good read..i loaned it to a friend and never got it back [[that always drives me crazy) the index at the end of the book listing his background vocal work left me stunned..I had no idea he had participated in so many iconic tracks..

    Khansperac -i dont know about Dionne but Aretha clashed with Luther and at one point she walked out of a recording session..Luther was well known to be volatile..having nasty spats on tours with both En Vogue & Anita Baker [[who was very difficult herself)..
    Diana could have found Luther's studio dominant and demanding style not to her taste..if they had done an album together it could have gone well....or very very badly

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