M. Edwards | Buckinghamshire United Kingdom | 09/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Firstly, the facts: "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" was NOT Diana Ross' first venture as a producer, despite what a few un-informed reviewers have written. The diva had produced the "Brown Baby/Save the Children" tracks on her "Touch Me In The Morning" album, and this was only 3 years into her solo career. No one complained then, I suspected.
"Why Do Fools Fall In Love" is a light hearted, fun album. The music itself has a clean, acoustic sound to it and it's not that bad. The title track, a brassy, breezy number, was an instant Top Ten hit on both the US and UK pop charts. I still occasionally hear this on the radio, proof that Diana's version has stood the test of time.
The most outstanding track on the album has to be the awesome rock/funky tones of "Mirror Mirror", which is probably one of the strongest songs that the lady has ever produced - it sure has tons of attitude.
I love "Sweet Nothings", with its catchy sax solo and Diana's playful, sassy vocal performance.
People ridicule "Work That Body", but it was a huge Top 5 UK pop hit that cashed in on the wave of aerobic songs that abounded at that time. Do people laugh at "Let's Get Physical" by Olivia Newton John?
The rest of the album borders on the schmaltzy but overall, Diana did a good job. Ok - it's not the strongest album of her career (neither were a few of her misses with Motown), but it's certainly not the worst. You'll have to make up your own minds. "
The One Hit Album of The RCA Years
KRA | East End of LI | 08/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so this album is not THE peak of Diana's career (see my review of "The Boss"), BUT this is a FUN record, and was what could have been a great springboard for the RCA years.
Her cover of the title track is lite, breazy and fun (and there is nothing wrong with that), and comes from an artist that frankly has at times taken herself far too seriously. Mirror Mirror is a great post-Disco dance track, and the late Paul Jabara's Work That Body took full advantage of the early 80's fitness craze. Sweet Nothings is another playful track that showed us another (better) side to Diana.
To me the biggest surprise was the solo verson of Endless Love, this song was already a mega hit on Motown for Ross and Lionel Richie, yet her solo take on this track was a home run, and she elevated the song to a more intense decleration of love.
To me this album and the 1 year later release Silk Electric (see my review) were the best of the RCA offerings.
The RCA Debut
Ian Phillips | Bolton, Lancashire, UK | 05/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
Diana Ross' brand new life at RCA Records kicked off to a promising start both personally and professionally. She enjoyed the satisfaction she'd craved for so long in producing and generally being a more creative force with her studio albums. Diana virtually controlled every aspect of this album right down to the revealing cover shot where she is dressed in a startling zebra-skin outfit which she had incidentally designed herself.
Aided by six studio technicians, Diana produced all 9 tracks on the Why Do Fools Fall In Love album which was belatedly released in September 1981, six months after its origanal schedule date. For somebody who had never produced an entire album before she certainly did remarkably well.
Oddly enough the premier RCA single would be the cover version of Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers classic hit of the late 1950's. Why Diana felt the need to immediatley cover an old song when she was seemingly attempting to move on in life and create a fresh, vital sound was a mystery though she could of perharps felt secure with the fact that the song was already enduringly popular and, as everyone knew including Diana herself, leaving Motown had been a huge gamble. Dianas bouncy and bubbly version of this classic, loses its origanal streets-of-New York vibe and is re-worked into what is, for all intents and purposes, pure Las Vegaz. Though typically meeting a negative response from critics, the recording was still a winner and quickly bounced into the Top 10 Singles Charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
This hastily leads into the slick, sultry, Sweet Surrender. This evocative, sexually charged number careers along at a hypnotic pace and through its trance-like arrangements, contains mild undertones of erotic fantasies. Diana was being artistically creative on Sweet Surrender though the rhythm is quickly shaken up on the startling and fantastic Funk-Rock driven track, Mirror, Mirror. She really takes a bite into this recording and her considerably stark delivery blends neatly into the driving production. Mirror, Mirror would be lifted as the projects next single release and this quickly secured her another Top 10 hit to her credit in the U.S though it barley trailed onto the U.K Top 40.
However the surprise stand-out recording is served in Dianas gutsy, solo renedition of the classic Endless Love. Belting and bellowing out those long, lingering notes at the climax of this surprisingly (though arguably) more effective version, captures oe of her strongest performance on record.
The album then takes a bit of a slide with the bland, unadventurous It's Never Too Late which sounds very dated. The laid back musical arrangements distinctley lack and pale in comparison to the razor sharp edge of some of her other disco classics like Love Hangover, The Boss and I'm Coming Out. It's Never Too Late was lifted as a single in the U.K where it faltered within the Top 50 Charts.
Getting back on the right track is the next recording on the album, Think I'm In Love, which had far stronger musical merits. The smooth, lush rhythm, accompanied by a gentle Reggae beat is coated with a full throated vocal performance from Diana. Diana has always had that unique sounding quality in her voice that makes even the soppiest song sound strikingly appealing.
She then proceeds to deliver a sassy, funk-driven version of the classic Sweet Nothins'. The track loses its country sound of the origanal format and is shaken up into a more slick, soulful interpretation. Adding to that effect is a roaring saxophone played throughout the vast majority of the recording.
She returns back to pure schmaltz on the pleasantly mellow ballad, Two Can Make It which is still immensley soothing by just listening to Dianas cool and crystal clear delivery.
This steadily leads up to the albums final track, Work That Body, a track that blatantly seemed Dianas answer to Olivia Newton Johns, Physical. Work That Body was shook up into a contemporary R&B/Disco number and whilst this was hot at the time, its very dated to its era when listening to this today. Still it became another U.K Top 10 seller whilst struggling to No.37 in the U.S.
The Why Do Fools Fall In Love project proved a success, sailing into the U.K and U.S Top 20 Album Charts Charts. Slick and unpretentious.
Kim Mcclure | 06/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The CD arrived in a timely manner, and the sound quality is excellent. A great buy for any Diana Ross fan."