This two-disc import set contains over three dozen tracks spanning Diana Ross' contributions as both a member of the Supremes and a solo artist. While CD racks are replete with compilations featuring the seminal Motown diva, Ultimate Diana (1999) seemingly bests a majority of these, not only on the strength of the tune stack, but also as a primer to her entire three-plus decade career. As the title suggests, this collection successfully gathers major singles and even a few well-placed catalogue tracks -- such as the cover of the Beatles' "Hard Day's Night" (from the Supremes) and Sam Cooke's "You Send Me." Also included is one of the vocalists most memorable duets with Marvin Gaye on "My Mistake (Was To Love You)" from the highly recommended Diana & Marvin (1973) platter. However, the real selling point for both the casual and the well-season listener is a lengthy list of hits ranging from early tracks such as "You Can't Hurry Love" to the later sides "Upside Down," The "Boss" and the seminal soundtrack inclusions "It's My Turn" and "Endless Love" -- the latter of which also features vocals from Lionel Richie. Rather than gathering the material in a strictly chronological fashion, Ultimate Diana turns the tables by offering the material beginning with the most recent and journeying through the past. Thanks to the mid-to-late '90s remastering of Motown material, the sound presented on this collection is exceptional -- rivalling that of most domestic reissues from the same era. Granted this title does not definitively corral what many die-hard Ross enthusiasts might consider as essential. However, without reservation and as a thorough career overview, the two-plus hours of music included on this double disc set indeed feature the Ultimate Diana Ross.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer
Track Listing - Disc 1
feat: Lionel Richie
Track Listing - Disc 2