Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Upside Down" by Diana Ross

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  0252
Date:  07/12/1980
Debut:  82
Peak:  1 (4 weeks)
Weeks:  29
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Dance



Pop Bits:  After seeing the group Chic (still hot after their two #1's "Le Freak" and "Good Times"), Ross recruited group leaders Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers to guide her next recording. The collaboration yielded "Diana" and it became her most successful album reaching #2 on the pop albums chart and achieving multi-platinum status. This first single with an updated, hipper sound set the tone for the success and became her fifth #1 solo single (and first in four years). It also got her a 1981 Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal.

ReduxReview:  To be frank, I don't think Diana Ross is a great singer. She's got a really good, recognizable voice, but it's not strong nor great. So if she doesn't have the right material, it just ain't gonna work. In this case, it worked in spades. It was the perfect storm of a diva on the slide coming together with hot, current producers that knew what to do for her. Regardless of the situation outlined below, this was an inspired match up that was perfect for the time. A classic.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  After the album was completed, Ross was not really satisfied with the final results. In addition, a prominent New York DJ had heard it and told Ross if she released the LP as-is, it would be the end of her career. Rodgers and Edwards' disco-Chic leaning sounds were not in favor at the time with the disco-backlash in full swing. So Ross retreated to the studio and with the help of a Motown engineer proceeded to remix and edit the album. When Rodgers and Edwards heard the revamped album, they were not pleased and even considered removing their names from the album. But they came to an understanding and the new version was released - and became Ross' biggest hit album. The Chic version of the album was later included on a deluxe edition of the album in 2003.

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