"Diana Ross's SURRENDER album gets the star make-over treatment by Hip-O Select, and as usual they do a fantastic job!
This was Ross's third album and was produced by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson who also produced Diana's first smash hit solo album Diana Ross. I never heard of the SURRENDER album, being that I was only one-year old when it was released, and I only knew the song "Remember Me" (which I love!)from this release, but I'm glad that I've discovered this "lost" gem and that it's being reissued.
The album itself was not the commercial hit here in the USA that everyone was expecting, reaching #56 on the pop charts, but it's a wonderful collection of songs that follow in the same vain as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." And Diana Ross sounds wonderfully soulful and shows off her laser like pitch that rings clear as a bell when she tears through songs like "Remember Me," "I'm A Winner," "Surrender," and others, proving once again that she was more than ready to be a solo artist.
Hip-O has done an outstanding job with the remastering and the entire production of this reissue. There are nine bonus tracks including an alternate version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (which has noticeably different ad-libs, but the music sounds the same) and the demo version of "Remember Me" sung by Valerie Simpson. Also included is a small booklet with photos and new liner notes from David Nathan and album producer Valerie Simpson about the album and its history. Simpson also provides comments on the original tracks that were issued along with editor notes providing additional info. Stellar job!
I hope this means that Hip-O will be re-issuing the "An Evening With Diana Ross" album soon!"
Sultry Soulful Seventies from Motown's Queen
John Benjamin | Sydney | 12/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Diana Ross' Surrender ranges from soulful ballads to some pop-styled gems (And If You See Him).
Her approach in each song is dynamically pitched to the lyrics sometimes dark narratives. Her vocals are husky, smokey and delicate in the right places. Ross can come across like a terrified child (A Simple Thing Like Cry) and at other times plays coyly like the soul diva she is (Surrender and I'm A Winner).
I would have loved this as an accompanying soundtrack to a seventies movie she never made.
With equal portions of flirty fun through to the end-of-the-road pathos in Ashford and Simpson's songs this album deserves it's re-release...lets hope it stays in print for a long time yet!
Spirited soul gems like Remember Me (a top ten R&B hit) and the excellent Four Tops' cover Reach Out, I'll Be There sound as fresh today as they did in '71 and read beautifully next to the other songs on the album.
You gotta love this Motown masterpiece which begs the question - when is Diana Ross gonna make another Ashford and Simpson soul smash!!!"
Cornelius G. Kelly | Albuquerque | 12/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The brilliant light that shines through Diana Ross's silken voice is smooth and brushed over like a fine fragile vase filled with flourishing fresh flowers taken out to set the table for todays welcomed guests. This CD is like a priceless heirloom bringing back beautiful memories to all her devoted delighted hand clapping fans. Her voice approaches you like Diana herself at her live performances. My lover Dean and I have seen her at several venues and we've actually seen her walking in Manhattan where she waved back and flashed that lightening bright smile we've all come to love.
You all know the songs and your reviews tell us the excellent details. The extra tracks are amazing as is the liner notes. Who would want to download this CD? "Ain't nothing like the real thing baby." I can't wait till Diana remasters "Live from Cesaers Palace" with "The Point" which she sings to her girls who are in the audience. I saw her perform that at the Palace Theater and both were amazing.
When I put Surrender into my Ipod and on my ears I couldn't take them off till the CD was over and there I was just listening to silence as I was caught in remberance and stilled by the voice I had just heard. That is her gift. We are all thankful for it!"
I Surrendered My Love
Fredy S. Rimando | San Francisco | 12/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked up a copy of the re-mastered 'Surrender' cd last week and it managed to remind me why I'm a Diana Ross fan. First and foremost is discovery. Everytime I listen to Ms. Ross, I tend to hear something that I missed in previous listens.
And this is no exception - a little history:
Whenever I talk about my favorite Diana Ross songs, at the top of the list is "Reach Out, I'll Be There," and it was this album that first introduced this bold re-make of Ashford and Simpson's classic (another version appeared later on 'Ross'). Initially I thought the song was added to capitalize on 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough's' momentum that transformed Diana's first solo project into a sizable hit. In America, Diana's follow up, 'Everything is Everything' quickly disappeared, which put 'Surrender' into the spotlight. 'Remember Me' was a moderate hit but at least it did better than any single from 'Everything is Everything' (I'm Still Waiting had little play in the U.S. and Doo-Be....didn't even see the light of day). 'Surrender' on the other hand, is the predicesor to the Honeycones, 'Innocent Till Proven Guilty' and is, in fact a perfect companion to it. There is a certain urgency, desperation, to the song that is seldom heard elsewhere in Diana's music library. I didn't know what it was but the remastered cd put it into perspective...'it had soul" - and urgency. Which is the second reason I love her music and why I'm such a big fan of hers...Diana brings different aspects of her personality into her songs. Listenning to this cd is like rediscovering fire! I never gave the album much respect because, for me, it came on the heals of 'Everything is Everything' which cooled down Diana's career. 'Surrender' had a few gems (the aforementioned singles and 'I Can't Give Back The Love") which deserved a bigger audience than it initially had. 'Surrender' had catchy hooks, strong vocals and powerful arrangements that, upon listenning to this stunning re-release, transcend time, as proven by the rousing reception 'Reach Out, I'll Be There' received when it was revived in concert several decades later. The bonus cuts only confirms my belief that the Motown machine knew what they were doing when it came to selecting the right version for inclusion in the final album release. Still, its fun and interesting to see these songs being reincarnated and molded. The inflections, delivery and different instrumentations is worth the investment. Valerie Simpson and David Nathan offers commentary that sheds new light on these old favorites. The rediscovery of this semi-forgotten album has forced me to rexamine its place in my personal album favorites of Diana Ross. There's a lot of good things about this album that's been brought to the surface! Thanks to Hip-O Select, Andy Skurow, David Nathan and all the other wonderful people behind Diana's remasters. But here's a thought to your next cd re-issue: Why not add some visuals? I'm sure there are a lot of performances of Diana performing these songs that can be included. Now that would be a Special Edition! "
A Classic Album
Joseph M. Strange | Chandler, AZ | 02/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Surrender by Diana Ross is a classic and a must have. This just may be her best individual work. I waited years to get this in cd form after buying the album in 1971. The additional songs makes it that much better."