1980, Music

diana (1980) by Diana Ross

Diana Ross’ biggest hit, which I really had no idea about. In part, I guess, because I didn’t know “I’m Coming Out” was her song. I knew it, but I didn’t know it was her. Teaming with the creative team behind Chic seems like a pretty inspired idea, at least from a commercial standpoint. Also, a neat factoid is that it resulted in the most expensive recording deal in history up to that point, which is fascinating to me.

This is straight up disco and I do not like disco. It’s not disco’s fault, I just don’t like music that exists solely for people to dance to it. I need other things. Fortunately Edwards and Rodgers know what they’re doing – not only do they write catchy songs but their lyrics are at least passable, which is not something a lot of dance lyrics can claim. But the sheer catchiness of the material really helps sell it.

Additionally, the vibe of Chic is very much here. What I mean by that is that though this is unabashedly disco there is at least some trace of funk in the performances, so it’s not as disconnected from its origins as a lot of disco. Chic were pretty good and bridging the gap between funk and disco and it’s the same here.

And the whole thing seems to suit Ross pretty well. She doesn’t sound like the lead singer of the Supremes but rather a very different performer. That’s a compliment to me, as times change and she seems she’s changed with them. (I can’t speak to her solo albums as I’m pretty sure this is the first I heard.)

It’s absolutely not my thing in any way but I can understand why people like it so much. And if I have to listen to disco I’d rather it sound like this.


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