“It’s my day…”
1999’s Every Day Is A New Day is an important addition to Diana Ross’s discography for many reasons. Thematically, it’s an unusual entry; fans refer to it as Diana’s “divorce album,” since the diva was dealing with the dissolution of her second marriage during the recording. It would also become the final Motown studio album of Diana’s legendary career, something nobody would have expected when it was released. Despite lagging sales in the United States, it seemed impossible to believe Diana would ever be dropped from the label with which she is so closely identified; however, within a few years, she was. That said, there was no doubt that the label wasn’t supporting Diana the way fans wanted; not one single was officially released from the album in the US, a sure sign that something was wrong.
While there were no official releases at home, dance clubs picked up the remix of “Until We Meet Again” and carried it to #2 on Billboard’s Dance Music/Club Play chart. Meanwhile, radio stations were sent a promotional single of the album’s title song, a three-track CD that included two mixes of “Every Day Is A New Day” and a “call out hook” — basically a 15 second snippet for radio DJ’s to talk over. The album version of “Every Day Is A New Day” runs 5:56 and is the longest song on the album; it is a rich, dynamic piece of neo-soul/jazz that really takes its time. As I wrote in my post about the album, “Diana Ross is in relaxed voice, displaying some of the most confident vocals of her career; the song’s key perfectly suits both the deeper end of her range and her upper, breathy range, and it allows her to display both impressively.”
Because the song is so relaxed and lengthy, it’s not a surprise that radio would get a shortened version to consider for airplay. What makes this promo CD so special, though, is that it features a somewhat different vocal (and spoken section!) from Diana Ross on the “Radio Mix” — something many fans would be completely unaware existed. Because Motown didn’t push the single, radio stations didn’t play it…thus, this interesting alternate version of the song was lost. It’s not a radically different interpretation; casual listeners might not even hear the differences. But for fans, it’s a notable find.
1. Radio Mix: Running 3:53, this is a far shorter version of “Every Day Is A New Day,” and Diana’s vocal here is arranged differently from that of the album recording. This mix begins immediately with the popping bassline, something that doesn’t happen until 50 seconds into the album version. Diana ad-libs a bit over the opening chorus, adding a few jazzy flourishes that are new; this is also the case as the chorus is repeated through the song. The biggest surprise in the song, though, comes toward the end, with the appearance of a full spoken section by Diana. In a breathy voice, she purrs, “Every day is a new day…you see, I’m gonna be alright on my own. You don’t wanna talk anymore? It’s okay…it’s mine…’cause every day is a new day…it’s my day.” There’s an improvised, confessional sound to this section; it really adds a more personal touch to what already seems like a personal song, and it’s puzzling that it was cut from the longer version on the album.
2. Radio Edit: This version runs 4:12, and is a shortened version of the one that appears on the album, with the full extended instrumental intro. Strangely, although it’s longer than the “Radio Mix” — it does not include the spoken part!
3. Call Out Hook: As mentioned before, this is a 15-second song snippet for DJ use.
Again, the differences here aren’t major ones; the spoken section on the “Radio Mix” doesn’t radically change the song, nor do Diana’s different ad-libs. But the fact that this promo CD exists does continue to raise questions about Motown’s handling of Diana’s career in the 90s. Why did Motown bother producing different mixes of the song and sending it to stations at all? Did the label ever seriously consider its release? Was Diana pushing for the song to be released? Whatever the case, it’s always tempting to wonder what if. Had “Every Day Is A New Day” managed to procure some R&B airplay, perhaps the fate of the album and Diana’s contract with Motown would have been much different.