“Chain Reaction” by Diana Ross

The simplest way of describing the “chain reaction” Miss Ross is referring to is as it being a metaphor for falling in love. And whereas we have yet to do much research on Diana’s artistry, what we do know is that, compared to many of today’s female singers for instance, she’s more akin to a class act.

So yes, the second verse of this song especially features some pretty strong sexual innuendos. But all lyrics considered, this isn’t what we would classify as a sex song. Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, it can be said that the reason Ross was classier is because she comes from a more-conservative era. 

So despite the aforenoted innuendos, this doesn’t appear to be the type of song that has generated any type of controversy or censorship when it came out in the 1980s, at a time when the music industry was more under a microscope than it is now.

But that said, there is more to the lyrics than a desire to get it on with the addressee. The first verse in particular reads more like a narrative than a statement of passion. And as implied, before the addressee popped up on the scene, the vocalist was suffering from loneliness. 

Moreover, she doesn’t particularly come off as the type who’s privy to entertaining strangers, i.e. random romantic interests. But he has done things right, making Diana feel special, loved and wanting to know him better. So those are the sentiments which set off the “chain reaction”. And the vocalist is in the process of now, ideally getting to the point where she’s comfortable enough to receive the addressee in her bed.

Takeaway

In all, “Chain Reaction” can be referred to as a proper love song, albeit one with sex-related lingo.

Diana Ross' "Chain Reaction" Lyrics

Release of “Chain Reaction”

“Chain Reaction”, which was released on 28 November 1985, actually marks Diana Ross’s most-recent major hit to date. Miss Ross’s heyday as a soloist harps back to the early 1970s and into the mid-1980s, whereas during most of that time she was down with Motown. 

Prior to that she was the star of a girl group called The Supremes who were also signed to the same label. So as history would have it, Ross is actually the most-notable female artist to have ever come from the legendary Motown Records.

This song is from a project Diana Ross dropped through RCA Records called “Eaten Alive”. The title track of the album also proved to be a notable hit but no so much as “Chain Reaction”. 

The latter actually topped the UK Singles Chart, in addition to replicating the feat on the Irish Singles Chart and Kent Music Report. It also achieved gold status across the pond, in addition to receiving an Ivor Novello Award (Most Performed Song) in 1986. 

Even though this track wasn’t a major chart success in the US, which is Ross’s homeland, it did appear on four different Billboard charts, most notably breaking the top 10 of the Dance Club Songs listing.

Chain Reaction

More Facts about “Chain Reaction”

In 2001, “Chain Reaction” was covered by a British pop group known as Steps and once again performed exceptionally well in the United Kingdom. As alluded to earlier, even though Diana Ross enjoys permanent A list status, she hasn’t really been in the spotlight for decades. 

In fact as of the turn of the century her daughter, actor Tracee Ellis Ross, has arguably generated more headlines. So when in mid-2022 Miss Ross was enlisted to sing “Chain Reaction” as part of the Platinum Jubilee (i.e. celebration of Queen Elizabeth II being on the throne for 70 years), many Britons were erroneously under the impression that she was rather covering a song originally dropped by Steps.

The writers of this piece are as follows:

  • Barry Gibb
  • Maurice Gibb (1949-2003)
  • Robin Gibb (1949-2012)

Some readers would recognize the songwriters as being the trio which made up Bee Gees, one of the most-successful music acts of the 1970s. And it has been noted that this song was written specifically with Diana Ross in mind.

Furthermore, the trio (i.e. Bee Gees) also provided backing vocals on this classic.

Barry Gibb also served as the producer of this track, alongside regular collaborators Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson.

The director of this track’s music video is one David Mallet.

Ross’ “Eaten Alive” Album

“Eaten Alive” is an album by Diana Ross which was officially released on the 24th of September, 1985 as her 16th studio album.

It shares the same name with its debut single, “Eaten Alive”, released on September 1 of 1984 and listed as its first track.

“Eaten Alive” was co-produced by one of pop music’s finest, Michael Jackson, who happened to be close friends with Diana. Michael worked with a British-American record production group known as Gibb-Galuten-Richardson in producing the album. The said group consisted of Karl Richardson, an American sound engineer, Barry Gibb, a founding member of the British band, Bee Gees and Albhy Galuten, an American singer cum songwriter.

Sony Music’s RCA Records was responsible for the official release of “Eaten Alive”.

The album peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard 200 in the United States and No. 11 on UK’s OCC. Its performance was however more impressive in these countries:

  • Netherlands – 8
  • Norway – 9
  • Sweden – 3
  • Switzerland – 10

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Maurice Gibb is going to die in 2033? Hmm ok.

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