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Diana Ross (1970)

Diana Ross

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Album Review

The 2002 reissue of Diana Ross' debut solo album (initially released as Diana Ross and later reissued as Ain't No Mountain High Enough), which contains eight bonus tracks, seven of them previously unreleased commercially, demonstrates that Ross and her record label, Motown, tried various approaches to her launch before settling on a record made up almost entirely of songs written and produced by the team of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. Even as completed, the original LP still contained one recording, "These Things Will Keep Me Loving You," co-written and produced by Johnny Bristol, who also made a vocal appearance on the track. Bristol had performed the same duties on "Someday We'll Be Together," originally slated to be Ross' debut single, but released instead as a Supremes record in the fall of 1969, when it topped the charts. Ross also spent time in the studio with Bones Howe, producer of the 5th Dimension, and the four bonus tracks included here suggest an interesting alternate LP debut in which she covers two Laura Nyro songs, "Stoney End" and "Time and Love," as well as a song that Howe later cut for a hit on the 5th Dimension, "Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes," and a moody, reflective Jimmy Webb tune, "The Interim." The Bristol track sounds like old Motown, and the Howe tracks sound very different; ultimately, Ross (or Motown, or both) rejected their takes on the solo Ross in favor of Ashford & Simpson, who had her remake some of their old songs for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, notably "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," which went on to become one of her biggest hits. That makes for a happy ending, and the original album remains impressive, but this version provides fascinating insight into alternative sounds for the solo Diana Ross.

Customer Reviews

Ain't No Mountain High Enough For this album!

Diana can sing, and her best song is Aint NO Mountain High Enough. She needs to make another album and quick!

Classic Diana!

This Is An Absolute treat, I would love to hear diana do some of the bonus tracks on this effort now! My god She Would kill "Stoney End", As well As "Where There Was Darkness"! Diana has always been criticized for not having "powerful Pipes",But let the record show that you "Do Not" need powerful pipes to take a song and make it a hit and you certainly don't need them to make a song memorable, Diana is proof of that and what's more; Diana Has that Indescribable "something" that you just can't label! This is one of my favorite diana pieces and it gets heavy rotation in my ipod touch. One or two songs will not do, you need the whole thing to get the full experience! Unforgetable!

Her Strongest

Her strongest album by far...almost every track is a winner. I listen to it over and over. Keep an Eye and Dark Side of The World are especailly surprising. Ashford & Simpson's production on this one is very lush with first rate orchestration and a Diana who never sounded better. It seems like A&S really knew how to push and augment her vocal constraints. The bonus tracks also rise above the usual filler - Love's Lines is an interesting counterpoint to the better known 5th Dimension version. If you end up digging this album see if you can get your hands on Valerie Simpson's solo work for Motown - it really informs this CLASSIC album.


Born: March 26, 1944 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a solo artist, Diana Ross is one of the most successful female singers of the rock era. If you factor in her work as the lead singer of the Supremes in the 1960s, she may be the most successful. With her friends Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Barbara Martin, Ross formed the Primettes vocal quartet in 1959. In 1960, they were signed to local Motown Records, changing their name to the Supremes in 1961. Martin then left, and the group continued as a trio. Over the next eight years, the Supremes...
Full Bio

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