Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Alternate' Reality??, 28 Mar 2001
By 
This review is from: The Motown Anthology (Audio CD)
Yet another "Ross's Greatest Hits" in a package? Well, yes and no. This "anthology" is,as you might expect, comprised of all of her biggest and lesser solo hits from the period 1970 until 1999-but with a twist: there is one previously unreleased track here and six or seven alternate takes/disco-remixes that first see the light of day in this collection-first, "the new track" "Time and Love" composed by Laura Nyro by Bones Howe of "Fifth Dimension, "The Association", and "The Mamas and Papas" fame: it is a well-performed uptempo distinctly pop song perfect for a 1970 audience. Mr. Howe envisioned molding the newly solo Diana into "a black Barbara Streisand"; had "Time and Love" become Ms. Ross' first solo single release as originally planned, his production would have represented an effective first-step in that direction. Interestingly, Streisand herself later recorded this composition for one of her albums. It is rumored that Ross also recorded "Stoney End" and "Love's Lines Angles and Rhymes" with Howe. The former was later a hit for Barbara Streisand and the latter for the Fifth Dimension. If in fact these Ross tracks are gathering dust in Motown's vaults, it would have been a treat to have had them included here as well. We wait for the next compilation!
As for the alternate takes et al., some such as that of the haunting "Remember Me" from the 1971 "Surrender" album are however so close to the well-known hit versions that they are barely alternate. The version of "My Mistake", her charming duet with Marvin Gaye included, is string and violin-heavy creating a prettier less soulful production. Lee Holdridge's production of "Home" from "The Wiz" is less soulful and more MOR than the highly emotionally charged Quincy Jones production from the movie soundtrack. The latter is preferable for the sheer power of Ms. Ross' performance which has always been considered one of the strongest-if not the strongest-of her solo career.
Alternate and not-so-alternate tracks not withstanding, this collection is refreshing in that it includes little known Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin gems such as "One More Chance" and "Stay With Me". Gerry Goffin is Carole King's ex-husand and ex-writing partner. These two gems sound great for the first time in their digitally remastered reincarnations. This is a must for all serious students of Ross and her stellar career.
However, the inclusion of "Lovin', Livin' and Givin", seems a misinformed choice: it appeared originally on a Casablanca Records-that is, not Motown or one of its subsidiaries-soundtrack to a Donna Summer movie. From a musical standpoint, the original opus was a brilliantly eccentric bellwether to the typical early '80s synthesizer fodor of Gary Numan-and even in current trends in electronica courtesy of Madonna-producer Mirwais Ahmadzai found on his solo album "Production".Summer herself would record "The Wanderer" which took its cue from the Moroder-esque beats of the late '70s/early '80s. In any event, the original version should be celebrated more than the alternate take or its reworking which, based on an analysis of her work circa 1975-1980, is more lush, smooth,live and jazzy yet very typical of Ross material circa that period a la Mahogany. Yet for this reason it pales in comparison to the musical revelation it once was. Perhaps, this would have bee an "alternate" version that was the preferred choice as a single around that time? The inclusion of "If We Hold On Together" may also raise some eyebrows as it appeared on -if memory serves correctly-an MCA Soundtrack to an animated movie.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.5 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Oakdale

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,574,708