Upside Down (Diana Ross song)
The song “Upside Down” was written and produced by Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. Among the songs Diana Ross recorded is this one.
Motown released the song as the lead single from her eleventh studio album, Diana, in 1980. A big hit internationally, “Upside Down” topped the singles charts in Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, and reached number five in Canada.
The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 6, 1980. Billboard Disco and Soul charts also ranked it number one. A full four weeks after the album was released, the single came out.
The song remained at number one for four weeks. In addition to peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart, it marked Ross’s highest peak performance as a solo artist since “I’m Still Waiting” in 1971. Her album sold more than 250,000 copies, earning her a silver disc award from the British Phonographic Industry.
She lost to Stephanie Mills’ “Never Knew Love Like This Before” at the 1981 Grammy Awards, earning Ross her ninth career Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Billboard’s “Greatest Hot 100 Songs of All Time” (1958-2021) lists “Upside Down” at number 89.
Background and recording
Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers (of the band Chic) wrote the song. In an interview in 2011, Nile Rodgers said, “Diana Ross was our first big star, and we took it very seriously.” She was interviewed by Rodgers and Edwards for several days.
“This was the first time in her life somebody cared about who she was; what she was — everyone previously had treated her the way we had treated Sister Sledge — they got her in and said ‘Sing this’. We (took a more personal approach).”http://twentyfirstcenturymusic.blogspot.fr/2011/11/nile-rodgers-interviewed-by-peter.html
They did not have a successful studio liaison with Ross, as would be widely reported later. After she wasn’t satisfied with the results of their sessions, she gave them specific remixing instructions; they made some changes and suggested that if she wasn’t satisfied, she could have them remixed herself. The whole album was reworked by Ross with Motown producer Russ Terrana to downplay the funk element and emphasize her voice.
Initially, Rodgers and Edwards were furious, and considered having their credits removed. In the end, they left the track unedited, since the sound they used for Chic remained heavily influential. The LP was a platinum seller that spent a year on the American chart. Soon after, Ross left Motown for RCA.
At the end of the song, Michael Jackson joined her onstage as Ross performed the song live in 1981 during her television special Diana. During the 1997 Brit Awards ceremony, Ross performed the song live with British band Jamiroquai.
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