20 Songs, 1 Hour 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Diana Ross’ third solo album (released in 1971) is a sturdy machine of strings and pulled heartstrings, all held together by the beautifully dramatic arrangements of unsung Motown man Paul Riser and the wonderful songs of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. (An exception is Ross' surprisingly wistful take on The Four Tops' 1966 hit “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”) Gentle ballads, midtempo R&B, and light soul rule here, with lots of uplifting choruses and brass blasts. It’s an interesting album because it finds Ross focused solely on her singing—she’s not yet the international diva or A-list Hollywood actress she soon would be. (She hit international fame a year later starring as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues.) Ross can be vulnerable (both “Remember Me” and “And If You See Him” recall the brokenhearted voice from The Supremes) and impermeable to pain (especially on the funked-up “I’m a Winner”). She here reveals all the gifts of her voice, the ability to express extreme sadness or joy with an almost inhuman dynamic range. This extended version adds alternate mixes and few song demos from the sessions.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Diana Ross’ third solo album (released in 1971) is a sturdy machine of strings and pulled heartstrings, all held together by the beautifully dramatic arrangements of unsung Motown man Paul Riser and the wonderful songs of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. (An exception is Ross' surprisingly wistful take on The Four Tops' 1966 hit “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”) Gentle ballads, midtempo R&B, and light soul rule here, with lots of uplifting choruses and brass blasts. It’s an interesting album because it finds Ross focused solely on her singing—she’s not yet the international diva or A-list Hollywood actress she soon would be. (She hit international fame a year later starring as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues.) Ross can be vulnerable (both “Remember Me” and “And If You See Him” recall the brokenhearted voice from The Supremes) and impermeable to pain (especially on the funked-up “I’m a Winner”). She here reveals all the gifts of her voice, the ability to express extreme sadness or joy with an almost inhuman dynamic range. This extended version adds alternate mixes and few song demos from the sessions.

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