Saturday, September 6, 1980

Diana Ross hit #1 with “Upside Down”

Upside Down

Diana Ross

Writer(s): Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 12, 1980

Peak: 14 US, 13 CB, 12 HR, 11 RR, 18 AC, 14 RB, 2 UK, 5 CN, 14 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.51 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 41.40 video, 196.97 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

It had been four years since Diana Ross hit the top 10, much less #1, with 1976’s “Love Hangover.” Even though disco was waning, she turned to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards to write, produce, and play on her 1980 album Diana. With Chic, they took “Le Freak” and “Good Times” to the top of the charts. They’d also written and produced “We Are Family” for Sister Sledge. Rodgers said, “Diana Ross was the first big start we ever worked with and we took it very seriously…We took a more personal approach.” RC

Initially Ross “sounded more like a guest star on a Chic album than the center of attention on her own LP.” FB She remixed the tracks, bringing her vocals more to the front. It paid off, giving Ross the biggest album of her career and her longest-running U.S. #1 song as a solo artist with “Upside Down.” It also topped the charts in Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

According to Rodgers, the song was “inspired by Ross’ desire to experiment with her career and have some fun.” SF Lyrically, the song is about “sticking with a cheating lover because he keeps their romance exciting, turning her emotions upside down and inside out.” SF “Another singer might’ve found pathos in those lyrics…but there’s a playfulness in the way Ross sings it…She’s horny and happy, and we can probably infer that she’s content to mess around on the side if the mood strikes her, too.” SG

Ross “understood how a beat could work…her timing is impeccable. The hesitation in her delivery on the chours, the way she waits just a second to deliver every syllable of the title – it’s incredible. She dips in and out of the groove with an effortless grace, riding the beat effortlessly.” SG


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First posted 11/29/2021; last updated 4/17/2024.

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