Chain Reaction (Diana Ross song)

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"Chain Reaction"
Single by Diana Ross
from the album Eaten Alive
B-side "More And More"
Released 28 November 1985 (US) / 13 February 1986 (UK)
Format Vinyl (7" & 12")
Recorded 1985
Length 3:49
Label RCA Records, Capitol in the UK
Writer(s) Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Producer(s) Gibb-Galuten-Richardson
Diana Ross singles chronology
"Eaten Alive"
"Chain Reaction"

"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 Ross's 1985 album Eaten Alive, 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 No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart. The song also hit No. 1 in Australia and was the top selling single of the year (1986) in that country, also reaching the top of the charts in Ireland and Zimbabwe. In New Zealand, it peaked at No. 3 and also made the top 5 in South Africa. In 1993, the song broke the UK top 20 again (also breaking the top 40 in Ireland and France) when it was re-released to commemorate her 30th anniversary in show business.

The song fared poorly in the US, where it initially peaked at a disappointing No. 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 No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 77 on Cash Box. More than thirty years later, the song remains Diana Ross's final appearance on both charts.

Music video[edit]

At the beginning of the video is in black-and-white, Ross enters the TV studio and proceeds to perform the song in front of dancing spectators in a '60s-style live TV. The performance is intercut with a view from the station control room where producers are shown additional scenes appearring in colour, confounding them on where the scenes are coming from. Half-way through we see Ross walking up a desolate street with barrels of fire littered around and dancers in the background. Careful lighting and fog help create the effect Ross is performing on a real street. It is the only time the street is shown and the video eventually returns to the TV studio performance. The final style of scene has Ross performing in what is supposed to be the glamorous front exterior of the TV studio. A quick shot of the control room is shown with the lead producing yelling in shock or frustration, before the scene continues. It's assumed the producers have lost control of the broadcast. The video ends with intercuts of the TV performance, the exterior, and the control room. The band finishes 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.[1]

As an easter egg, on the back wall of the station control room there are photos from live performance by the Supremes.

Chart performance[edit]

"Chain Reaction '93"[edit]

"Chain Reaction '93"
Single by Diana Ross
B-side "Upside Down"
Released June 1993
Format CD single
Recorded 1992
Genre Dance
Length 3:50
Label Motown Records
Writer(s) Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Diana Ross singles chronology
"Heart (Don't Change My Mind)"
"Chain Reaction '93"
"Your Love"

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.

Track listing[edit]

CD single
  1. Chain Reaction '93 - 3:47
  2. Upside Down - 4:07
12" UK remix single
  1. "Chain Reaction" (Original 12" Version) - 6:50
  2. "Chain Reaction" (Reaction Dub, remix by E-Smoove) - 6:34
  3. "Chain Reaction" (Low End Mix, remix by Dewey B and Spike) - 6:15
  4. "Chain Reaction" (Low End Dub, remix by Dewey B and Spike) - 6:15
  5. "Chain Reaction" (Smoove Reaction Instrumental, remix by E-Smoove) - 8:40
French 2-track CD single
  1. Original Single Version - 3:47
  2. '93 Remix
  • Italy 12"
  1. "Chain Reaction" (Original Single Version) - 3:47
  2. "Love Hangover" (Tribal Hangover - remix and additional production by Frankie Knuckles for Def Mix Productions) - 9:31
  3. "Upside Down" ('93 Remix - Remix and additional production by Satoshi Tomiie and David Morales for Def Mix Productions.) - 8:09
  4. "Upside Down" (Dub 2 - Remix and additional production by Satoshi Tomiie and David Morales for Def Mix Productions.) - 7:37
  5. "Someday We'll Be Together" ('93 Remix - Remix and additional production by Frankie Knuckles for Def Mix Productions) - 8:45


Chart (1993) Peak
UK Singles Chart 20
Preceded by
"When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going" by Billy Ocean
UK Singles Chart number one single
March 2, 1986 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Living Doll" by Cliff Richard & The Young Ones
Preceded by
"When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going" by Billy Ocean
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
April 21, 1986 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Living Doll" by Cliff Richard & The Young Ones

Steps version[edit]

"Chain Reaction"
Single by Steps
from the album Gold: Greatest Hits
B-side "Stop Me From Loving You"
Released September 24, 2001
Format CD single, cassette single
Recorded 2001
Genre Pop
Length 3:56
Label Jive
Writer(s) Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Producer(s) Graham Stack & Mark Taylor
Steps singles chronology
"Here And Now / You'll Be Sorry"
"Chain Reaction"
"Words Are Not Enough / I Know Him So Well"

In 2001, British pop group Steps covered "Chain Reaction". The song reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart, behind Kylie Minogue's Can't Get You Out of My Head. The song was performed by the Top 4 Finalists on the six season on American Idol.

Music video[edit]

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.


Track listings[edit]

  1. Chain Reaction - 3:56
  2. One for Sorrow [Tony Moran US Remix] - 3:29
  3. Stop Me From Loving You - 3:45
CD2 (Limited Edition Club Mixes CD - Sold Out On Day Of Release)
  1. Chain Reaction [Graham Stack Extended Mix] - 6:28
  2. One for Sorrow [Tony Moran Extended Club Mix] - 6:38
  3. One for Sorrow [Sleazesisters 12" Anthem Mix] - 6:48
  1. Chain Reaction - 3:56
  2. One for Sorrow [Tony Moran US Remix] - 3:29
Australian CD Single (JIVE/EBUL)
  1. Chain Reaction 3:56
  2. One For Sorrow (Tony Moran US Remix) 3:29
  3. Stop Me From Loving You 3:45
  1. Chain Reaction (Kool De Sac Mix) 8.03
  2. Chain Reaction (Xenomania Remix) 6.19
  3. Chain Reaction (Xenomania Trance Remix) 7.33
  4. Chain Reaction (Hit Squad Remix) 6.30
  5. Chain Reaction (Tribal Remix) 4.19.
  • Chain Reaction (Almighty Mix) - Promo
  • Chain Reaction (Hit Squad Remix) - Promo
  • Chain Reaction (Kod De Sac Remix) - Promo


The song entered the UK charts at #2 and spent 11 weeks in the top 75. It became their biggest selling single since they released "Say You'll Be Mine / Better the Devil You Know" two years earlier.


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[9] Silver 200,000^

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Other cover versions[edit]

  • The Shadows did an instrumental version on Simply Shadows (1987).
  • Cliff Richard did a cover with Steps in 2001 on the ITV show Cliff Richard-The Hits I Missed.
  • Australian group Young Divas recorded a cover of the song for their second album New Attitude, released in 2007.
  • Steps
  • 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 stand-alone CD single in January 2010.
  • U.K Indie rock band Noisettes performed a rock cover during their February/March 2010 U.K tour.
  • UK car insurance comparison site covered the song on a 2011 advert starring Louise Dearman.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diana Ross - Chain Reaction". 2007-05-12. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  2. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  4. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet". Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  5. ^ Steffen Hung. "Diana Ross - Chain Reaction". Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  6. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 459–60. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ 1986.
  8. ^ "Top 100 1986",
  9. ^ "British single certifications – Steps – Chain Reaction". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Chain Reaction in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  10. ^ "". February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 

External links[edit]