DIANA ROSS: Last Time I Saw Him (Label: Universal Hip O Select)

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DIANA ROSS: Last Time I Saw Him

Universal continue their diligent marshalling of the Motown back catalogue with this limited edition, re-mastered release of Diana Ross’ 1973, ‘Last Time I Saw Him’. On its initial release the album enjoyed limited success chiefly because it was in competition with the only slightly earlier release of La Ross’s duets set with Marvin Gaye. Consequently the LP kind of slipped away which possibly explains why it’s getting the ‘full’ re-issue treatment right now…. And by ‘full’ I do mean full. What you get her is the original ten tracks LP (fully re-mastered) along with the same album in its Japanese Quadraphonic format and ten previously unissued cuts dating from the same sessions. In honesty the original album was never one of Ms. Ross’ best. It comes fro the time when Berry Gordy wanted (or so it seems to me) his diva to take some share of the Barbara Streisand market. The cuts are over-produced and though die-hard Ross fans might argue, I don’t think they have much soul in ’em. The Jap Quad versions don’t sound too different either, though I have to admit that some of the unissued cuts did provoke interest. ‘Where Did We Go Wrong’ and a version of the Carpenters’ ‘Let Me Be The One’ prove that Di could ‘do soul’ while the version of the Motown war horse ‘I Wanna Go Back There Again’ revisits the old times. Apart from those, I’ll pass, but for Lady D fans the set is a must – especially since the inlay is a superb artefact in its own right.
(BB) 3/5