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  1. #1

    New Book on EMI Talking About Diana Ross

    If the following is true, it's a lot of MONEY.


    There is a new book on EMI entitled, "The Rise and Fall of EMI" by Fred Goodman.
    In two separate sections, they list Diana along with The Beatles as core EMI
    artists for the last 4 decades. Diana made $90 million dollars for EMI worldwide
    from 1991-1994. Those years would have included "The Force Behind the Power" and
    "One Woman".

    However, according to this book, here are the core catalog sellers for EMI:

    The Beatles
    Diana Ross
    Paul McCartney
    Radiohead
    David Bowie
    The Beastie Boys
    The Beach Boys

  2. #2
    While Diana's records may have not done as well in North America during the 90's and 00's, she's consistently been a strong seller overseas. The One Woman Ultimate Collection sold millions in the UK and Europe.

  3. #3
    The first Diana Album I worked on at EMI was One Woman - Diana was a dream in terms of promotion,She was willing,open,energetic and comitted to promoting the product.When we did "Take Me Higher" i was lucky enough to get a tape of Diana talking in to a dictaphone about the album,Again she was full of energy and enthusiasm at EMI.
    EMI was a great place to work for someone who loves music.They were wonderful days.

  4. #4
    Lucky Lady! I envy you that time like I envy John's time at Motown.............well, envy it in a nice way. Must have been great.

  5. #5
    She was great the last thing I worked on was "Not Over You Yet" and "Everyday" cd.And she wasnt drinking then -she was alert,articulate,funny and warm for important interviews on TFI,The lottery and other shows.
    Its really hard to explain what it was like working at EMI - the only boundary was the one you placed on yourself,There was so many acts to work with -you just had to love music.
    I wish now I had worked there fulltime instead of the freelance system I worked under.If I had really wanted it I could have still been there today,But I was so busy at the time with show work and djing.
    One funny story that comes to mind is one of my bosses Nicki,who did legal clearances had some experience in being a nanny,somehow she was approached to work for Diana.She turned it down I dont know why but the wierd thing is at the sametime someone who used to come to my shows was offered a job to work in her home also,I was like working for Diana?what could be better!Ask me!
    Im looking forward to reading this new book I can remember Yoko Ono or Michael Jackson sending a message that under no circumstances was copies of The Beatles No.1 cd to be given to EMI staff -there was a huge storm about that in the office,It was unheard of for no cds to be available for staff there was such an outcry that someone backed down and days later we were all presented with a copy each.
    Ive got to stop Ive started dishing..lol

  6. #6
    Nomis, thanks for sharing these memories!

  7. #7
    My pleasure 1382hitsville ! i remember Robbie Williams kicking a football around the office -he was about the biggest Uk star at the time and he was the nicest,funny down to earth man you could meet.
    Deborah Harry was a doll,I had met her before I worked there and she was completley sweet and approachable.i did alot of work on her "debravation" cd which must have been '93,It didnt do too well which was a shame.
    I did a little work on The Pet Shop Boys but then I moved to Virgin which was owned by EMI and I did alot of work for them.
    looking back there was so many acts i could have pushed for and could have done something with if I had been given a budget.Shirley Bassey is a good example I could have sold alot of cds if I had pushed for a tv campaign greatest hits - but my experience in record companies,and this is only my experience - Is that male artists got preference over females in terms of marketing budgets -If it came down to a Dean Martin campaign or a Shirley Bassey one - Dean would invariably win.
    Dianas One Woman compilation just flew at the door,The only competion it had for number one album was Meatloaf.
    I havent thought about those days really,I see now how lucky I was.

  8. #8
    jonc Guest

    Red face

    Thanks for sharing your fabulous stories Norris.

  9. #9
    Nomis, I want repeat what these other guys are saying. We love your stories. And we love how you share about yourself. Good luck and give us more stories.

