Friday, July 26, 2013

Recording Diana Ross' "Love Hangover"

A great story from producer Hal Davis that mostly comes from the biography Diana. Best part:

"No one really liked disco here at Motown," producer Hal Davis said in J. Randy Taraborrelli's biography, Diana. "The company wasn't heavily into it, so I figured I'd take advantage of that. When I did the track for 'Love Hangover,' I knew it was a hot track. But when I played it for Diana, well, she wasn't too sure about it. She was used to singing more lush songs by producers like Michael Masser and the public sort of identified her with arrangements like "Touch Me In The Morning." She liked the lyric to 'Love Hangover,' but people thought I was a little off for even suggesting that Diana do this song."

Davis went on to describe the evening that Diana recorded the Pam Sawyer-Marilyn McLeod song. "It was a late session; we started at about nine o'clock at night. I had it all planned out because I know how Diana is about atmosphere in the studio.

So I told them to have some hot red lights put around and also a strobe light. Diana came in, took her shoes off, and got into it sort of slow. The song had two tempos, starting off kind of sultry, which was easy for her. But when we got to the disco part, I remember her laughing and saying, 'I can not do that!'

"So at that point, I had them turn the lights on and we had the place jumpin' like a disco. That's all she needed; she just took off after that. It turned out to be a lot of fun for her and she even improvised a little Billie Holiday in there that I didn't expect. There's even a part in there where she's laughing on the track. I didn't edit it because I wanted to keep that sense of spontaneity."

Diana is quoted by Taraborrelli on the session: "It was a spontaneous thing that we captured on record and if I had to go back in and do it again, I couldn't have. The music was me and I was the music. Things came out of my mouth that I didn't even expect."

From superseventies.

Saturday, July 20, 2013