Single Status Update
Just spotted Ian Buchanan in a truly bizarre Aretha Franklin video, alongside many other 80s celebs (including Whitney). I know Ms. Franklin watched the soaps and so will assume GH was one of her stories.
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No, the Arista years were not kind to the Queen. Mostly because the material was so inferior compared to what she had at Atlantic and even Columbia.
It was increasingly difficult by the 80's for older women to remain relevant in the MTV age. Tina Turner had success with the format during her Private Dancer comeback (and Cher would also later, but she had reinvented herself as a leading Hollywood actress by that point, which helped), but other than that, MTV wasn't exactly going to put Aretha in heavy rotation.
There were others, like Streisand, who didn't need the MTV format to remain successful (even with a few clunkers here and there), but Diana Ross, like Aretha, also suffered a career lull during this time.
IMO, Diana Ross suffered the same problem that Aretha did. She was no longer with the label that nurtured her talent the best, and the material that RCA gave her was subpar. It was no surprise, then, that Diana would return to Motown eventually -- but even by then, Motown was a far different place than what it had been during its heyday.