In 1979 Diana Ross came out with The Boss. For this album, she teamed up with Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, yet again, to create one of the most successful records of her career. Her first solo effort to be certified gold. The songs she came up with represent a mix of r&b, disco, and soul. Some are fantastic. Some, not so much.
Here are The Boss tracks ranked from worst to best…
8. I’m in the World
This song does not belong in the world. IITW is the last track and you can see why it was buried there. I believe it’s supposed to be a powerful anthemic ballad about being strong in the face of adversity. At least that was the goal. But the execution is a meandering mess. Bad lyrics, sleepy melody, and absolutely no hook. Just a repetition of the title. The one saving grace is Diana’s vocal. It’s quite beautiful. If only the song was worthy of her.
7. All for One
This is a small step up from I’m in the World. Very small. The song is slightly more entertaining. But it ends up being the poor man’s version of “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” none the less. We’re all in this together, love your brother, a house divided can’t stand. Insert your cliché of choice, this song has it. But a bunch of mashed up sayings don’t add up to something I’d want to listen to more than once.
How funny that Diana would have a song that shares its name with a movie that was widely believed to be a takeoff of her life with the Supremes. If only the song had such drama. Instead it’s a dull ballad about a man that came into her life and put the sparkle back in her smile. But then he leaves her. Is the message that it’s better to have loved and lost? Eh. Who cares? At least there’s a nice jazzy saxophone break.
5. Once in the Morning
Diana needs loving twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. Alright then. This song is the love child (I did that intentionally) of Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” and “I Need Love”. That’s not a good thing. Diana should be herself, not Donna. But, if you’re going to imitate Donna, at least do it well. A basic disco song is not the way to go.
4. I Ain’t Been Licked
Unintentionally funny title aside, this is a pretty good song. An anthem done right for once on this album. She lost her love and everyone expected her to fall apart, but she rose above it all. And she’ll keep rising. She’s a prizefighter who won’t let anyone take her down. I love the strong tone of this song. Big points for the background singers on the chorus. It’s like she has an army behind her.
3. No One Gets the Prize
In this one, Diana and her best friend have a falling out over a man. First of all, what fool would compete with Miss Ross? She’s a winner baby! But actually, nobody gets the prize because the guy drops them both. He was probably tired of all the lies and dirt they were throwing at each other in order to catch him. So, Diana lost her man and her best friend. But she still has a funky track to dance to.
2. It’s My House
This comes in at a very close second to the top song on my list. It’s one of my favorites of Diana’s, period. This is the song you play after you get home from the club. You’ve danced your ass off, but you still want to move a little. I love how playful the vibe is here. She coos about her house of love and how not everyone is invited. You gotta follow the rules to ger her. Who knew that describing home ownership could be so sexy?
1. The Boss
Of course, this song is number one. It’s The Boss after all. Diana thought she had everything figured out about love. But the joke’s on her after love shows her who’s the boss. A lot of people can relate to this one. You think you’re in control and then someone flips the script. But it’s a good thing because you found love after all. Letting go of control is a good thing. Letting go while dancing it out to this unforgettable disco song is even better.
** SIDE NOTE**
If you want more Diana Ross/1979 amazingness, I suggest you take a look at her Caesars Palace concert from that year. You can find the whole show on YouTube. It has everything you want. Impressive vocals, joyful energy, that glowing smile, and a skintight shiny jumpsuit that only a Boss could wear! Ohhh!