Hands up: How many of you remember Aretha Franklin's disco album? Not many we guess. La Diva was the Queen of Soul's 25th LP and her last with Atlantic. A disco-oriented project with producer Van McCoy (the guy behind many of The Stylistics, and Peaches & Herb's hits), it was a commercial failure, peaking at #146 on the US Albums chart, the lowest charting album of Aretha's entire Atlantic Records catalogue.
Originally titled "I'm Gonna Be The Only Star Tonight Down At The Disco" and penned by Aretha Franklin, this La Diva track was originally offered to Nile Rodgers, but he turned it down. He told the story of what happened to Mojo magazine.
"We only had one meeting but she wanted to write the songs. And she played this song 'I'm Gonna Be The Only Star Tonight Down At The Disco,' because for some reason somebody had convinced Aretha Franklin that disco was so happening she had to do a disco record. And I told her point blank, there's no way I'm going down in history as the guy who wrote Aretha Franklin's disco hit, at least not that one."
Rodgers added: "I gotta tell you, that one meeting with her I don't think I ever experienced anything so beautiful in my life. Just sitting next to Aretha Franklin at the piano and have her sing. As much as I hated this song, it sounds I'd like an angel was singing in my ear."