Monday, April 30, 2007

Dance Diva Diana!

I really have been overdosing on legendary divas from yesteryear of late. I'm planing to write about a couple of contemporary acts in the very near future but today I want to make a post about the legendary Diana Ross. In order to prove that I haven't completely fallen into an ultra gay time-warp, I'll focus on two of Diana's best experiments with dance music - "Take Me Higher" and "Not Over You Yet".

The 90s was a depressing decade for Diana Ross fans. I don't think I'm being too unfair when I describe most of Diana's 90s output as absolute crap. Thankfully, amid the vast sea of lumbering ballads and stale, mid-tempo R'n'B, there were still a couple of bright spots. "Take Me Higher" was released as single in 1995 and presented Diana in a completely new light. Having failed to capture the interest of the R'n'B market with her two previous albums, Diana blatantly focused on the pink dollar by experimenting with a pop/dance sound. "Take Me Higher", the album, even includes a rather desperate cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"! Needless to say, I loved it but the album highlight is still the title track. "Take Me Higher" is joyous 90s dance anthem that should have performed far better than it did. I would have purchased the single for the unbearably fabulous cover alone!

Diana returned to the rather uninspiring world of urban adult contemporary music on 1999's "Every Day Is A New Day" - the album where Di looks like a dead she-male hooker on the cover! The content is not much better with the glaring exception of "Not Over You Yet", which not only returned Diana to the UK top 10 but is surely in the running to be her best single of the 1990s. The Metro Mix of "Not Over You Yet" is so good it hurts. I firmly believe that an entire album of this kind of material would catapult Diana back to the top of the pop charts, where she so clearly belongs. "Not Over You Yet" is a poptastic dance treat. The line where Miss Ross demands more bass still makes me weak in the knees! I've also included an excellent club mix.

The albums, "Take Me Higher" and "Every Day Is A New Day", can be purchased from Amazon or iTunes. "Not Over You Yet" is still easily found on English Ebay.


Magical Froggy said...

I like Not Over You Yet as well, it's brilliant! It also reminds me of Tina Turner's When The Heartache Is Over, both came out around the same time and I have them on a compilation album. I think both Tina and Diana were jumping on the 'Cher Believe Bandwagon', although no-one was really interested (except people like us with an 'acquired' taste in music)!


Trash Addict said...

Bless Cher! "Believe" sparked a whole revival of old divas releasing dance music. I think Cher needs to have another hit, so we can have even more fabulous divas tarnishing their legacy with craptastic club classics!

Miss Halliwell said...

You forgot to mention the Motiv8 remix of Diana's I Will Survive! It surpasses any version!

Oh, and the Rupaul appearance in the video and Diana crowdsurfing LOLOLOL. Broken hip anyone?

Jamie said...

I loved all these old divas flinging themselves at Metro after the success of Cher's 'Believe'.

Diana's 'Not Over You Yet' and Tina's 'When The Heartbreak is Over' are classics.

Jamie_movietrip said...

This is so funny! I've been playing both aformentioned Diana & Tina tracks to death this week, which finally inspired me to make a vinyl rip of Diana's disco LP 'Baby It's Me', of course if anyone wants it i'll be happy to upload! It's orgasmic!

But back to 90's Diana, they played the video to Take Me Higher and Not Over You Yet a few weeks ago on VH1 UK to celebrate her birthday. I almost overdosed on the brilliance of it all. I am off to see Diana at Birmingham NEC on Sunday if she turns up. Can't wait!

Trash Addict said...

Jamie, I'd love MP3s of Baby It's Me! Please send them to me at Haven!

Tommy said...

Thanks for the Metro Mix of "Not Over You Yet." It's been ages since I've heard it.. Man, how I long for the days when desperate middle-aged divas would revive their careers with dance anthems instead of tired old covers/standards albums..

Anyway, I totally agree; 90's Diana was pretty disappointing.. Despite the remixes, "Every Day.." was dull as dishwater, but "Take Me Higher" was definitely the one bright spot. Aside from the music, one of my favourite things about that album were those fabulous/hilarious "back-to-the-ghetto" glamour shots in the booklet lol.. Totally over-the-top, yet totally fabulous..

Trash Addict said...

The booklet is a scream, isn't it?! It's almost as low as the ghetto stylings of "Workin' Overtime" - which is either the best or worst thing Diana's ever done!

Bokiluis said...

Sorry, I disagree. Save for the states, the 90s saw Diana emerge in a comeback of sorts from 1991's "The Force Behind the Power", a hit in many international markets to the even more dynamic successful "One Woman" compilation. In a recent book on EMI, it states that Diana made $90 million for EMI from 1991-1994. "Take Me Higher" was a Top 10 European album and made "I Will Survive" a hit again.
So in many ways, the 90s for a Diana Ross fan was reminiscent to the 70s.