On this day in music history: September 13, 19…

On this day in music history: September 13, 1984 – “Swept Away”, the fourteenth studio album by Diana Ross is released. Produced by Diana Ross, Arthur Baker, Daryl Hall, Lionel Richie, James Anthony Carmichael, Bernard Edwards, Richard Perry and Ramón Arcusa, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City, Studio 55 and Ocean Way Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA from Early – Mid 1984. Largely self-producing her first three RCA albums, Diana Ross decides to bring in additional assistance when her 1983 album “Ross” is a disappointment. The superstar works with top producers including Bernard Edwards, Lionel Richie and Richard Perry. With dance music having returned to its full commercial zenith during the 80’s, Ross seeks out one of the innovators of the genre, hiring DJ and producer Arthur Baker. Producing and remixing a string of classic club and hip hop records, Baker gives the diva’s fourth RCA album an immediate jolt. Also working with label mates Daryl Hall & John Oates on their album “Big Bam Boom” at the same time, he asks Hall to write a song for Diana. Co-written with girlfriend Sara Allen (with a dramatic spoken intro written by Ross), Daryl comes back with the scintillating “Swept Away” (#3 R&B, #19 Pop, #1 Club Play). The track which also features Daryl Hall on backing vocals, becomes a break out smash. It is given another electrifying twist, when Baker remixes it for release as a 12" single. The dance mix of “Swept Away” features edits by Albert Cabrera and Tony Moran, better known as “The Latin Rascals”. Originally mix show DJ’s on New York radio stations WKTU and 98.7 Kiss-FM, the pair create cutting edge mega mixes, accented with their trademark “bullet editing”. Prior to sampling and Pro-tools technology, they painstakingly cut up drum beats and vocal phrases into ¼, 1/8, and 1/16 notes on tape with a razor blade and editing block. Having employed this technique on records for artists like Shannon, Afrika Bambataa and others, it turns Ross’ track into a cutting edge dance floor epic. The album also features a duet with Latin pop star Julio Iglesias on the single “All Of You” (#2 AC, #19 Pop, #38 R&B), and the ballad “Missing You” (#1 R&B, #10 Pop, #4 AC) written and co-produced by Lionel Richie. It spins off a fourth and final single with “Telephone” (#13 R&B) in the Spring of 1985. “Swept Away” restores Ross to the airwaves, marking the peak of her commercial success in the 80’s. Released on CD, at the time of its original release, the album is remastered and reissued as an expanded two disc deluxe edition by Funky Town Grooves Records in 2014. The first disc contains the original ten track album, with the second featuring nine additional tracks, including the 7" edits and 12" dance mixes of the singles. “Swept Away” peaks at number seven on the Billboard R&B album chart, number twenty six on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.