Wednesday, March 9, 2022

10 Favorite Diana Ross Albums

Betty's writing about her favorite Aretha Franklin albums tonight so I thought I would write about Diana Ross and my favorite albums that she's released.

1) The Boss

Diana was wanting more control of her own life and Motown thought they were 'indulging' her. She left LA (where Motown was then located having abandoned Detroit) and headed to NYC where she reteamed with Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford -- forever known as one of the great songwriting teams of all time: Ashford & Simpson. The three had worked together in the past and could have coasted on the past -- doing covers of some of the great songs that A&S wrote that had already been hits. Instead, they headed to the dance floor and, with the same spark that lead A&S to write "Clouds" and "I'M Every Woman" for Chaka around this time -- wrote one amazing track after another for Diana. This is an amazing album. Listen to her vocal on "Once In The Morning" or the ballad "I'm In The World." I always loved the title track. But I also always loved "I Ain't Been Licked'' and the battle in "No One Gets The Prize." Diana's voice is gorgeous on every track. This album is pure perfection.

2) Thank You.

She released this last year and demonstrated just how great she remains. It's been pointed out how she could have just cashed in the way Elton John, Reba McEntire and many others are doing lately -- re-recording the hits as duets. Instead, Diana created a full blown album that pulled us (the listeners) and her (the artist) many, many yards ahead. I love this album so much. I strongly urge you to listen to it if you haven't yet. We bought it on vinyl and we play it constantly.

3) Swept Away.

This is the first Diana album I got. I was a kid and knew Diana from the films Mahogany and The Wiz and Lady Sings The Blues and from whatever got played on radio. One of my favorite songs at this point was "It's My Turn." My uncle bought this album for me. He bought it for me on cassette which was the standard of that time period. I loved the hits from it: "All Of You" (duet with Julio Iglesias), "Swept Away," ""Missing You" and "Telephone." Those were big hits -- "Telephone" only on urban radio. And Diana also had her duet with Michael Jackson from this time period on "We Are The World" which is not on this album but this was a hot period for Diana. Along with the hits, I loved "It's Your Move" and her vocal was so flexible and bouncing -- like the verses on one of Diana's great underknown songs "Love Or Loneliness." I loved her cover of Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me." "Touch By Touch" was pretty impressive and her cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" goes to just how talented she is, she really puts that one across.

4) diana

One of her most popular albums of all time. We all know the hits. "I'm Coming Out" and "Upside Down." The latter was a huge number one and the former is an anthem. But after all these years, if you check out the other great tracks. Especially "Now That You're Gone" which I could listen to over and over again and "Have Fun Again" which is so infectious it should have been a single. Look at the album cover and listen to it and see if you don't grasp just how much Diana influenced Michael Jackson.

5) Eaten Alive.

When this album came out (1985), Michael Jackson was one of my favorite male artists. And I thought "Eaten Alive" the song he wrote for Diana and sings with her on this album was so great. All these years later, it's the weakest song on the album to me and, in fact, this album would be higher on my top ten if it either didn't include this track or if at least didn't open with it. The rest of the album is really something. "Chain Reaction" was a huge hit every where but the US. "More and More" is a great ballad as is "Experience." "Crime of Passion" and "Oh Teacher" should have been huge hits.

6) Diana Ross Sings Songs From The Wiz

Wikipedia is full of crap. This is an album, a studio album and it was recorded as such, as the liner notes make clear. It wasn't released until a few years ago -- when NBC did their live version of The Wiz. But it was supposed to come out several months after the film. The film and the soundtrack were released. It was thought the film would be big and that this album of Diana doing all the songs from the film herself would goose the film a little more and give it a second life. But when the film didn't have box office legs, this got shelved. It's a great album and Diana really demonstrates her range as she puts every one of these songs across.

7) Diana Ross

This 1970 album is lower on the list than it might be were it not for the two versions. I used to really love this album. It's Diana's first solo album and Ashford & Simpson produced it. Hits from it? "Reach Out (And Touch Somebody's Hand)" and the number one hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" a powerful reworking of a bouncy little ditty. It's an amazing reworking. So what made the album slip down for me? An expanded version was released. I think they threw everything on it. I don't know why. All these extras. Some of it works == some stuff doesn't. And it diluted the album for me. Sometimes extras are a good thing but the extras here should have been released on their own album and not as an expanded CD.

8) Touch Me In The Morning

I love this collection of ballads. It's got a nice sweep and feel to it and she's perfection on "Imagine" and "I Won't Last A Day." The title track is one of her big hits, a number one on the pop charts. I love the whole album.

