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  1. #1
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    Did Motown release too many Diana Ross albums from 1970-80?

    The Bob Guardino [[sp.) thread got me thinking--do you all think that Motown released too many Diana Ross albums in the 70s? It seems like a few of the albums seem so unnecessary. That they were released just to have fresh product on the market to keep her name in the public eye. But by Lady Sings the Blues she was a superstar. Something really special. Surely they could have been a bit more judicious with the releases. Was Last time I saw him, or Ross 78 really necessary? Some of the albums do come across a true projects while others just gathered random songs she recorded and assembled into an album featuring the latest hit of some stature. I know Columbia released loads of Barbra Streisand albums in the 70s as well so it was industry practice to issue an album or two a year on acts that had some sizable following. What was the game changer in terms of an artist having to release at least an album a year? Michael Jackson in the 80s when he took several years to release a follow up to Thriller?

  2. #2
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    in my opinion , no, but it was when they were released .
    in 1970, we got both her debut and EIE, which should have been pushed back unilt 1971 or 72.
    then we got a cluster of albums from late 73 thru 74 and then nothing for 2 years.
    it seems BG just wanted an album out with her name on it whether it was good or not, case in point,Last Time I Saw Him.
    it was ,it seems ,get something out fast then nothing.
    no excuse to release Last Time as it was instead of taking time to release something with better songs..then Blue sits in the vault for almost 30 years.
    when Baby its me was released a year and half after the hit lp Diana Ross 76, they couldnt decide on the first single!
    not sure what happened, but BG was losing his touch.
    in my opinion,
    diana ross 1970
    Surrender 1971
    Diana tv special[[cancel)
    Everything is 1972
    lady sings 1972
    touch me in the morning 1973
    diana and marvin 1974
    last time i saw him1974 summer
    blue 1975
    diana ross 76
    greatest hits held back until nov for christmas
    baby its me 77
    ross 78
    boss 79
    diana 80
    one good album per year was enough.no need to flood the market with inferior product.one of the reasons why i think she is not in the rock hall of fame but, who cares.they lost their credibilty with me years ago

  3. #3
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    I wish they would have released another ten albums now we have all this incredible beautiful music thank God they did ,and no the music was not inferior by any means I understand that the Queen of beautiful music is recording a few new albums and I love this

  4. #4
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    I've always wonder what DR's contract with Motown stated regarding albums and singles? Did her contract stipulate that Motown would release a certain number of albums every year or singles every year?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    I've always wonder what DR's contract with Motown stated regarding albums and singles? Did her contract stipulate that Motown would release a certain number of albums every year or singles every year?
    I am not sure exactly what her contract demanded, but when i worked with the one and only Millie Jackson back in the early 80's she told me she was legally obliged to deliver a new album every six months for Spring records. Looking back that seems to be one hell of a lot of albums to record, produce and release.
    Motown were all over the place when it came to releasing product for Ms Ross. She told me she was pretty much always in the studio whilst with the Supremes and as a solo artist in the 70's. She rarely questioned it. She just got on with it. I suspect Mr Gordy wanted to build up a library of recordings so that he could release an album at very short notice should he desire so. It would explain why we had so many Diana albums that sounded like they were just thrown together. They sounded that way simply because they were seemingly compiled that way.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    She told me she was pretty much always in the studio whilst with the Supremes and as a solo artist in the 70's.
    And Berry could pay the musicians and producers for these sessions. And charge it to the artist.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    And Berry could pay the musicians and producers for these sessions. And charge it to the artist.
    So who did Motown charge a track to if more than one artists put down vocals on a song? Were they all charged?

  8. #8
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    i don't think they released too many albums [[unlike what they did with the 70s Sups during the Jean years), but the timing of the DR albums was fucked up. Also too many of the albums lacked cohesion and direction.

    Here's how i would have done it. keep in mind i've not gone through the recording dates to make sure the timing works. Like BIM - i wish they'd released it earlier but not sure if it would have been ready then. IMO by fall 77 you had Saturday Night Fever coming and that took disco into the stratosphere

    June 70 DR 70 - perfect and good timing

    Nov 70 Surrender - should have been released when EIE was. holiday 70. perfect follow up to the debut album

    July 71 EIE - too rushed originally and the whole project should have been saved until later in 71. This would have given Deke time to do more original content too. A nice pop album after two strong r&b albums. good change of pace

    Oct 72 - lady

    June 73 - TMITM

    HOliday 73 - D&M

    spring 74 - Caesar's Palace

    Sept 74 - LTISH

    Oct 75 - Mahogany

    Feb 76 - DR

    summer 76 - Greatest hits

    holiday 76 - evening with diana ross

    spring 77 - BIM

    spring 78 - Ross

    summer 79 - The Boss

    May 80 - diana

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    So who did Motown charge a track to if more than one artists put down vocals on a song? Were they all charged?
    hee hee maybe that was the appeal of those Four Tops/Supremes lps, "listen guys, we'll record the albums together and we can split those studio costs !"

  10. #10
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    And that's not including the LPs that weren't released, like "Blue" and "To the Baby".

  11. #11
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    I would have combined EIE and Last Time I Saw Him

  12. #12
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    Short answer: no. As a mega fan it feels antithetical for me to ever believe that we got too much Diana Ross during her golden period. I personally believe we didn't get enough, in part because a couple of the albums never lived up to their potential.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    I would have combined EIE and Last Time I Saw Him
    There's no way that would have worked IMO. By late 1973 into 1974 every single song cut for EIE sounded dated as hell. EIE definitely sounds like a product of it's time. More DRATS than Diana Ross, to be honest. Criticisms of LTISH I have mentioned in another thread, but I can say nothing on LTISH sounds like a continuation of DRATS. It's firmly a Diana Ross thing.

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