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Music: Lady Sings The Blues 1972 Soundtrack – Diana Ross

The year 1972 is dear to my heart, it was the year of my birth and the year an excellent movie and soundtrack was created. I heard this CD again this week after a long time. I must say this CD still stands the test of time, even after 40 years. Diana Ross is to be commended for her superb interpretations of these Billie Holiday standards — all classics. It must have seem daunting for Diana Ross to tackle the role of Billie Holiday in “Lady Sings the Blues”. True, the movie took many knocks for sensationalizing the seedier aspects of Billie’s drug use and promiscuity, but no one can knock Diana’s performance in that movie.

Lady Sings The Blues 01

My only quibble with this soundtrack is that Berry Gordy decided to instill snippets from the movie’s dialogue into the soundtrack, which seems jarring when listening to the entire CD. But this is a soundtrack CD after all, so I guess Berry Gordy and Motown wanted it to be as authentic as it could.

All the songs are standouts, but Ms. Ross really shines in “Good Morning Heartache” (Motown released this as a single back in 1972) and probably her finest track “God Bless the Child”. This is no mean feat since those songs are forever identified with Lady Day, but Diana manages to instill her own character into the song without robbing its essence. Certainly very, very praiseworthy.

Lady Sings The Blues 02

Ms. Ross also was in great voice during this period as a recording artist. Having gone solo a few years earlier from the Supremes, her voice is warm and supple with just the right amount of lilt, which makes interpreting these Lady Day classics a bonus to hear. Again, much praise indeed to “Lady Diana” for a great singing and acting job.

These are the type of recordings where you’ll want to get your favorite cigar and drink sit back to enjoy such jewels as “Mean To Me”, “Fine And Mellow”, “You’ve Changed”, “Don’t Explain”, “God Bless The Child” (And others). For the most part you’ll get to explore one of Diana Ross’ most successful attempts at blues & jazz. Since that time she revisited this Genre several times.

Lady Sings The Blues remains one of Diana Ross’ most accomplished pieces of work and was a major triumph in her career showcasing her unlimited talents. Highly Recommended – both soundtrack and the movie itself!

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