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Diana & Marvin
Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye
Diana & Marvin
Genres: Pop, R&B
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

In the boxing world, it's called an overmatch. This 1973 artifact found Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross plugged into tracks by a half-dozen producers (including Gaye/Tammi Terrell masterminds Ashford & Simpson, Motown stalwart ...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye
Title: Diana & Marvin
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Motown
Original Release Date: 1/1/1973
Re-Release Date: 1/9/2001
Album Type: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, R&B
Styles: Classic R&B, Motown, Soul, Quiet Storm
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 601215717327

Synopsis

Amazon.com
In the boxing world, it's called an overmatch. This 1973 artifact found Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross plugged into tracks by a half-dozen producers (including Gaye/Tammi Terrell masterminds Ashford & Simpson, Motown stalwart Hal Davis, and Berry Gordy himself). Although Gaye would later speak disdainfully of Ross to biographer David Ritz, and his richly emotive tone indeed sometimes mixes with her piping coos like oil with water, Diana & Marvin still proves hard to resist. Gaye's restraint is a fine thing to hear, and the two get fittingly touching material in two Stylistics covers and the wonderful single "My Mistake (Was to Love You)." (Never mind how unconvincing they sound on "I'm Falling in Love with You"; lie back and enjoy it.) More than a curio, less than a classic, the original album is augmented by four bonus tracks, three previously unreleased. --Rickey Wright

