"Chain Reaction" is a melodic R&B song, sung by Diana Ross, and written by the Bee Gees, who also provided the backing vocals for the single. The track was released on the album Eaten Alive in 1985 and as a single twice - in 1985 and again in 1986.
According to the Gibbs biography, the brothers had initial reservations about offering the song to Ross in case it was too Motown-like for her.
The single became Diana's second #1 hit in the UK Singles Chart. The song also hit #1 in Australia and was the top selling single of the year (1986) in that country. In New Zealand, it peaked at No. 3. In 1993, the song broke the UK top 20 again.
The song fared poorly in the US where it initially peaked at a disappointing #95 on the Billboard Hot 100 late in 1985. A few months later, a remixed version of the song was issued as a single (Ross performed this version of the song on the American Music Awards, which she hosted that year). The new version re-entered the chart and performed better, but with the diminished momentum, it stalled at #66 in Billboard and #77 in Cash Box. Nearly thirty years later, the song stands as Ross's last appearance on both 100-position charts.
At the beginning of the video, Ross performed the song on a stage in front of spectators, while we see scenes in color and black-and-white photography. The scenes in black-and-white photography are live performances by the Supremes on video dar. the way Ross has the hit on a street with background dancers in a studio. While the band finished in the black and white scenes of their show, dancing with the audience and using a combination of both color scenes a producer gets in a cab from a nervous breakdown.
In 1993, Diana Ross released "Chain Reaction '93". Producing the remix herself, the single was also successful in the United Kingdom. This version's purely instrumental sound differs it from the original. A music video was not recorded for the song.
The first scene we see is two paramedics lifting a patient from the ambulance onto the ground on a stretcher. We then learn that H is the patient and Lee is one of the paramedics. Then, we see Lee pushing H into the hospital. The next scene we see is a receptionist and this turns out to be Claire. She sings her verse. Then, the camera goes over to a nurse who we see is Faye. She sings her verse. Then, the camera follows Faye over to Lee and H. We now know that Faye loves Lee so she touches his hand. Then Faye calls Claire over and they start making their way over to the operating theatre. Lee then calls a doctor over which turns out to be Lisa. We now also know that Lisa loves H. The next scene we see is H singing his verse while the others are acting their parts. Then, Lisa sings her verse and then Faye holds the operating camera and the light shines into the camera and then we see Steps in a change of clothes which are brown and white. We also see them dancing. They have close up shots and are each seen with a particular piece of furniture. Claire appears with a corner sofa. Faye appears on a furry staircase. Lee appears with a set of five dining chairs. Lisa appears with three tall pillar lamps, while H appears with a high back armchair. The video ends with Steps close together singing the last line of the song. The video was filmed at Greenwich Hospital and a studio in London.
The Shadows did an instrumental version on Simply Shadows (1987).
John Farnham covered the song on his 1990 album of the same name, where it reached number 3 on the Aria charts (Incorrect: John Farnham's Chain Reaction was written by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and Sylvester Stewart, so totally unrelated to the Bee Gees.)
Cliff Richard did a cover with Steps in 2001 on the ITV show Cliff Richard-The Hits I Missed.
U.K bubblegum pop duo Same Difference performed this song on semi-final night on The X Factor. After a lavish performance which featured almost an entire circus, they were voted into the final but did not win, Leon Jackson later won but Same Difference did release their first album Pop on 1 December 2008.
Irish pop group The Nolans covered this song in 2009 as part of the one-off reunion tour. It was released on the follow-up album I'm in the Mood Again (2009)
Swedish pop-dance singer Daniela Vecchia recorded cover of the song and released it as a standing-alone CD single in January 2010.
U.K Indie rock band Noisettes performed a rock cover during their February/March 2010 U.K tour.