Friday, 24 May 2019

Diana Ross - Everything Is Everything (1970)

Little girl, please don't wait for me.....

  

Released November 1970

Hot on the heels of Diana Ross's debut solo album, this was another collection of cover versions (The Beatles/ Bacharach and David/Aretha Franklin), some reasonable Ashford/Simpson songs and two huge hits from the pen of Motown veteran Deke Richards.

TRACK LISTING

1. My Place
2. Ain't No Sad Song
3. Everything Is Everything
4. Baby It's Love
5. I'm Still Waiting
6. Doobedood'ndoobe, Doobedood'ndoobe, Doobedood'ndoobe
7. Come Together
8. The Long And Winding Road
9. I Love You (Call Me)
10. How About You
11. (They Long To Be) Close To You                        

"My Place" is a lively, catchy, poppy typically Motown opener that gets the album off to an enthusiastic start. It is actually very Supremes-esque. "Ain't No Sad Song" is a Temptations-style chugger of a soul number with that slightly funky early seventies beat to it. The title track is a breezy number very redolent of its era. "Baby It's Love" is a standard turn of the decade Motown number, illuminated by some good saxophone.

Then we get the singles, "I'm Still Waiting" and the ludicrously long-titled "Doobedood'ndoobe, Doobedood'ndoobe, Doobedood'ndoobe" both of which are known to most. There is a reason they were hits. They are superb pop songs, with great hooks. Now come the Beatles covers, something which Motown albums had been including for six years or so by now. The balladic "The Long And Winding Road" would seem an obvious choice for Ross, but Lennon's "Come Together"? It sounds predictably awkward, Ross not seeming comfortable (even in the "ad hoc" bit near the end) and the orchestration taking a lot of the gritty, shuffling funk out of it. It last nearly seven minutes - does Diana think she is The Temptations?

Aretha Franklin's "I Love You (Call Me)" shows, unfortunately, why Diana Ross would never be Aretha Franklin. Her voice seems just too high in pitch for the song. "How About You" is another very early seventies number in its bright, melodic feel. It is almost Bacharach-esque, which leads nicely on to "(They Long To Be) Close To You". The spoken intro is pretty awful but it rectifies itself quickly enough, although again, Ross is no Karen Carpenter. A better choice for the album would have been one of the bonus tracks on the "extended version" of the album, "Wish I Knew", or the graceful ballad "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life". Also covered in these bonus tracks if George Harrison's "Something", which is far better suited to Ross than "Come Together", despite its needlessly jazzy "bridge". "Ain't No Sad Song" is performed here too in an alternative way, more funky, more Stax-y. "Baby It's Love" is much better in its alternative version too. There is a fair case for a lot of the bonus cuts being better than the actual album.

I much prefer the albums either side of this one, "Diana Ross" and "Surrender". Look, it is ok, but unfortunately doesn't really merit regular revisits.

C-

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