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  1. #1
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    Just Listened To Why Do Fools Album For The First Time

    Somehow,over the years I never got around to getting a copy of Diana's RCA debut album...heres my thoughts on the tracks & production.

    The album opens with "Why Do Fools" a track that I never warmed to nor disliked..its a good choice to open the set,Miss Ross giving a much different vibe than "diana"..disco is dead and Diana is embracing pop, free fom the psychological shackles of Motown this track sets the tone for the album - fun..WDFFIL was a personal favourite of a teenage Diana and keeping the track length under 3 minutes works in its favour.
    "Sweet Surrender" i love - its got a vibe of a late night city with Diana playing it seductive and silky..the flow of track is nice,the beat and guitar work is subtle and effective - how have I missed this track all these years ?
    "Mirror Mirror" is a mostly forgotten single by the public..ive always liked it Diana telling writer Gerri hershey that the lyrics had an autobiograghical vibe for her relating to the release of "Dream Girls" stage play..One for Diana's many talents is when she really 'sells' a song almost a form of acting and its on display here..i love the breakdown half way thru which starts with a snare drum then drums guitars and vocals slowly cooking up to a crescendo
    Next up her solo version of "Endless Love' what was the point ? [[besides trying to catch the casual shopping customer)..the orginal version is immaculate for me this version is nice but it was a chance for Diana to really recreate the track in some way..a chance lost
    "Never Too Late" for me,sounds like a Motown track i can envision it on "Thank God Itd Friday" or from that time period..i like it after about three listens,good backing vocals I can see why RCA thought it had chart potential and released it as a single.
    "Think Im In Love" I really like,the structure and style of production is the closest to Rodgers/Edwards IMO of her previous studio album..the chorus stayed in my head after listening..its not outstanding but a good track.
    "Sweet Nothings" leaves me cold..too repetitive in structure
    "Two Can Make it" has a nice vocal Diana sounds warm and at ease with the track..as with the whole album the musicians are doing a good job not encroaching on her vocals whie complimenting genres from pop,rock,a slice of country and a touch of disco which is where we get to..
    "Work that body" always loved it a crackling and sizzling performance from Ross,its a time piece from the fame/ONJ physical period and i think it holds up remarkably well..the background singers are right out front on it [[Diana always works harder with big backing on a track - The Boss,He Lives In you etc)
    I enjoyed this album - for me its on par with Ross 83, thou not a strong as Swept Away,its shows Diana happy,confident and starting a whole new journey.

  2. #2
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    Although it sometimes gets a bad rap, I think the WDFFIL album was a good start to the RCA years. And for Diana's debut as an album producer, I think it was solid. Even at the time, I didn't think of it as being in the same class as THE BOSS or some of her other albums, but still solid.

    I like most of the songs, in particular MIRROR MIRROR, ENDLESS LOVE, and THINK I'M IN LOVE. I actually thought the latter had single potential. Probably the only song I can do without is SWEET SURRENDER. On one tv show, Diana mentioned that she had been given that song years before but I think had lost touch with the writer.

    Re the ENDLESS LOVE remake, that was the only song I heard from the album before I purchased it. I gather including it was just to add additional selling potential to the album, and maybe she couldn't get clearance from Polygram for the duet version.

  3. #3
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    i too enjoy WDFFIL, although i know it can be a bit polarizing with the fans here. At first i really enjoyed it and thought it was a strong album. Now though i do see some of their objections. it's a decent album but frankly not worthy of being the launch of a new solo career on a new label. She needed something spectacular to kick things off and this isn't that.

    Mirror Mirror - this IMO is the gem of the album. she should have taken this sound and built more of the album around it. it's fresh, invigorating, totally modern and totally NOT disco.

    Sweet Surrender & think i'm in love - both are solid songs and IMO fit with the vibe and tone set by MM

    Work That Body - i'm not a fan of the lyric. they're just too silly. but you could drop something else onto this track and have had another rocking song

    Sweet nothings - i like this song. and i think it could have been the one lightweight silly tune on the album. not a masterpiece and if there were other better tracks around, not a problem to cut it. but i'm ok with it being on it

    Never too late - is a fav of mine but very pop. almost sounds like the refrain could have been an early 80s sitcom theme lol. i like but not sure it works with the previous four tunes

    WDFFIL - an enjoyable song and she gives an energetic performance. it's a bit borderline karaoke machine though

    Two can make it - not bad but a rather bland and boring lead by Diana. just not very interesting

    Endless Love - hideous. one of her worst vocal performances ever on wax.