  10. #10
    The other memory thats come back to me is working there 98/99 and the fear of cd burning was palpable in the air.It was a dirty word,you couldnt mention it execs would go pale they just didnt want to know.
    There was one cd burner in the office - and that was locked in the boardroom i used it once when everyone went to some convention - they wouldnt embrace change and at the time acts like Nsync,Jennifer Lopez and Britney gave the industry a false sense of protection they were doing huge numbers and everyone felt the this was the start of a whole new boom for the cd industry when as it turned out,It was one final burst of commerce before the downward spiral of downloading.
    On downloading -around this time I wasnt privy to all the facts but I do know EMI and the other companies where hell bent on bringing the sharing site Napster down,I mean from what I gather they were all for joining together and destroying it anyway they could -this was rare EMI could rarely agree on anything with Warners or Sony but on Napster they were absolute in wanting to destroy this Napster guys reputation and I thought that was a little scary.
    The other thing thats just sprung to mind was the wastage - by this I mean what happened to stock of cassingles and cd singles -They would just crush what they didnt sell.I thought this was terrible and I think I suggested at some point in distributing them to schools but i was in no position to do anything about it.
    This was also the time of Sony selling underprice single stock to retail for a higher chart position and taking a market loss,I cant remember EMI following this practice although I did some work for Warners and they did it also.
    I also remember alot of money being put into acts like Tasmine Archer and Eternal without them fullfilling the original investment,And acts that had once sold like Roxette and Go West having unrealistic goals in terms of marketing and sales.
    EMI was also slow on hip hop - They did alright on Arrested Development but Warners had the lead.
    if anything else spings to mind I will post.Cheers guys.

  11. #11
    Generally, your story seems to be the way all those record companies went; I suppose it's natural to "circle the wagons". If only they hadn't started firing inwards.

    But as I posted recently on another thread, generally no matter what they would have done, people are "not gonna pay for what they can get for free". And perhaps the CD industry was just doomed like the horse and buggy, the telegraph, the zepellin etc.

  12. #12
    On Diana - what made The Force set sell was her apperance on The Royal Variety show - without that I doubt we would have had the hit we had - She was flawless on that show and thats when the album started selling.She was adamant on a re release for "If We Hold" I remember ordering the video from MCA for an instore compilation I made and seeing the video with Diana on stage intercut with dinosaur cartoon footage and thinking - i cant send this to tv they wont play it! I didnt do the single re release so in the end I dont know what footage was used.
    I was Linda Mcartneys assistant for a day and she was wonderful,It was the day Paul was doing a concert and he pretty much kept to himself,Which was understandable as he had to perform that night,But Linda was great she was very chatty and had time for everyone I was very sad when she passed away she was a lovely lady.
    Cliff Richard was also a really nice guy - I cant remember anyone having any airs or graces - we were batting for them to succeed.
    There was one woman called Lynne she was label manager for a bit,She didnt like Diana as she had to wait for Diana after a conncert for a meet and greet -The thing was she didnt organise this with Dianas people beforehand - she just turned up and expected an audience and was miffed she couldnt get to Diana.I dont know what happened to her but I cant remember working with her again..she also told me some unflattering stories about Van morrison being drunk but I didnt think much of her and she didnt last!

  13. #13
    Did you ever meet any Supremes or Michael Jackson? I guess the Supremes were defunct long before you worked for EMI???

  14. #14
    Yeah jobeterob Im too young to Have been around The Supremes Im only 37! I did re meet a guy called Michael in a bar last year who I kind of knew by sight in the early 90s - he worked for Sony and he went off to work for Tommy Mottolla he told me MJ was a really sweet,shy man.
    I was,for some reason that escapes me,Trying to learn how to skateboard-this would have been '96 - it was about 2.00am in the morning MJ had done a concert that night -so here I was trying to skateboard and this limo comes up to me and stops -the window came down and there was Micheal Jackson staring at me he looked at me for about 45 secounds then the window went up and the limo drove away - I was like holy hell ! that was MJ! who will believe me? but he was in that white limo at 2.00 in the morning..and I hadnt been drinking!
    The only thing I can ever remember doing for Sony was an e.p.k (electronic press kit) for Striesands "Back To broadway "cd.
    The other thing about EMI was it was really social -I would stay in the office late at night,there was always someone still working and people would have a wine and relax.The bill for entertaining and conventions must have been huge!..but I guess thats the nature of people working in Promotions and A&R - you have to be social it kind of helps in the job!
    As I said before I only did bits and pieces for EMI ,I had alot more to do with the Virgin Label.

