Ross’ next few singles performed modestly, but the singer was turning her attention to a a television special, followed by her Oscar nominated performance playing blues legend Billie Holiday in 1972’s ‘Lady Sings The Blues’. The title track from her 1973 album, ‘Touch Me In The Morning’, touched the top of the U.S. Hot 100 for one week in August of ‘73, replacing ‘The Morning After’ by Maureen McGovern, and in turn replaced by ‘Brother Louie’ by Stories. The UK#9 ‘All Of My Life’ kept the name Diana Ross in the charts early in’74, followed up by ‘Last Time I Saw Him’ (US#14/ OZ#18/UK#35). In 1975, Ross recorded an album of duets with Marvin Gaye, which yielded the UK#5 ‘You Are Everything’. She then returned for her second major movie role in 1976’s ‘Mahogany’, the soundtrack to which yielded another #1 for Diana Ross the singer. ‘Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)’ hit #5 in the UK, but knew where it was going to in the U.S., straight to #1 - replacing ‘I Write The Songs’ by Barry Manilow in early ‘76, and replaced after one week by ‘Love Rollercoaster’ by Ohio Players - see future post). Her second US#1 of the year followed in the guise of ‘Love Hangover’ (UK#10) which replaced ‘Silly Love Songs’ by Wings at #1 in April of ‘76, in turn being supplanted after two weeks by ‘Afternoon Delight’ by Starland Vocal Band - see separate posts).
Enter the Chic production/writing team of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (see separate post). Comprising eight tracks, all written by Rodgers/Edwards, the US#2 album ‘Diana’, yielded three major hit singles, ‘My Old Piano’ (UK#5/OZ#25), ‘I’m Coming Out’ (US#5/ UK#13/OZ#40), and the funk edged dance number ‘Upside Down’. The latter hit #2 in the UK, and became Ross’ biggest post Supremes hit. ‘Upside Down’ hit #1 in Australia during September of 1980, replacing ‘Moscow’ by Genghis Khan - see separate post - and in turn was displaced after 4 weeks by Leo Sayer’s ‘More Than I Can Say’. In the US, ‘Upside Down’ went upside the charts to #1 for 4 weeks, replacing ‘Sailing’ by Christopher Cross, and in turn shot down by Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’. ‘Upside Down’ was the fifth highest selling single in the U.S. for 1980, and holds the honour of being the #3 biggest selling Motown song of all time. But an even bigger hit was just around the corner.
During the early 80s, Bee Gee Barry Gibb had woven his writing and production management to revive the stalling careers of divas Barbra Streisand, and Dionne Warwick. Since their halcyon days of the late 70s, the Bee Gees career had gone into decline, so it was understandable that they turn their hand to working with other artists. It wasn’t that the Bee Gees had forgotten how to write and produce great music, but their brand had been tarnished somewhat by their association with the doomed disco movement - in time that tarnish would be buffed off and the Bee Gees would rightly return to the top of the charts with ‘You Win Again’ (1987) and ‘Alone’ (1989) - but that’s another tale to tell.
Over the last decade Diana Ross has slipped into virtual retirement with 2007’s ‘I Love You’ her latest release. But doubtless, her lasting legacy to popular music is assured for all time.)))