    So i think there are 5 potential tunes for a REAL debut album. you would have needed a second real strong tune like MM which could have been the 2nd single. the last 4 tunes i reviewed are frankly not really good fits with this revised album. they're not bad but they just don't work with the vibe.

  4. #4
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    toying with the songs and line ups for the first 2 albums. assuming all of the tracks were ready in fall of 81 [[which i don't think they were):

    Mirror Mirror [[and use a longer, lp version)
    Sweet Surrender
    Muscles
    Who
    Love Lies

    Work that body [[with new lyrics)
    Still in love
    Think i'm in love
    Love lies
    Sweet nothings

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    toying with the songs and line ups for the first 2 albums. assuming all of the tracks were ready in fall of 81 [[which i don't think they were):

    Mirror Mirror [[and use a longer, lp version)
    Sweet Surrender
    Muscles
    Who
    Love Lies

    Work that body [[with new lyrics)
    Still in love
    Think i'm in love
    Love lies
    Sweet nothings
    Ive never heard Silk Electric either ! its on my list to get alongside expanded funny girl, sing hdh,at the copa & a go go..ive learned that sometimes waiting makes finally getting things more special..after all i waited over 20 yrs to get 25th anniversary & never before released masters !

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    toying with the songs and line ups for the first 2 albums. assuming all of the tracks were ready in fall of 81 [[which i don't think they were):

    Mirror Mirror [[and use a longer, lp version)
    Sweet Surrender
    Muscles
    Who
    Love Lies

    Work that body [[with new lyrics)
    Still in love
    Think i'm in love
    Love lies
    Sweet nothings
    It would certainly have proved a novelty to feature the same song on both sides.
    I doubt “Muscles” had already been recorded, but if finished “Who” And “Love Lies” should definitely have been included.
    With the exception of “MM” and “WTB” I find the whole thing badly produced and incredibly dull. The worst studio album of her solo career containing her worst ever vocal performance in “Endless Love”.

  7. #7
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    I've always liked WDFFIL as well. A nice batch of hit singles and I love the solo version of Endless Love. The LP was well-reviewed at the time and a platinum seller, though it peaked at #15, quite a drop from the #2 showing of diana. I can agree with those who rue the lp's not being as 'street' as diana, but it is what it is. Glad that you, Nomis, liked it on your first listening lo these 40 years later - it's always interesting to see what new, contemporary listeners think about catalogue material.

  8. #8
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    Nota favorite of mine although my younger sister loved it.
    In my playlist I combined both two RCA albums and cut out the fat.
    Not a fan of work that body.

    Probably Quincy jones was tapped to produce Diana's first album but he was working on Patti Austin album and would not be available until much later.
    Diana had already promised RCA an album by October.
    Bee gees were contacted but we're already working with Streisand and also would not be available until much later.
    Lionel Richie was also a possibility. But he was on tour. I think Ross decided to produce the Album herself.
    My play list
    Why do I fools fall
    Sweet surrender
    Mirror mirror
    Who
    Love lies
    Think I'm in love
    Anywhere you run to

  9. #9
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    yeah i didn't mean to double that one song lol

    I think WDFFIL is a perfect fine album. a bit stronger than EIE or Last Time. certainly better than Ross 78 or WO. but after The Boss and diana, i can see it being a letdown.

    SE would have worked MUCH better if someone had never shown Diana how to do an echo effect with vocal production lol. it sounds as if she's sitting at the bottom of a well. if that had been corrected, the album would have been much better. even with the songs as is. It is a weaker album overall than WDFFIL and definitely shows the limits of Diana's abilities as a producer. mostly just due to her lackluster approach to her lead vocals.

    i'm fine with the eclecticism of the album, even if some of the tracks [[like Fool For Your Love) are not wildly successful. I'd like to FFYL before her solo Endless Love! In Your Arms desperately needs Masser's production touches. I'm fine with I Am Me. lol which i know many others hate.

  10. #10
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    WDFFIL, the single and album were big hits and the song is a concert staple that is very well received.

    I like MM a lot of course and It’s Never Too Lake, Work That Dody and Sweet Nothings. I don’t like the solo Endless Love.