9) Every Day Is A New Day

1999 saw Diana release this album and star in the TV musical Double Platinum with Brandy. "Love Is All That Matters" is a great song but I wish they'd been able to include the duet version from the movie. Brandy's label nixed it appearing on this Motown album. Diana does a great job solo with it but the song really is made for two voices. "Until We Meet Again" was a big hit on the dance charts and I love it. I also love "Hope Is An Open Window," "Sugar Free" and "Not Over You Yet." This was a really strong album but Motown was over by this point (which may be why Brandy's label didn't want her duet released).

10) Stolen Moments: The Lady Sings . . . Jazz and Blues

This was a hard one Diana's a great live performer (I've seen her three times live). And she has some great live albums. I love this one, An Evening With Diana Ross, Live at Caesar's Palace and Greatest Hits Live. All four are wonderful. But this is the one I listen to the most and have since I got it on CD back in 1993. I upset a relative, by the way, over this. It was a concert for HBO or SHOWTIME. I got whichever that month to record it on VHS. And my cousin Donna, the next week, comes over. She was watching something on MTV and wanted to record some music video they were about to show and didn't care that it wasn't her blank video tape in the VCR. She just recorded over my concert and was going to sneak out with it. I did not forgive her then and I won't until she acknowledges what she did was wrong -- and all these years later, she still won't.

Now here's Howie Hawkins.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Wednesday, March 9, 2022.  And the wars drag on, yeah, the wars drag on.

The US government continues to persecute Julian Assange.  Don't tell John Nichols.  He's got another useless column.  Russia!  Russia! Russia!  Does he think he looks smart or brave?  Only to the deeply stupid.  He's a craven whore who pushed for Bull Boy Bush to be impeached - even wrote a book on impeachment and was promoting it but then Nancy Pelosi announced that impeachment was off the tble and like a good whore John Nichols dropped the topic -- enraging the publishing house tht had put out his book.  When he had a world of US government officials to call out for the Iraq War, John Nichols zoomed in on the most 'dangerous' of all . . . Barbra Streisand.  He's a coward and a whore.  Today he wants you to know that Russia is crqcking down on media.  Just Rissia, you understand.  Any unbiased outlet has already told you that both Russia and Ukraine are cracking down on their media.  But whore's got whore, right, John?

Which is why he's outside pointing the finger again instead of directing it t his own country.  Joe Biden's crcking down on media.  He's gotten a lot of help from the media itself.  They knew Tra Reade was probably telling the truth but like some 'feminists' they insisted it didn't matter, they were still supporting Joe.  There's been no bigger buffoon in the White House in the last 100 years yet the press has gone so easy on liar Joe who most recently lied about how many times he'd been to Iraq and Afghanistan claiming 40 when it's only been 21 -- a lie he made during the campaign and got slammed for and a lie he continues to make.  It's not smart to lie in a Statue of the Union address.

Joe was unable to do whatever one before him in 'modern times' has done, deliver the speech in January.  But his lying about basic facts?  The SOUA is a mandated speech, mandated in the Constitution.  

He can't stop lying.  He lies about the big stuff, he lies about the small stuff.  He is forever inflating his own miniscule record.  Remember when he was telling us he was arrested while visitng South Africa as a US senator?

Despite the very easy ride that Joe's gotten from the US press, the White House is still miserable, is still attacking reporters, has asked THE NEW YORK TIMES to reassign one reporter (if the reporter's learning of it here, check iwth your editor, you'll be informed then).  He's a petty man who can't deliver for the American people because he's too busy having tantrums over how he is being portrayed in the press in the here and now.  Joe's an old man and he's going to die soon.  But he's not concerned about how history will receive him because he's too obsessed with the here and now.  

The whores of journalism like to pretend they're doing something of value but they're forgotten near instantly and history is a little more harsh.  Jeh Johnson.  He got a lot of good press.  Some called him out -- a few -- for his role in Barack Obama's inhumane response to immigration.  Some of us knew it would come back to bite him in the ass.  He didn't get it.  He thought he could manage it and the press was all that mattered and . . .

Poor little Jeh, dopped as a speaker to Vassar.  

How humiliating for him.

How fitting.

The press may have gone easy on him in real time but that didn't mean a damn thing.  Truth will out -- always.  And Jeh better get used to the fact that this is just the beginning.  He might want to drop to his knees and publicly beg forgiveness for the vile and disgusting things he'd done.  

Some might forgive him if he did that.

I'm not the Pope.  I'm not granting him forgiveness.  I'll stand with the epople whose lives he destroyed.  

Again, congratulations on being ruled unfit to speak before a college -- being ruled that by We The People.  Not the press.  Not his hero Barack.  By We The People and, in a democracy, we are always the final voice.

