Diana Ross‘s debut album, obviously self-titled, has been in this world for 50 years now. Despite apprehensions about splitting from The Supremes and going solo, this album proves why Ross should never look back on this decision. Produced by Motown Records, Diana Ross reached number 19 on the Billboard 200, number 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and had great success with its single releases. Ross’s first solo release, ‘Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)’ sold over 500,000 copies in the USA, and one of her most popular hits (fully associated with her despite being a cover), ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ reached number 1 on the Billboard hot 100.
Diana Ross merges soul, rhythm & blues, and pop music to create a sensational, emotive journey in which every song is a stand out. Despite this, there still has to be some favourite tracks. If you’re looking for romance, it’s interwoven into every song, but ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’ will get you lovingly swaying, whilst ‘These Things Will Keep Me Loving You’ and ‘Time And Love’ will get you dancing. A highlight of the album is its experimental nature, both vocally and musically. This is most evident in ‘Where There Was Darkness’, which hosts frequent changes in musical styling, and beautiful vocals as the chorus fades and within the bridge. Another great example is ‘Love, Lines, Angles and Rhymes’, the final track on this wonderful album, and arguably the most experimental. On this 19 track album, 3 songs placed midway through the album are alternative vocal tracks, and 1 song is a live version of ‘Something On My Mind’. The latter opens the door of Ross’s stage presence and charm, with casual chatter and giggling at the start, and evident happiness in her vocals throughout.
Diana Ross is a perfect example of the type of music that makes you forget about existence; fully absorbed for an hour and ten minutes by Ross’s debut solo musical exploration and transporting journey. Thank you Diana, from the bottom of my heart for this absolute masterpiece. It’s no wonder they call you a legend. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favour and listen to Diana Ross at least once in your lifetime – you won’t regret it.
Listen to ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ below: