|Studio album by|
|Released||May 22, 1980|
|Recorded||December 1979 - March 1980|
|Diana Ross chronology|
|Singles from Diana|
diana is the tenth studio solo album by American singer Diana Ross, released on May 22, 1980 by Motown Records. The album is the biggest-selling studio album of Ross's career, selling nine million copies worldwide and spawning four international hit singles, including the US and International number 1 hit "Upside Down".
Following the US success of her 1979 album The Boss, Ross wanted a fresher, more modern sound. Having heard Nile Rodgers of Chic's work in the famous Manhattan disco club, Studio 54, Ross approached him about creating a new album of material for her that stated where she felt she was in her life and career at the period.
On an episode of TV One's Unsung, Nile Rodgers said that the majority of the songs were crafted after direct conversations with Ross. She had reportedly said to Rodgers and Bernard Edwards that she wanted to turn her career "upside down" and wanted to "have fun again." As a result, Rodgers and Edwards wrote the songs "Upside Down" and "Have Fun (Again)". After running into several drag queens in a club dressed as Ross, Rodgers wrote "I'm Coming Out". Only "My Old Piano" came from their normal songwriting processes.
Initially, Ross was not pleased with the album's results. Following a preview of the record to be released in the aftermath of the anti-disco backlash, Frankie Crocker, an influential New York City disc jockey warned Ross that releasing the album in its original state would even lead to the end of her career. Ross remixed the entire album, assisted by Motown engineer Russ Terrana, removing extended instrumental passages and speeding up the tracks' tempos. Ross's lead vocals were also re-recorded and remixed so that they were front and center and not overshadowed by the music.
The remixing of the master tapes was performed without the knowledge or approval of Rodgers and Edwards. When they were presented with the "official" version of diana, the producers publicly objected and, at one point, even considered removing their names from the album's list of credits. Motown and Ross persisted and the version released was Terrana's more commercial mix of the album.
Rodgers and Edwards were contracted by Motown to produce a follow-up album, but, as Ross left the label, it was never created. Rodgers and Edwards sued Motown, unsuccessfully claiming that they were owed monies for creating and recording the original version of the album. In 1989, Rodgers and Ross collaborated on Workin' Overtime (No. 3 US R&B), released upon Ross's return to Motown. Edwards produced the 1984 single, "Telephone" (No. 13 US R&B), from Ross's Swept Away album, released on the RCA label. Rodgers played guitar on the new wave song, "It's Your Move", from the same album.
The iconic cover art was photographed by famed photographer, Francesco Scavullo. For years, a shop on the Champs Elysees in Paris displayed a life-sized die-cut of the cover on its store front door. An art gallery in San Francisco sold a print for a handsome sum.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Released in May 1980, the Diana album introduced Ross to a new generation of fans worldwide. Partly due to the controversy between Ross, Motown, and Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards, Motown released the album without a lead single. This was unheard of, especially for a label like Motown. The album sold briskly out of the box without a lead single. Radio stations were free to play what they wanted since they were first shipped the album. By its 4th week leading into summer, the album was already nearing the top 10. "Upside Down" eventually was chosen by the label and radio programmers. "Upside Down" made a rare vaulted move in its third week from number 49 to number 10. By the middle of summer 1980, Ross chalked up her fifth number one single.
The album spent 17 weeks at the top of Billboards R&B/Dance chart. Reaching number two on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the Billboard Soul Albums Chart for 8 consecutive weeks, as well as yielding two top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including the number-one single "Upside Down", the album would sell over one million copies in the United States and be certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In the UK it went Gold and spun off three successful singles; "Upside Down" (No. 2), "My Old Piano" (No. 5) and "I'm Coming Out" (No. 13). A fourth single, "Tenderness", was also released in certain territories, reaching the top 40 in the Netherlands, and was later included on several greatest hits compilations. Surprisingly, despite its massive dance and dance radio success, none of the singles from Diana were remixed for promotional and/or commercial use while the album was current.
"I'm Coming Out" has since become an obvious anthem for the LGBT movement.
Diana was one of four albums written and produced by Edwards and Rodgers in 1980, the other three being Sister Sledge's Love Somebody Today, Sheila and B. Devotion's King of the World including European hit single "Spacer", and Chic's fourth studio album Real People.
Following the release of two more singles, the duet "Endless Love" with Lionel Richie and "It's My Turn", both worldwide hits, Ross left Motown and signed a then-record breaking $20 million recording deal with RCA Records. The first album for the label was 1981's self-produced Why Do Fools Fall in Love, which went platinum and spawned two Top 10 hits in the US. Diana was remastered and released as a double CD in 2003 containing the original unremixed versions, together with a selection of other Motown dance tracks from the same period.
All songs written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers.
Note: The Canadian release on Quality Records places the tracks from side B on side A, and the tracks from side A on side B.
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||8|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||4|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||5|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||3|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||1|
|UK Albums (OCC)||12|
|US Billboard 200||2|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone