Motown/Universal Music EnterprisesA previously unreleased companion album to the 1978 film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical The Wiz, featuring Wiz star Diana Ross taking on all of the production’s roles, will be released as a digital download this Friday, November 27. Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz originally was scheduled to come out on Motown Records in January 1979, after the film debuted in theaters in October ’78, but the label decided against issuing the record at that time.

At the request of Motown, Ross recorded the solo project at a Los Angeles studio with producer/arranger Lee Holdridge, who previously had worked with Diana on the 1975 movie Mahogany. The record originally was meant to complement The Wiz‘s film soundtrack, which was produced by Quincy Jones and the famed songwriting duo of Ashford & Simpson.

For Sings Songs from The Wiz, Ross not only recreated the parts she sang as Dorothy, but those of Michael Jackson‘s Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell‘s Tin Man, Ted Ross‘ Cowardly Lion and more. Among the tunes on the album are a solo version of her hit duet with Jackson, “Ease on Down the Road,” and the Luther Vandross-written tune “A Brand New Day (Everybody Rejoice).”

Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz also features “Wonder Wonder Why,” a tune written for the original stage production but removed from the show before it opened, and “Is This What Feeling Gets?,” a song penned by Ashford & Simpson and Jones that was included on the movie’s soundtrack but did not appear in the film. The only previously available track on the new album is Ross’ rendition of “Home,” which appeared on her 2001 Motown Anthology compilation.

The digital release of Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz arrives less than a week before the premiere of a new television production of The Wiz, which NBC will air live on December 3 at 8 p.m. ET. The event will features performances by such stars as Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Ne Yo and Common, as well as by newcomer Shanice Williams, who portrays Dorothy.

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