Julian Assange is persecuted for attempting to tellt he truth and for supporting an informed citizenry.  He shined a light into the shadows and so Joe Biden is determined to destroy him.  A) It's about revenge.  B) It's about making an example of Julian, trying to put the fear into the press.

But, by all means, John Nichols, waste all of our time with another useless column.  

Ueseless hsi whole life.

We'll note this Tweet:

Seems accurate

Richard Medhurt speaks with Jeffrey Sterling about the presuction of Julian Assange and other issues.

Julian tried to inform.  The US media lives to distract and to deny reality.  CJ Hopkins (DISSIDENT VOICE) takes a humorous look at how the media is currently conducting itself:

And they’re back! It’s like one of those 1960s Hammer Film Productions horror-movie series with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee … Return of the Putin-Nazis! Revenge of the Putin-Nazis! Return of the Revenge of the Bride of the Putin-Nazis! And this time they are not horsing around with stealing elections from Hillary Clinton with anti-masturbation Facebook ads. They are going straight for “Democracy’s” jugular!

Yes, that’s right, folks, Vladimir Putin, leader of the Putin-Nazis and official “Evil Dictator of the Day,” has launched a Kamikazi attack on the United Forces of Goodness (and Freedom) to provoke us into losing our temper and waging a global thermonuclear war that will wipe out the entire human species and most other forms of life on earth!

I’m referring, of course, to Putin’s inexplicable and totally unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, a totally peaceful, Nazi-free country which was just sitting there minding its non-Nazi business, singing Kumbaya, and so on, and not in any way collaborating with or being cynically used by GloboCap to menace and eventually destabilize Russia so that the GloboCap boys can get back in there and resume the Caligulan orgy of “privatization” they enjoyed throughout the 1990’s.

No, clearly, Putin has just lost his mind, and has no strategic objective whatsoever (other than the total extermination of humanity), and is just running around the Kremlin shouting “DROP THE BOMBS! EXTERMINATE THE BRUTES!” all crazy-eyed and with his face painted green like Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now … because what other explanation is there?

Caitlin Johnstone observes:

Just your regular reminder that the US empire (A) had solid intelligence that this war was coming, (B) knew they could prevent it by making very reasonable, low-cost concessions like promising not to add a nation to NATO that they didn’t want to add anyway, and (C) chose not to.

It’s 2022 and people still believe the US is pouring weapons into a foreign country to protect freedom and democracy. That’s like being 57 and still believing in the Tooth Fairy.

The US empire has had a standing policy of preventing the rise of any rival superpowers since the USSR collapsed, by which I mean that policy was explicitly laid out in writing within months of the Soviet Union’s dissolution. Both Moscow and Beijing have refused to kiss the imperial ring, and crippling Russia is an essential part of hamstringing China’s rise. This was all planned years ago.

Gilbert Doctorow described back in 2017 how Moscow and Beijing have formed a mutually beneficial “tandem” based on their respective strengths; Russia as a major military force who is willing to confront the US empire, and China as a rising economic superpower. Empire managers had previously expected that Moscow would be forced to pivot to Washington and become a member state of the empire. The fact that it chose Beijing instead to retain its sovereignty is what set all this in motion.

This was all planned years in advance. It’s no coincidence that we were hammered with narratives originating from US intelligence agencies which inflamed hysteria about Russia in the years leading up to this, most of which had nothing to do with Ukraine. I mean for Christ’s sake, even the one narrative that did involve Ukraine occurred because a CIA officer (ridiculously labeled a “whistleblower” by the mass media) just so happened to be in the right place at the right time to get it rolling.

So we’re all going to suffer financially and live under the risk of total obliteration via nuclear war in a long-planned confrontation geared toward obtaining total planetary domination, just because a few manipulators in the US government decided that would be a good thing.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Never did. There’s no good reason why nations can’t just get along and work together for the common good of all. The only reason that’s not happening is because of this insane desire to dominate and control instead of collaborate and thrive.

Where's the coverage of Iraq in the US media?  It had to vanish.  What the US government did is a crime.  Iraq has been torn apart by the US government.  The suffering has not gone away.  But they can't champaion another war, the media, while providing reality about what happened and continues to happen in Iraq.  

It's a tragedy.  Iraqis have to live with it but the US government inflicted it. 

And the US media rushes to run from it.  

UN Women Iraq Tweets:

UN staff in Erbil gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day and reflect on the progress and achievements made on women’s rights as well as to recognize the importance of achieving gender equality for a sustainable future free from violence against women and girls

The following sites updated:

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