Both with and without The Supremes, Diana Ross gave the world some of the most famous pop songs of all time. Ross thinks she made some perfect songs. During an interview, someone asked her to name the perfect pop songs and she named tracks by The Supremes as well as tracks from her solo career. Here’s what she had to say — and how the public reacted to the songs.
Diana Ross liked the sounds and messages of these songs
During a 1997 interview, Rolling Stone’s Jill Hamilton asked Ross to name the perfect pop song. Ross gave several answers. “I like songs that are positive and say something inspirational and make a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “Songs like ‘Reach Out and Touch,’ ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’’’
Afterward, Ross explained the sort of sounds she liked. “I like songs with a melodic sound – something you can sing in the shower,” she revealed. “A lot of the Motown records had this, especially in the early days. They really connected with your brain and they stuck there.”
Subsequently, Ross discussed the songs she enjoyed because they had good messages. “‘It’s My Turn’ made such a big difference at a time when women needed to make a stand for themselves,” she opined. “‘I’m Coming Out’ is still one of those messages, whether it’s for gays or whether it’s for women. When we wrote that song, [producer] Nile Rodgers came to me and said, ‘What do you want to sing about right now?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know. I’m just coming out and everything’s upside down.’ And that’s how the songs came about – ‘Upside Down’ and ‘I’m Coming Out.’”
Did Diana Ross praise more of The Supremes’ songs or her solo songs?
Judging from Ross’ comments, she seemed to refer her own discography to The Supremes’ discography. Of the songs she mentioned, “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” “It’s My Turn,” “I’m Coming Out,” and “Upside Down” were from her solo career. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was the only song on her list that The Supremes recorded. Notably, she recorded a version of the song on her own. She didn’t mention if she preferred her version of the song, The Supremes’ version, the original by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, or one of the many other covers of the classic track.
How the public reacted to these songs
Ross was a fan of all of these songs. It seems the American public liked them as well. “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, “It’s My Turn” reached No. 9, and “I’m Coming Out” reached No. 5. Meanwhile, “Upside Down” and her version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” each reached No. 1. Ross considered these songs to be perfect — and they were apparently perfect for the pop charts.