4 December 2016, No. 219, Diana Ross, ‘Upside Down’

Excepting some Supremes stuff (because who doesn’t love that Motown sound?), No. 219, “Upside Down,” is my favorite Diana Ross song. I should look for (or make) an extended version or intro edit to add some kind of mixable just-drums thing to the beginning, since as it is it has only two beats of percussive guitar, I think that noise is. Rather than mixing in, it’s best just to slam the fader over on the one and let this one hit ’em full force.

There’s a video of Diana Ross inviting Michael Jackson onstage to perform this song with her. Jackson’s idolization of Ross is as evident in this video as his desire to use cosmetic surgery to make himself look more like her would become in later years.

“Round and round” never made much sense to me as a lyric alongside “upside down” and “inside out,” but now that I’m considering it, I suppose all three are phrases that work with the verb turn, as in, “Turn me upside down; turn me inside out; turn me round and round.”

Also, this song uses the word thee, which I find pretty hilarious in a disco number and which brings to mind a record I don’t have yet but know I need: Alec R. Costandinos and the Syncophonic Orchestra’s Romeo and Juliet LP. Once upon a time I borrowed a copy along with a big stack of other records, and for a month those records were the only things that kept me happy. Gwen McRae’s 1981 self-titled LP with “Funky Sensation” on it was another one. I need to track those records down and add the outstanding cuts to the new disco jams list. The Enigma Variations 2 2xLP was yet another from those stacks, featuring Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper making me feel at home with “Amsterdam Dog Shit Blues,” a couple Agent Orange tunes, Wire, Dead Milkmen, and even an SSQ song. “The Viper’s Drag / The Reefer Song” from the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ 2xLP—another standout from that little library I left behind. Couldn’t keep any of the records from that pile, unfortunately, but I oughta buy the ones I liked.

Anyway, that’s enough longing; linger long enough on the lacunae and miss the other 6,000 LPs. Back to Diana Ross: Give your love instinctively, and may you never find yourself upside down, inside out, or going round and round—unless you want to, in which case, cherish the moments and play the field.