  15. #15
    Ive just got a box out of storage - I saved inter-office memos on Diana,they included never used interviews with her on recording Force Behind The Power,Take Me Higher etc.
    They are not exciting - Just Diana talking about her feelings about producers,songs etc. I will try and put them up on here tomorrow,If anything they show Dianas commitment to excellence and her feelings for the music recorded in this period.Theres a touching bit where she says she was thinking of her mother recording "When You Tell Me."
    I shall post the interesting bits in the memos and all of Dianas quotes (Some Ive never seen before in print) Tomorrow.

  16. #16
    Nomis.............you're giving this forum great credibility with these posts. Nice job.

  17. #17
    Nomis

    Be careful of the lawyers watching! Oh dear Rob, that's you..

    LOL

  18. #18
    jonc Guest
    Keep those postings coming Norris.

    Thank you.

  19. #19
    Ok firstly,heres some of the memos-
    No date on this one,Its organising journalist Chrissy Iley to interview Diana in a resturant,The resulting interview appeared in The Sunday times Magazine (sept 5 1993).
    The article was not a flattering piece,It was a disapointment to the promotions dept.
    Micheal Heatley writes a glowing article on Diana for Music Week (Oct 9 !993.)This memo thanks Heatley for his work.
    Next is a press release for "A Very Special Season",I didnt work on this album,This was Audrey Brown (International marketing),it lists all the musicians who worked on the album,(dated 11 Nov 1994.)
    Next is an international marketing release For "Heart (dont change my mind) and "Stolen Moments" cd & VHS. -(Feb 22 1993)Debby Shaw & Vanessa Hands looked after this release,Heres a quote from Diana on Jazz - "It was all around me as a young girl and when I was on the road touring with The Supremes.Its that has always been in my blood."
    Nov 1995 marketing stratergy for "Im gone " single -saying Diana will be in London for a promotional visit Nov 7th.the memo says "The images included of Diana Ross in a bathtub will certainly ignite the imagination of her male fans!".It also states the video has been shot in New Orleans echoing Tennessee Williams 'Cat On a Hot Tin Roof".
    next is a memo to writer Anne Graham on instructions of Dianas discography,The resulting article appeared in Gold magazine Jun 1994.(a good piece).Heres a good quote from Diana on The Supremes - 'I felt out of touch,Out of control.Although The Supremes were at the top,I often felt as if I were sitting at the bottom of a deep,dark pit!".
    Kathy Kinch looked after the single release Of "I will Survive" she must have been with Diana at the filming as she has this quote from Diana on her gay audiences - "They've always been wonderfully supportive of me,and this is my way of saying thanks for their loyalty."
    "But this isnt just about being gay,Its about being allowed to live your life.You read everyday about proposals to take children from single parents and put them into homes,aboutinfringelments on peoples lives.Theres a lot of pain in the world.To Me what matters is if you're a good person;thats all that counts.If your a good person Im going to like you,If not,I wont have time for you.It's whats inside that counts." ( 5th Feb 1996.)
    A Nov 1995 Biography states she is active in childrens organisations,and recently joined the board of A better Chance,Americas leading programme for academically talented children pf colour as well as serving each year on National childrens Day.
    Next - I will post some interviews,one I know was unused, Cheers.

  20. #20
    DIANA ROSS INTERVIEW 1995.

