La Diva (Aretha Franklin album)

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La Diva
ArethaLaDiva.jpg
Studio album by Aretha Franklin
Released September 6, 1979
Recorded February–May, 1979
Studio Penny Lane Studios
(New York City, New York)
Record Plant, (Los Angeles, California)
Genre Disco, R&B, pop
Label Atlantic (#19248)
Producer Aretha Franklin, Charles Kipps, Skip Scarborough, Van McCoy
Aretha Franklin chronology
Almighty Fire
(1978)Almighty Fire1978
La Diva
(1979)
Aretha
(1980)Aretha1980
Singles from La Diva
  1. "Ladies Only"
    Released: August 7, 1979
  2. "Half A Love"
    Released: November, 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2/5 stars [1]
Robert ChristgauB [2]

La Diva is the twenty-fifth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on September 6, 1979 by Atlantic Records. The album marked the end of Aretha's 12-year tenure with Atlantic and a run of 19 original albums. The album was a commercial flop as the singer attempted to make a comeback by recording a disco-oriented project with producer Van McCoy. It was McCoy's final work as he died in June of that year and the record was released as disco was running its course.

It peaked at #146 on Billboard's album chart and sold less than 75,000 copies in the United States[citation needed]. It stands as the lowest charting and poorest selling album of Aretha's entire Atlantic Records catalogue. "Ladies Only" only reached #33 on Billboard's R&B singles chart while the follow-up, "Half A Love", stalled at #65. This album was recorded at Aretha's vocal peak and features three of her own compositions, as well as a song by her eldest son Clarence Franklin.

Although remembered[by whom?] as Aretha's failed disco LP, La Diva also includes substantial funk and R&B tracks such as The Emotions' "Reasons Why", Zulema's "Half a Love" and scorching versions of Lalome Washburn's "It's Gonna Get A Bit Better" and her own "Honey I Need Your Love." The album was released on compact disc in Europe in 2008.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Ladies Only" (Aretha Franklin) – 5:15
  2. "It's Gonna Get a Bit Better" (Lalome Washburn) – 5:20
  3. "What If I Should Ever Need You" (Charles H. Kipps) – 3:32
  4. "Honey I Need Your Love" (Aretha Franklin) – 2:45
  5. "I Was Made for You" (Clarence Franklin) – 4:03

Side two[edit]

  1. "Only Star" (Aretha Franklin) – 5:04
  2. "Reasons Why" (Skip Scarborough, Wanda Hutchinson, Wayne Vaughan) – 3:55
  3. "You Brought Me Back to Life" (Van McCoy) – 4:24
  4. "Half a Love" (Zulema Cusseaux) – 5:25
  5. "The Feeling" (Van McCoy) – 4:45

Personnel[edit]

  • Aretha Franklin – lead and backing vocals, rhythm arrangements (4)
  • Van McCoykeyboards, backing vocals, rhythm arrangements (1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10)
  • Kenneth Ascher – keyboards
  • Richard Tee – keyboards
  • Paul Griffin – keyboards
  • Ken Bichel – synthesizer, orchestra bells
  • Jack Cavari – guitar
  • Cornell Dupree – guitar
  • Tom Hanlon – guitar
  • Brian Aslop – bass guitar
  • Gordon Edwards – bass guitar
  • Chris Parker – drums
  • Errol "Crusher" Bennett – percussion
  • George Devens – percussion
  • Richard Gibbs – rhythm arrangements (2)
  • Arthur Jenkins – rhythm arrangements (6)
  • Skip Scarborough – rhythm arrangements (7)
  • Gene Orloff – conductor
  • Albert Bailey – backing vocals
  • Sharon Brown – backing vocals
  • Zulema Cusseaux – backing vocals, rhythm arrangements (9)
  • Diane Destry – backing vocals
  • Carolyn Franklin – backing vocals
  • Richard Harris – background vocals
  • Brenda Hilliard – backing vocals
  • Jerome Jackson – backing vocals
  • Pete Marshall – backing vocals
  • Pat Williamson – backing vocals

Production

  • Producers – Charles Kipps and Van McCoy (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 10); Aretha Franklin (Track 4); Skip Scarborough (Track 7).
  • Engineers – Lee Decarlo and Alan Varner
  • Assistant Engineers – Rick Delana, Brian Marine and John Terrell.
  • Masteted by George Piros at Atlantic Studios (New York, NY).

References[edit]

  1. ^ La Diva review at AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "La Diva review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2015-04-28.

External links[edit]