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CD Reviews

An important piece of musical history restored
J. W. Kooijman | Amsterdam Netherlands | 02/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've never understood why people make such a fuzz about the fact that most songs on Diana & Marvin were recorded separately. It's public knowledge that the pregnant Diana Ross did not want to share a recording booth with Marvin Gaye because he insisted on smoking weed while recording. Pop music is all about fantasy... the final product is all that counts. Many of the classic Marvin Gaye / Tammi Terrell duets were Terrell's solo recordings with Gaye's vocals being overdubbed. Many of the later duets feature Valerie Simpson instead of Terrell. More recently, Patti LaBelle met Michael McDonald for the first time AFTER their duet "On My Own" had become a huge hit. Whether recorded separately or not, the sentiment expressed on Diana & Marvin is genuine. As Marvin told David Ritz: "In spite of everything, [Diana Ross] loves me. Just listen to `Love Twins.' She actually says the words, `I love you, Marvin.' That's proof, isn't it?" That said, it is time to listen to this beautiful re-release of a very special album. Just the fact that the album features these two grand Motown artists makes it a classic. The album fits right in the career of Diana Ross, but is a side step for Marvin Gaye, as at that time he was taking creative control over his career. On this album, executive producer Hal Davis calls all the shots, yet enabling Marvin Gaye to expand on his desire to be a true POP artist. The album is clearly an experiment, as both Ross & Gaye play around with different styles. "You Are Everything" was a huge hit in Europe and rightfully so. Ross & Gaye voices really go together well on this Stylistics original. The other USA and European singles "You're a Special Part of Me," "My Mistake," and "Stop, Look, Listen" are very convincing as well, proving that the combination of Ross and Gaye did bring out the best in each other's voices. "Don't Knock My Love" continues to be a refreshing R&B classic, even though I prefer the alternate version that includes Diana Ross saying "Take it to the top, Marv." Marvin's opening vocals on "Pledging My Love" have been rightfully recognized as stunning, and this track is one of the few on which Marvin's vocals are indeed superior to those of Ross. The highlight of the album is the Ashford & Simpson penned ballad "Just Say, Just Say." The song is just beautiful, as it slowly builds up to a climax, poignantly expressing the frustration of an impossible desire for a lover that is out of ones reach. The original songs never sounded as clear and good as on this re-release. The added bonus tracks are plain fun, though, with the exception of the haunting "Alone," it is clear why they were not included on the original release. "The Things I Will Not Miss" was a daring experiment, and does grow on you in a positive way after listening to it a couple of times, but nevertheless this show tune remains an oddity. "I've Come To Love You" is another beautiful Ashford & Simpson ballad, but apparently Marvin Gaye had not finished his vocals. If he had, the song definitely should have been included on the original release - Diana Ross never sounded better on this song, and together with the velvet smooth vocals of Marvin Gaye, if he had recorded them, "I've Come To Love You" could have been a #1 smash for the two Motown legends. Harry Weinger, who is responsible for this excellent re-release, should be given a Grammy (or any other award) for making this wonderful collection of classic songs available to the general public. In my opinion, this re-release of Diana & Marvin receives rightfully 5 stars. Even though both Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye have recorded superior songs, this collection provides the listener with a unique experience - two of the greatest vocals together on a truly enjoyable number of songs. An excellent recording in the history of American pop music, an absolute must have for those who cherish the heritage of the Motown sound."
Still a bright little ornament
ianphillips@uk.dreamcast.com | 01/30/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It's nice to have this album on C.D. sounding so great. It was never a great work of art but always an enjoyable musical outing. This reissue, however, does make one ponder (again) who in heaven's name is doing these repackagings. The album notes don't reflect any knowledge that this album is an editing wonder in there's actually no duets. Ross did her vocals, Gaye did his vocals and then they were put together, which is more difficult than it sounds (note they often sound like they're responding to each other when actually no one else is there). Secondly, any fan knows that the version of "Don't Knock My Love" on the album is not the version released as a single and that both versions should have been included. Third, any fan also knows that "Diana and Marvin" originally was to have been an album produced by Ashford and Simpson but that only one track made it onto the untlimate version of the album. The notes go on and on about the miracle in finding another track but actually about a dozen more recordings were done--at least the instrumental tracks. I get the feeling with all these Motown packages that a distant relative is putting them together without actually having met the music before. If I ever meet Berry Gordy Jr., boy am I going to give him an earful. As for Miss Ross, if you read this--You can only be proud as your work is rereleased. None of it dates! It always sounds energetic and reaching, reaching, reeeeeaaaaacccccchhiinnnnngggggggg out to touch something new, something fresh, something different. I don't think you ever made a reocrd you didn't put everything into, and it sure shows lo these many years later, lady."
THE KING AND QUEEN OF MOTOWN
ianphillips@uk.dreamcast.com | BOLTON, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND | 04/08/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Diana And Marvin is overly a very good album especialy given to the added bonus of the three previously unreleased tracks added on. Both Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye were enjoying triumphant success around then. Diana Ross had just made her dynamic acting debut in the oscar nominated, Lady Sings The Blues and had also had enjoyed enormous success with the classic Touch Me In The Morning album where as marvin Gaye was beginning to really show his versatality as an artist with his critically acclaimed Whats Going On album. Allegedly it was reported in J.Randy Taroberrellis startling and highly controversial biography about Diana Ross (Call Her Miss Ross - 1989) that the duo did not get on at all and on many ocasions recorded their vocals seperatley. Diana had been wound up about Marvin smoking pot when in recording sessions as she was pregnant at the time. Marvin had apparently felt a lot of bitterness towards Diana as well as he felt his career was put on the side line by Motown boss, Berry Gordy in favour of Dianas. He'd also vowed that after the sad death of Tammii Terrell in 1970 he would never work as a duo again but Berry Gordy had insisted upon it!Despite these inevitable problems that occur when you get two major stars together, the chemistry and affection that they surley must have felt for each other deep down shines out on the unforgetable, timeless soul classic, You Are Everything. This is by far their greatest recording together and it still sounds breathtakingly beautiful. Both Diana and Marvins delivery is heartfelt and strong on most of the tracks. Love Twins is a fine, mid tempo number that is don beautifully whilst more compelling and exciting is the funky and swinging Don't Knock My Love. It is great to hear them do an uptempo number together and the album is sometimes in need of it. You're A Special Part Of Me is another wonderful ballard that became a major hit in the U.S. whilst Pledging My Love is pleasant enough if not a little too slushy. Just say,Just say is a mediocre number at the most and is rather forgetable but Stop! Look! Listen, To Your Heart isone of the albums real highlights. Again its a slow, laid back ballards but the orchestra and Diana and Marvins soulful vocals blend beautifully together. Falling In Love With You sounds very insincere and both performances sound half hearted. However another highlight of the album is the soulful My Mistake Was To Love You which is another timeless recording. Include Me In Your Life is quite catchy too and the unreleased tracks mainly fall short of the rest of the albums quality but their inclusion on to this is welcomed. Over all a recommended album that is possibly in need of a few more up tempo numbers as the abums verges on the lines of being too slushy at times but regardless of that it is still great to hear two of the twentieth centurys most talented peformers together."