CHAIN REACTION (Diana Ross song)

Chain Reaction (Diana Ross song)

Released 28 November 1985 (US) / 13 February 1986 (UK)
Format Vinyl (7″ & 12″)
Recorded 1985
Contemporary R&B dance pop
Length 3:49
Label RCA Records, Capitol in the UK
Writer(s) Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Producer(s) Gibb-Galuten-Richardson

“Chain Reaction” is a melodic R&B song, sung by Diana Ross, and written by the Bee Gees, who also provided the backing vocals for the single. The track was released on Ross’s 1985 album Eaten Alive, and as a single twice – in 1985 and again in 1986.

According to the Gibbs biography, the brothers had initial reservations about offering the song to Ross in case it was too Motown-like for her.

The single became Diana’s second No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart. The song also hit No. 1 in Australia and was the top selling single of the year (1986) in that country, also reaching the top of the charts in Ireland and Zimbabwe. In New Zealand, it peaked at No. 3 and also made the top 5 in South Africa. In 1993, the song broke the UK top 20 again (also breaking the top 40 in Ireland and France) when it was re-released to commemorate her 30th anniversary in show business.

The song fared poorly in the US, where it initially peaked at a disappointing No. 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 late in 1985. A few months later, a remixed version of the song was issued as a single (Ross performed this version of the song on the American Music Awards, which she hosted that year). The new version re-entered the chart and performed better, but with the diminished momentum, it stalled at No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 77 on Cash Box. More than thirty years later, the song remains Diana Ross’s final appearance on both charts.