Sunday, September 21, 2014

Turntable Triumphs

In 1979, Diana Ross reteamed with Ashford & Simpson (Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpsons) to work on The Boss.

The three had worked closely at the start of Diana's solo career resulting in massive hits such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)" and "Surrender."  Of all the songwriters and producers Diana worked with over the years, Ashford & Simpson best grasped the need to keep it sophisticated.

For this album, they worked to put together a new adult sound -- one that was so successful, all eight tracks would become dance hits, each storming to the top of the dance charts.

It's a rare album that doesn't feature weak cuts or filler.  But every track on this album is strong enough to stand on its own.  Diana has fun with tracks like "No One Gets The Prize" (where she fights with a friend over the same man) and "I Ain't Been Licked" where she announced her survival.  Her vocals are as natural as breathing on the classic "Once In The Morning."  Each track is an amazing recording with arrangements similar to what Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson would go on to do on Off The Wall.

The Boss would be a platinum album for Diana and the title track would also provide Diana with another top forty dance hit.  But most of all The Boss provided Diana with a major classic in her discography.

In this series, we've also noted Diana Ross' diana and Carly Simon's Anticipation.

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