La Diva (Aretha Franklin album)

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La Diva
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 6, 1979
RecordedFebruary–May, 1979
StudioPenny Lane Studios
(New York City, New York)
Record Plant, (Los Angeles, California)
GenreDisco, R&B, pop
LabelAtlantic (#19248)
ProducerAretha Franklin, Charles Kipps, Skip Scarborough, Van McCoy
Aretha Franklin chronology
Almighty Fire
La Diva
Singles from La Diva
  1. "Ladies Only"
    Released: August 7, 1979
  2. "Half A Love"
    Released: November, 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2/5 stars [1]
Christgau's Record GuideB[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 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


  • Aretha Franklin – lead and backing vocals, rhythm arrangements (4)
  • Van McCoykeyboards, backing vocals, rhythm arrangements (1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10)
  • Kenneth Ascher, Richard Tee, Paul Griffin – keyboards
  • Ken Bichel – synthesizer, orchestra bells
  • Jack Cavari, Cornell Dupree, Tom Hanlon – guitar
  • Brian Aslop, Gordon Edwards – bass guitar
  • Chris Parker – drums
  • Errol "Crusher" Bennett, 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


  • 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).


  1. ^ La Diva review at AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: F". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 24, 2019 – via

External links[edit]