Workin' Overtime

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Workin' Overtime
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 6, 1989
GenreNew jack swing[1]
ProducerNile Rodgers
Diana Ross chronology
Red Hot Rhythm & Blues
Workin' Overtime
Greatest Hits Live
Singles from Workin' Overtime
  1. "Workin' Overtime"
    Released: April 24, 1989
  2. "This House"/"Paradise"
    Released: July 23, 1989
  3. "Bottom Line"
    Released: September 14, 1989

Workin' Overtime is the eighteenth studio album by American singer Diana Ross. It was released by Motown Records on June 6, 1989 in the United States. Her first Motown album with new material since To Love Again (1981) after a short stint with RCA Records, Ross reunited with freuqent collaborator Nile Rodgers, chief producer of her highly successful album to date Diana (1980), to make this album which was an attempt to gear her to a much younger audience bringing in new jack swing productions and house music.

Upon its release, Workin' Overtime received negative reviews from music critics and failed commercially despite the title track reaching number three on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The album reached the top thirty in Sweden and the United Kingdom and peaked at number 116 on the US Billboard 200, earning the distinction of becoming the lowest-charting studio album of Ross' entire solo career. Additional singles "This House" and "Bottom Line" were issued, as well as a Shep Pettibone remix of "Paradise", but all failed to revive the album's sales.


Following the release of her album Red Hot Rhythm & Blues (1987), Ross gave birth to her son Ross and became pregnant with Evan, which caused her to go on a hiatus from work. "I stayed off work for about a year... I was having my babies, and during that time I spent a lot of time watching BET on television, the kids doing the hip-hop and so on... and, you know, I’m a risk taker," Ross said.[2]

Workin' Overtime marked Ross' first Motown album with new material since To Love Again (1981), after Ross left the label for a then record breaking $20 million deal with RCA. Upon Diana's return to the label, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. had sold the label to MCA Records and had positioned Jheryl Busby to the head of Motown. Ross was at first reluctant to return to her old label but Gordy promised her a lot in her return: Not only would Ross return to Motown as a recording act, but she would be the label's part-owner.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[3]
Robert ChristgauC+ [4]

Allmusic editor Ron Wynn wrote that "this album was the first product of that new contract, and the results weren't very encouraging. There were no moderate or even small hits, and the album quickly dropped off both the R&B and pop charts within a couple of weeks of its release. Ross sounded completely lost, and the production, arrangements, and compositions sounded weak and thin next to the dominant New Jack and hip-hop works."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Nile Rodgers.[5]

1."Workin' Overtime"
2."Say We Can"
  • Rodgers
  • Cathy Block
3."Take the Bitter with the Sweet"
4."Bottom Line"
  • Glass
5."This House"
  • Rodgers
  • Rodgers
  • Greg Smith
7."Keep On (Dancin')"
  • Rodgers
  • Smith
8."What Can One Person Do"
  • Rodgers
  • Smith
9."Goin' Through the Motions"
  • Glass
  • Ray
  • Birch
10."We Stand Together"
  • Rodgers
  • Smith

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[5]

  • Diana Ross – vocals, executive producer
  • Christopher Max – backing vocals, synth programming
  • Curtis King – backing vocals
  • Dennis Collins – backing vocals
  • Fonzi Thornton – backing vocals
  • Lazet Michaels – backing vocals
  • Peggy Taft – backing vocals
  • Nile Rodgers – producer
  • Andres Levin – synth programming
  • Greg Smith – synth programming, mixing
  • Richard Hilton – synth programming, engineer
  • Herb Ritts – photography
  • Sue Reilly – art direction, design
  • Budd Tunick – coordinator
  • Rene Bell – coordinator
  • Tom Durack – engineer, mixing
  • Keith Freedman – engineer, mixing
  • Patrick Dillett – engineer
  • David Michael Dill – engineer
  • Paul Wertheimer – engineer
  • Ed Brooks – engineer
  • Karen Bohanon – engineer
  • Katherine Miller – engineer
  • Paul Angelli – engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Frank Cardello – mixing


Chart (1989) Peak
Australia (ARIA Charts)[6] 85
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[7] 43
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[8] 64
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[9] 22
UK Albums (OCC)[10] 23
US Billboard 200[11] 116


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 60,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Brown, Joe (August 13, 1989). "The Divas With the Die-Hard Fans". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  2. ^ Nathan, David. The Soulful Divas: Personal Portraits of Over a Dozen Divine Divas, from Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin & Diana Ross to Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston & Janet Jackson, Billboard Books, ISBN 9780823084302, Google Book Search, 1999.
  3. ^ a b c Wynn, Ron. "Workin' Overtime - Diana Ross", AllMusic, All Media Network. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Workin' Overtime > review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  5. ^ a b Workin' Overtime (liner notes). Diana Ross. Motown. 1989. MOT-6274.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  7. ^ " – Diana Ross – Eaten Alive" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  8. ^ " – Diana Ross – Eaten Alive" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  9. ^ " – Diana Ross – Eaten Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  10. ^ "Diana Ross | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  11. ^ "Diana Ross Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  12. ^ "British album certifications – Diana Ross – Workin' Overtime". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Workin' Overtime in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]