October 15, 1984 12:00 PM

Here goes:

Dear Diana,

Your picture on the outside of this album is scary. It makes you look like one of those West German postpunkers who do their hair with Krazy Glue. The music inside is much more restrained and tasteful, thank goodness. Your tribute to the late Marvin Gaye in the Lionel Richie song Missing You is all the more moving because it is not maudlin or sappy. Your version of the Bob Dylan song Forever Young is as classic in its way as country star Kitty Wells’ version was in hers. The revival of Rescue Me, the 1965 hit by Fontella Bass, has a gently self-mocking, grown-up Supremes tinge to it. Your duet with Julio Iglesias, All of You, seems more sensibly placed on your album than it did on his. Even the methodical Daryl Hall-Sara Allen rocker Swept Away has its moments, thanks partly to Jeff Beck’s solo guitar work. Anyway, it’s nice to hear you sounding in such good voice and to know that your Central Park concert didn’t have any bad aftereffects.

Sincerely, Ralph Novak

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