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  1. #1
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    Taraborrelli On Ross/ Vibe Magazine March 1996

    bought a few old Vibe magazines in a 2nd hand store today..just came across RJT writing on letters page about a prior review in the magazine on Take Me Higher....

    "It was a revelation to read in your review of Diana Ross's latest Motown album,Take Me higher [[Revolutions, Dec/Jan),that the woman cant sing.And to think shes been a recording star for 30 years! Your uninformed critic,Elysa Gardner,made the same kind of cliche' statement about Ross's singing that one would expect from a person who never really listened to her music:that her singing has always been a triumph of style over substance amd limited size and range.Despite what Ms Gardner might think,Ross - complicated,mercurial,and temperamental star that she is -can most certainly sing circles around all of today's disposable divas,the ones Vibe pays homage to in each issue.
    J. Randy Taraborrelli Los Angeles,CA
    [[Editors note: The writer is the author of Call Her Miss Ross : The Unauthorised Biography Of Diana Ross)

    Thought I would share this..earlier in the letters section theres postive and negative feedback on Andre Harrell taking over Motown

  2. #2
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    She had/has a right to her opinion...stupid as it may be.

    I just looked up the original review. She didn't actually say Diana Ross can't sing, but she made it clear she doesn't view Diana's voice as "all that". She threw out the tired buzzwords used to shoot down African American singers who don't sound like Aretha. I still didn't get that she thinks Diana can't sing, but because her voice is thin, Gardner suggests that this equals weak, which is a word that is definitely negative. Diana has always been thin of voice. It does not make her any less of a singer. Her tone is gorgeous, her pitch is often spot on. No, she has never shattered glass or eardrums. No, she has never blown the roof off the mutha. But she can send chills down spines and cause an entire arena to settle into a quiet hush. She was offered a spot in the Primettes because she had style and substance, the same thing that got her a contract at Motown, a record number of hits with the Supremes, and a lengthy, successful, ground breaking solo career that spanned decades. JRT may have been a bit overly sensitive, especially considering how he sometimes referred to Mary Wilson's voice, but Gardner was doing her job: critiquing music and proving that the only thing that really separates music critics from the rest of us is the fact that she gets paid for her opinions while the rest of us frequent music forums to do the same for free.

  3. #3
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    The mid 90s was the peak of when pop/R and B Diva singers were expected to be big voice, wide octave range singers like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. I sometimes think one of the reasons Diana Ross had a popularity decline in the 90s was that her vocal approach had fallen out of fashion. But as time has shown, her vocal approach has proven to be timeless and the basis for her legacy. I think the overabundance of mediocre and sub mediocre mindless belters on American Idol and such shows made more people appreciate more subtle vocal approaches.

  4. #4
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    Elysa Gardner [[who?) has no idea what singing [[vs screaming, belting, shrieking, etc) is. That's her problem. Interesting that JRand chose to stand up for Diana, though.

  5. #5
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    At the end of the day it’s her personal opinion which should be respected. I can think of at least two friends of mine who would share the same view. I have tried winning them over with little success so far. Different strokes for different folks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    The mid 90s was the peak of when pop/R and B Diva singers were expected to be big voice, wide octave range singers like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. I sometimes think one of the reasons Diana Ross had a popularity decline in the 90s was that her vocal approach had fallen out of fashion. But as time has shown, her vocal approach has proven to be timeless and the basis for her legacy. I think the overabundance of mediocre and sub mediocre mindless belters on American Idol and such shows made more people appreciate more subtle vocal approaches.
    exactly that. Her vocals are timeless

  7. #7
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    I remember as a kid hearing my mother playing Supremes records and even at a very young age it was Diana's beautiful and gentle vibrato that captured my ears.

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