Diana Ross tunes

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A hit single for 32 consecutive years!

Diana’s solo career started the moment she left The Supremes, her final gig was on the 14th of January 1970. She left with a single at the top of the charts entitled Someday We’ll Be Together from the album Farewell. Funnily enough, it was only Diana who sang on it!

Her first solo album came in 1970 and was overseen by Ashford and Simpson who simply took their two best tunes that had already been successful, and had Diana redo them. The two hits were Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and You’re All I Need To Get By.

On the debut we also heard Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand), which was actually the lead single.

The same year she released her second solo album. This was less successful and contained more previously released tunes like The Long And Winding Road, and, on the extended version, Something, both Beatles tunes. We also find the Burt Bacharach tune Close To You.

None of these covers did particularly well, as in, we all still listen to the original versions, not Diana’s.

Next year, in 1971, she keeps churning out covers. This time it’s Reach Out I’ll Be There, the old Four Tops hit. Again, it didn’t work particularly well.

1973 and we get another album in Touch Me in the Morning, here she covered Imagine (John Lennon) but again, even though the album charted reasonably well it was hardly a success.

The same year, now relocated to California, Berry Gordy pairs Diana with Marvin Gaye, and together they release Diana & Marvin. The sales and charts would suggest that this was the success everyone had been waiting for but none of the tunes have had a strong legacy.

Legendary hits or not, you can’t knock Diana’s work ethic. In 1973, she release a third album entitled Last Time I Saw Him. The lead single did reach #1 but, really, do you remember it?

As crazy as it sounds, Diana also managed to portray Billie Holiday in Lady Sings The Blues in the early 70s as well so when she releases her 1973 album Live At Caesar’s Palace, she got the entire Supremes back catalog, her solo hits, the covers, as well as all of Billie Holiday’s hits to pick from.

Looking at the career and work ethic of artists in the 60s and 70s like this really puts what we see since the year 2000 to shame!

Anyway, in 1976 we get another Diana Ross solo album, again, not a smash hit on there although the Charlie Chaplin tune Smile was a good choice, just not released as a single.

Next, she delivers two greatest hits/compilations, a live album, three studio albums, and a soundtrack for Wiz with Michael Jackson during 1976-79. No new hits are to be found that stood the test of time and became classics. Mind you, she still charted with something every year.

However, by Diana’s standards, only worldwide super hit tunes will do so Berry decides that it’s time to switch it up and calls Nile Rodgers for help. Nile had just had an incredible year (1979) with Sister Sledge and his own band Chic, so he had certainly earned the opportunity.

What Nile did was write songs specifically for Diana, and apply his now well-established band to record and produce.

The album, simply called Diana, was unbelievably successful. Tunes like I’m Coming Out and Upside Down came to define Diana’s career which is pretty nuts considering how much she had already achieved.

Released in 1980, when Disco was supposedly dead, it sold over a million copies in the U.S. alone and has since become recognized as a truly iconic piece of work.

I’m Coming Out has gone on to become an LGBT anthem which makes complete sense as Nile came up with the idea when he was in a club in New York, saw a transvestite at the urinal, and sang to himself: I’m Coming Out!

He didn’t sell it to Diana with that story, to convince her, he said: This is going to be your anthem, the tune you will be walking out to for every gig. Nile was right, Diana has opened up with I’m Coming Out ever since.

The following year, she released another album, this time without Nile, it was a disaster with only 200.000 copies sold.

Perhaps getting desperate, in 1981 there’s another Greatest Hits album. This one came with Endless Love, a duet with Lionel Richie that did become a worldwide hit.

In ‘94, Luther Vandross covers it with Mariah Carey and puts it back in the charts again.

Following this up wasn’t easy, it would take several albums and singles before she got it right again in 1985 with Chain Reaction. Written by Barry Gibbs, it went to #1 in the U.K. and a few more countries.

Since the 1985 hit, Diana would go on to release many, many more albums, greatest hits, Christmas and Jazz-themed releases, and even a cover of the old disco tune I Will Survive. But nothing managed to bring back the heights of her days in the 60s with Supremes or her 70s and 80s glory days as a solo artist.

But did she sit around and complain? No chance, she just kept going, and amazingly in 2022, Diana Ross headlined Glastonbury Festival. Splitting the bill with Paul McCartney was frowned upon by many as the two legends were now in their late 70s. Perhaps this says more about the current climate than anything else.

Still, over 40 years later, Diana started the show with I’m Coming Out, and Upside Down was obviously the highlight of the show.

On a final note, in order for us to really appreciate how great Diana’s career really was, here’s a fun fact:

Between the years 1964 and 1996, Diana Ross had a charting hit in the top 75. That’s 32 years of consecutive hit tunes, a record surely nobody will ever beat!

Diana Ross tunes | Related pages

I’m Coming Out

I'm Coming Out chords

Dm7 Am7 | Gm7 | F/A Bb Bb6 | F/A Bb Bb6 Am7 |
I’m coming out, I want the world to know, got to let it show.
Dm7 Am7 | Gm7 | F/A Bb Bb6 | F/A Bb Bb6 Am7 |
I’m coming out, I want the world to know, got to let it show.

I’m Coming Out chords.

Upside Down

Upside Down chords

Bb B C | F Gm | Bb B C | F Gm |
Upside down, boy you turn me. Inside out and round and round.
Bb B C | F Gm | Bb B C | F Gm | 2/4 Bb B C |
Upside down, boy you turn me. Inside out and round and round.

Upside Down chords.

Diana on the web

Listen to Diana Ross on Spotify.

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