First Hit #1: August 18, 1973
The ’70s were where the ballads started to see increasingly bad arrangement. Even Diana Ross isn’t immune, as Touch Me in the Morning is soiled by some unnecessary horns and chimes that threaten to take it straight to cheese-ville. Ross, however, manages to save it, mostly by pushing her ’60s tricks so hard that the song can’t help but follow. Spoken word segments, elaborate layering, and just the way Ross sings, she’s not quite compatible with arrangement that goes over the top and keeps bringing the song screaming back to reality. It doesn’t always work, and that makes the song sound like it’s fighting with itself, but I can’t help but think it could have gone right off the deep end without Ross singing it back to sanity.