    Heres Diana on Brenda Russell -
    "Brenda Russell was wonderful to work with,sort of like a soul mate,a very spiritusl person and also like a girlfriend,Someone you felt like you could confide in.Someone you could hang out with and eat Roscoe's chicken and waffles...just kind of fun to be with.A wonderful spirit she is.We did two incredible songs together and it was funny because at the end of one of the songs she wanted me to go "ow" and I went like,"I dont know if I can really do that." she said "You can do it" and it was really sweet."

    Question : How do you stay Current?
    "i have been in the buisness a long time so my intent is not like Iam so obsessed with staying young but I do think that there is a way of staying youthful and that comes from your thinking and how you feel inside.I think they sort of feel my energy more that they feel how i look inside.They say "You know,you look so young." I feel like Iam young.I feel young in spirit so much and when I say how old Iam I start to think about that and how long I have been in the buisness,I think...it seems like yesterday.Time passes really quickly and what you need to or what we all need to do is to stay childlike in our spirit and in our heart."

    Question : How is the buisness of music different today ?
    "today the music buisness has really expanded.You can't be a performer today.You have got to be a performer.You have got to write songs.You have to be a musician.You have to play music.You have to have a certain amount of charisma and "Je nais se quois"(whats that french word?anyway whatever it is you need to have some of that.)because you have got to do videos.You have got tobe on camera.You have to be almost loke a movie star.It's not just about singing or making music anymore,Its everything else.You've got to be able to sit and talk and do an interview.Youve got tobe able to deal with the public eye and adversity and you have to be such a well rounded person to be able to cope with all the buisness.So it has expanded very much.

    I will post more soon.

  21. #21
    Heres Diana talking about The Take Me Higher single & album photo shoot -

    "For this album I wanted it to be beautiful but beauty in a different kind of way than a fashion kind of beauty.I wanted it to be deeper and more real.I had seen a picture of a little kid standing in the middle of a cotton field.He was wearing a big shirt,much too big for him,and he was kind of just standing there.The photgraph meant so much to me because it just said,it was like,"back to the roots of who you are,not what people see of you." but this picture I identified with so much and found out who the photographer was and I searched for him.We talked about going back.Going back to my roots.Going to the South where I grew up and having a photo session there.We just walked through the streets of Bessemer,Alabama and I got such a wonderful support from the people,such a loving support.It was if I was a home town person coming back home."

  22. #22
    Heres some things Diana told Debby Shaw in a marketing stratergy article in June 1991 about recording "Force Behind The Power" album.

    "Finding the right music takes along time.On a ballad especially,i have to find songs whose lyrics I can really identify with,whether its about love or life or the world.iam constantly on the lookout for new material and am always getting tapes pushed into my hand at resturants,in shops and in taxis!I really do try to listen to as much as I can.You just never know where the next great hit will come from."
    "When I sing I need my work to be pure and emotionally honest,unguarded.I have to feel totally supported and in sync with the producer.I cant just pour my heart out in the studio to someone I dont really know.I also need input from someone who shares my vision,but can help me pull something out of a song that I might not reach for alone."
    "I purposely wanted three producers because I wanted differnt sounds on the album.Each of these producers are brilliant in totally different ways.I thought these contrasting sounds would give the album a unique texture."
    "It seems like my whole career is about relationships,about finding people who can help me express my vision about my work and life. Peter (Asher)is definetley one of those people who sees music.songs and life in the same way I do.Weve built a wonderful working relationship."
    "James (Carmicheal) and I would go sit at the beach and hed bring along his little portable keyboard.I would just start talking about the themes and images that were running through my head and he would start creating rhythms out of the way i spoke and the stories I told."
    "James is very knowledgable musically.i enjoy his drive for perfection and trust him completley."

    Diana On Stevie Wonder -
    "I was so thrilled that in the midst of Stevies work on a soundtrack and his own album he called to tell meabout this song.he said,"I have an idea for you and I want you to have it ' Cause I Love You!"

    On When You Tell Me -
    "We decided it had to be on the album.Its the kind of song,musically,i love to sing,it starts out softly,then builds into a dazzling crescendo.But the lyrics struck me even more.They beautifully describe the kind of deep love that can be experienced with a lover,a husband,your children etc.When I was in the studio singing this song,I remember thinking about my mother and how much her presence and her love meant in my life."

