Diana Ross – 1973 – Touch Me In The Morning

Diana Ross is an iconic superstar.

This album, originally released in 1973 when Diana was 29 and at the height of her popularity is one of the most cohesive of her career. The title track was her 2nd solo No1 in the US and came on the heels of her critically acclaimed Oscar nominated performance as Billie Holliday in Lady Sings the Blues. It was one of the most successful of her career.

If there were any doubts that Diana was destined to surpass her phenomenal, still standing record breaking career with The Supremes, her self titled debut, “Diana Ross” became the smash no one would dare bet against.

“Touch Me in the Morning” was the project to showcase her effortless ability to go from pop to R&B to jazz and now the enduring Adult Contemporary format. 

Tracks
A1 Touch Me In The Morning 3:15
A2 All Of My Life 3:38
A3 We Need You 3:43
A4 Leave A Little Room 3:32
A5 IWon’t Last A Day Without You 3:48
B1 Little Girl Blue 3:58
B2 My Baby (My Baby My Own) 2:45
B3 Imagine 3:02
B4 Medley: Brown Baby / Save The Children 8:16

                                                                                              By Hannah M

After Diana Ross’ triumphant turn as Billie Holiday in the “Lady Sings the Blues” 1972 movie, Berry Gordy was unsure of what direction to go in next with his biggest Motown star. Her previous album of jazz covers had been a smash hit, wheras her previous solo pop albums, while having big hit singles, weren’t as memorable or cohesive as her early albums with her group The Supremes. There was a real danger that the follow up album to “Lady Sings…” could easily not live up to people’s expectations. Berry Gordy knew that he needed Diana to break back into the pop charts if her career was going to carry on strong.

The conflict of these years brought about this album, 1973’s “Touch Me In The Morning”, an easy-listening themed selection of pop ballads that stands up as one of Diana’s most succesful and enjoyable albums.
Touch Me in the Morning” – The title tracks starts off the album. One of Diana’s biggest hits and signature songs, it’s a gentle ballad that builds up to a powerful chorus and has Diana singing at her finest. It was a huge no.1 single, and remains a 70’s pop classic today. The best song on the album.
All of My Life” – the second song was also a single from the album, but didn’t quite hit the top 10. It’s an achingly beautiful song, sadly underrated.
We Need You” – A meloncholy soul song led primarily by piano, with an emotional vocal from Diana that stands as one of her best on record performances.
Leave A Little Room” – An anthemic song, in the same vein as Diana’s previous hit “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand”. Not as memorable as that song, but a nice song with very pretty harmonies.
I Won’t Last A Day Without You” – A 60’s sounding ballad with a great chorus that’s memorable and sweet. Very 70’s sounding, but a very pretty little song.
Little Girl Blue” – Originally intended for an unreleased jazz album by Diana (now released titled “Blue”), it’s a cover of an old Rogers and Hart classic, done in an easy-listening, jazzy way. Clearly designed to tie in with her previous album, but still a lovely rendition.
My Baby (My Own)” – A pregnancy themed song (Diana was expecting her first child at the time) with a mellow backbeat and has Diana singing in a lower tone than usual that is very jazzy and effective.
Imagine” – An ambitious but lacking cover of the Lennon classic, Diana tries her best here and does sound great, but the song isn’t suited to her, and it’s not the best song here.
“Medley: Baby Brown/Save The Children” – The closing medley has a beautiful song ‘Baby Brown’ which is fantastic with Diana’s vocals and the instrumentation. Follows with Diana’s cover version of the Marvin Gaye classic ‘Save the Children”, which she does very well.

This album came before Diana’s transformation into a disco superstar with hits like ‘Upside Down’ and ‘The Boss’, and is a fantastic but underrated album that deserves more attention. Highly recommended.

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