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The Supremes Band

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by cshadows2887, May 15, 2016.

  1. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter


    The Supremes were an American female singing group and the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as the Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and are, to date, America's most successful vocal group with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Most of these hits were written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland–Dozier–Holland. At their peak in the mid-1960s, the Supremes rivaled the Beatles in worldwide popularity, and it is said that their success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul musicians to find mainstream success.
  2. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    The Supremes

    The Queens of Motown were as dominant and successful a hit factory as any group or artist of the early 1960s, landing an amazing 12 songs at #1 on the Billboard charts. Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson started together in the same housing project in Detroit and climbed their way to the peak of the music industry. Their glamor, style and string of timeless classic songs are iconic elements of the peak of ‘60s culture. Dig beyond just the hits, and you’ll find the pinnacle of what the well-oiled Motown machine could achieve.

    Recommended Listen:
    Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland

    Crash Course:
    1. Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland
    2. I Hear a Symphony
    3. Where Did Our Love Go

    Compilation Replacement:

    Signature Songs:
    1. “Where Did Our Love Go”
    2. “You Can’t Hurry Love”
    3. “Stop! In the Name of Love”
    4. “You Keep Me Hanging On”
    5. “I Hear a Symphony”

    Personal Note:
    I’m not very familiar with their work post-Ross, so there might be some gems there to discover. The signature songs could very easily be 5 completely different songs, as they had so many essential singles, but “Someday We’ll Be Together” and their version of “This Old Heart of Mine” jump to mind as favorites you might not have heard a thousand times.
    Jake Z likes this.
  3. iCarly Rae Jepsen

    run away with me Platinum

    Come See About Me is such a beautiful song
    bd007h likes this.
  4. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Awesome! I've only heard Sings Motown, which is lovely, so well keen to explore more.
  5. Jeff

    Regular Prestigious

    Been super into my Motown over the past year. Haven't digested many full albums, but I've got a few comps that I spin pretty regularly, and The Supremes are definitely present. "Baby Love" is one of the all time "dance around while swiffering your living room" jams.

    And I will also throw out that between Vanilla Fudge's cover of "Keep Me Hangin' On," and the Afghan Whigs' cover of "Come See About Me," this group has provided insanely coverable material.
  6. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Having a scroll through this discography, I see they have an album called We Remember Sam Cooke, which is 100% up my street, so I put that on. It's full of his biggest hits, You Send Me, Wonderful World, Chain Gang, Bring It on Home To Me, A Change is Gonna Come etc. No deep cuts here.

    They lose a bit of the swagger of the Cooke versions, they are all very "nicely" arranged and sung, with any of the edges smoothed over. However, if that's your thing, they definitely do some good interpretations of his songs, with some great harmonies as you'd expect from The Supremes. I wouldn't describe it as essential by any means, but considering how good the tracklist is, it's still a pleasant listen, with some nice re-interpretations. The more upbeat, swinging tracks like Chain Gang, or Having A Party are probably my favourites, over the more ballad-y tracks. Definitely playing it safe though, and there's nothing on here that's better than Cooke's versions.
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  7. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Listened to A Bit of Liverpool. Probably the least exceptional release I've heard from them. It's just a little uninspired. The Funk Brothers didn't seem to find too many ways to reinterpret the songs. But it does have its moments. Their version of "You Really Got a Hold On Me" is a major highlight. And they bring a nice swingin' '60s vibe to the Beatles covers, in particular "You Can't Do That". An album of modest pleasures.
  8. Steve_JustAGuy


    Been on a Motown kick recently, so this is right up my alley.
  9. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I love your willingness to dig out a random album of theirs out of nowhere. Just hope if you hit a so-so one, it doesn't discourage you from hearing something like I Hear a Symphony.
  10. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    No chance of being discouraged! I was in training all day at work, so could only squeeze one in today. I'll definitely be planning on checking out the crash course later on in the week. From the fairly little I've heard of them, I know I'm going to be a big fan.

    The Sam Cooke album was fine, I love pretty much all of those songs anyway, so it was still an enjoyable listen. Just not as good as I know they can be!
  11. TheWater(s)

    Kiss The Sky Prestigious

    I feel like a bad friend to @cshadows2887 if I don't at least listen to the recommended album each week. So I have Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland on right now. Excellent thus far.
  12. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I should maybe feel bad to have instilled this Pavlovian response of guilt...but I don't.