    On John Bettis-
    "I had never worked with John bettis before,but he creates a real intimacy with the people he writes with.We sit and talk and songs take form from our conversations."

    Diana summing up -
    "I guess if theres a theme to this whole album,Its about all possible levels of relationship betwenn two people:from the almost spiritual magic of deep love,through the negotitation of changing feelings,to the desperation of a love totally abandoned."

    I will post more soon. Cheers Nomis

  23. #23
    Good job again Nomis. First hand information is always good. Thanks.

  24. #24
    My pleasure Jobeterob

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,634
    Thank you so much for sharing...GREAT GREAT STUFF HERE

  26. #26
    Really great stuff, Simes!


  27. #27
    The images included of Diana Ross in a bathtub will certainly ignite the imagination of her male fans.

    Simon...I hope you put them right on that one! LOL

  28. #28
    smark21 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    Heres some things Diana told Debby Shaw in a marketing stratergy article in June 1991 about recording "Force Behind The Power" album.

    "Finding the right music takes along time.On a ballad especially,i have to find songs whose lyrics I can really identify with,whether its about love or life or the world.iam constantly on the lookout for new material and am always getting tapes pushed into my hand at resturants,in shops and in taxis!I really do try to listen to as much as I can.You just never know where the next great hit will come from."
    "When I sing I need my work to be pure and emotionally honest,unguarded.I have to feel totally supported and in sync with the producer.I cant just pour my heart out in the studio to someone I dont really know.I also need input from someone who shares my vision,but can help me pull something out of a song that I might not reach for alone."
    "I purposely wanted three producers because I wanted differnt sounds on the album.Each of these producers are brilliant in totally different ways.I thought these contrasting sounds would give the album a unique texture."
    "It seems like my whole career is about relationships,about finding people who can help me express my vision about my work and life. Peter (Asher)is definetley one of those people who sees music.songs and life in the same way I do.Weve built a wonderful working relationship."
    "James (Carmicheal) and I would go sit at the beach and hed bring along his little portable keyboard.I would just start talking about the themes and images that were running through my head and he would start creating rhythms out of the way i spoke and the stories I told."
    "James is very knowledgable musically.i enjoy his drive for perfection and trust him completley."

    Diana On Stevie Wonder -
    "I was so thrilled that in the midst of Stevies work on a soundtrack and his own album he called to tell meabout this song.he said,"I have an idea for you and I want you to have it ' Cause I Love You!"

    On When You Tell Me -
    "We decided it had to be on the album.Its the kind of song,musically,i love to sing,it starts out softly,then builds into a dazzling crescendo.But the lyrics struck me even more.They beautifully describe the kind of deep love that can be experienced with a lover,a husband,your children etc.When I was in the studio singing this song,I remember thinking about my mother and how much her presence and her love meant in my life."

    On John Bettis-
    "I had never worked with John bettis before,but he creates a real intimacy with the people he writes with.We sit and talk and songs take form from our conversations."

    Diana summing up -
    "I guess if theres a theme to this whole album,Its about all possible levels of relationship betwenn two people:from the almost spiritual magic of deep love,through the negotitation of changing feelings,to the desperation of a love totally abandoned."

    I will post more soon. Cheers Nomis
    Very interesting. I think Force Behind the Power is one Diana Ross' most underrated albums. Though it has songs produced by 3 different producers, it's pretty cohesive musically and thematically.

  29. #29
    MissLish Guest
    Miss Lish is loving it all Nomis. Well done and thank you!!

  30. #30
    Miss Lish, welcome to the boards!

  31. #31
    MissLish Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by 1382hitsville View Post
    Miss Lish, welcome to the boards!

    Thank you for the warm welcome 1382hitsville! That was very sweet of you!

  32. #32
    ..and the same from me Miss Lish- thank you for your post

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