  11. #11
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    Horrible album.

    Mirror Mirror & Never Too Late are about the only decent songs on it.

    Work That Body could never have been released any other year than this. And the solo Endless Love is awful. Why Do Fools could have waited until some covers album 20-30 years later.

    If only it could have been an Edwards/Rodgers sequel to 'diana'.

  12. #12
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    I don’t hardly remember the songs on Why Do Fools…but I remember liking it. At that time, Ross could do no wrong in my eyes. Little did I know what lay ahead.
    Last edited by Circa 1824; 11-22-2021 at 11:21 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circa 1824 View Post
    I don’t hardly remember the songs on Why Do Fools…but I remember liking it. At that time, Ross could do no wrong in my eyes. Little did I know what lay ahead.
    Like the Iraq war or President Pussy Grabber getting elected or the market crashing in 2008 and the January 6 insurrection. Yep Diana caused a lot of things to happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Like the Iraq war or President Pussy Grabber getting elected
    You are all class.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    Like the Iraq war or President Pussy Grabber getting elected or the market crashing in 2008 and the January 6 insurrection. Yep Diana caused a lot of things to happen.
    disgusting & foul

  16. #16
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    A solid enough album from Diana.

    Fools is simply a great happy-go-lucky pop song, brilliant choice for her first RCA single - very big in the UK on the back of the video, one of her 5 biggest sellers here.

    Mirror illustrates the difference between the UK and USA, big in her homeland it didn't do well here funky and rocky but it was a bit of a mess to me.

    Loved Work That Body - sparse and rhythmic with a great vocal from Diana , it got inside your head. I can remember waking up in the morning to this blaring from the radio on Radio 1's Breakfast Show and it put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

    Ir was vice versa this time with the US givng it the cold shoulder while it became one of her top 10 selling UK solo singles.

    They chanced their luck in the UK by releasing It's Never Too Late as a fourth single from the album and it managed to make #41 - it would no doubt have gone higher had not most of her fans already got the album.

    While it wasn't brilliant it was a pleasant and listenable disco effort.

    Sweet Nothing's and Sweet Surrender are competent album tracks but for me Think I'm In Love Is Meh.

    Two Can Make It is a winner for me - a melodic upbeat ballad with a good delivery fom Diana - I'm sure this would have charted had it been a single in the UK.

    Sadly though I'm in the no camp on the solo version of Endless Love - a beautiful song but unfortunately the weakest track on the album.

    Don't know what went wrong but Diana's vocals are weak and she sounds disinterested.

    Overall a better than average album from Diana.

    By the end of 1981 it was one of the best selling top 100 UK albums for the year with around 110k sold - in terms of Diana's UK studio album sales this was a good figure.

    It wasn't that far short of The Chic diana's sales.
    Last edited by florence; 11-22-2021 at 02:52 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    disgusting & foul
    Certainly not one of my faves, but I never deemed the album being as bad as that.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    Nota favorite of mine although my younger sister loved it.
    In my playlist I combined both two RCA albums and cut out the fat.
    Not a fan of work that body.

    Probably Quincy jones was tapped to produce Diana's first album but he was working on Patti Austin album and would not be available until much later.
    Diana had already promised RCA an album by October.
    Bee gees were contacted but we're already working with Streisand and also would not be available until much later.
    Lionel Richie was also a possibility. But he was on tour. I think Ross decided to produce the Album herself.
    My play list
    Why do I fools fall
    Sweet surrender
    Mirror mirror
    Who
    Love lies
    Think I'm in love
    Anywhere you run to
    I thought the album Guilty that The Bee Gees did with Barbra Streisand was in 1980. Wasn’t it the album that got in the way of Diana Ross’. “diana” album from hitting number 1 ?

  19. #19
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    Hi Vgalindo...regarding Guilty here's some info on the release...

    Guilty is the twenty-second studio album by American singer Barbra Streisand released on September 23, 1980 by Columbia Records. It was produced by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and his group's regular production team of Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson.

  20. #20
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    my take on the album is that it's enjoyable, some pretty solid songs on it along with some misses. in terms of an album, solid. but in terms of being the debut album to launch a new solo career on a new label after all of the hoopla and news about her leaving motown AND after 2 critically acclaimed albums, wDFFIL is a let down

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