    Nice. I felt that way about A Bit of Liverpool, too. Fine, enjoyable, they can do better. I have a sneaking suspicion you'd dig The Supremes A-Go-Go if you can find it, but it's oddly missing from Spotify
  13. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    I Hear A symphony is great. The string arrangements throughout the album are beautiful, particularly on the opening track, Stranger in Paradise, which shows they were capable of so much more than the standard Motown soul stuff. However, they still absolutely crush that, as shown on the title track, or He's All I Got and My World is Empty Without You. As I come to expect, Diana Ross' vocals are phenomenal, with the other two pitching in perfectly to harmonise.

    The song selection is great, with covers of The Beatle's Yesterday and Unchained Melody being the two stand-outs. I think it maybe could do with a bit of a "pick-me-up" in terms of energy, and I think Sings Motown is definitely a better album, but it shows their versatility, and their slower more delicate side. Really great stuff.
  14. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    First time with Love Child. If I were to make the OP again, this would replace Where Did Our Love Go, no question. Sometimes my lack of knowledge is going to let everyone down, and this is one of those times.

    The touches of the late 60s sound really good on them, especially as their attempt to step into more socially-conscious music. It's also nice to hear them stepping outside the box of what Holland-Dozier-Holland (geniuses that they were) did. The title track is obviously a classic, but they sound fantastic doing Ashford-Simpson, too, on "Keep and Eye". While "How Long Has That Evening Train Been Going On" has a bit of a reputation among fans, it's definitely a bit underrated, and shows Diana Ross could hang with Gladys Knight in her own sound, if that was what The Supremes had chosen to focus on.

    "Does Your Mama Know About Me" not only barely even sounds like Ross, it's a really affecting song about an interracial relationship back when that had serious stakes.

    As talented as Florence Ballard was, she never really was allowed to have the kind of impact on the group that she was capable of, so her replacement with Cindy Birdsong ends up not being particularly momentous in terms of the vocal sound.
  15. Ben

    Trusted Prestigious

    Finally getting around to this. Holland-Dozier-Holland was a great listen! You Keep Me Hangin' On is such a great song, I'd heard it many times before but didn't know it was The Supremes. That's honestly been the best part about this feature, is that it seems every week I find a great song that I've heard before but never really knew who it was.
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  16. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I love so much of what I've heard from The Supremes, but that song is my favorite for sure
  17. Steve_JustAGuy


    These threads are consistently the best of the forum.
    ChiliTacos likes this.
  18. Wharf Rat

    I know a little something you won't ever know Prestigious

    I forgot about this, love child is my fav, gonna post more tmrw hopefully
  19. George May 23, 2016
    (Last edited: May 23, 2016)

    Trusted Prestigious

    Decided to follow Chris' advice, and listened to Love Child. It's a bit different from their usual stuff, a bit more mature and "adult", with some socio-political themes scattered throughout. I knew the title track, which is an all time classic.

    I see that at this point, they were known as Diana Ross and The Supremes, as opposed to just The Supremes, and Ross does have an even larger than usual presence on this album. There are still some great vocal harmonies and moments from the others, but Ross is clearly at the forefront of this record. However, I'll Set You Free might be the best I've ever heard them working as a vocal group.

    The more ambitious and subtle songwriting definitely suits them, particularly on delicate and reserved moments like Keep an Eye, it's good to hear that sort of thing from them. I also like the funky and horn-filled tracks like Sunny Boy, and You've Been So Wonderful to me. The tracklisting and song-writers involved are great too, the Ashford / Simpson duo is dynamite, but there's tracks on here penned by George Clinton and Smokey Robinson too that are great.

    They're never really a group that you'd listen to for the lyrics, but there are some fantastic moments on here. Does Your Mama Know About Me, He's My Sunny Boy and How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone were the standouts on first listen through.

    This is probably my second favourite of the albums that I've heard of theirs, absolutely wonderful stuff.
  20. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Onto More Hits by The Supremes, which isn't a compilation, it's their 6th album from 1965. It contains Stop In The Name of Love and Back in Your Arms Again, both of which are classics, and the only two songs I knew beforehand.

    It's a very standard Supremes album, it's a Holland-Dozier-Holland album, so you know what you're getting; great sharp production, energetic and lively songs, and some strong harmonies. There's nothing here that is new for them, or showcases anything unexpected, but it's a really solid collection of songs, with some great highs, and absent of any low-points. It maybe doesn't hit the highs of Sings Motown, but it's a very good album nonetheless.

    Highlights were probably the two mentioned above, Honey Boy, with the wonderful and tuneful "mmmm, mmm mmms", or the lovely ballad, Whisper You Love Me Boy. There's not a lot I can say about this ha, it's everything you'd expect from them, and is just a great group of songs, but nothing I haven't heard before.
  21. ItsAndrew

    Prestigious Prestigious

    cshadows2887 likes this.
  22. Henry

    Moderator Moderator

    bumping these threads had me worried.