Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland

The Supremes: Going Down for the Third Time
The Supremes: You're Gone (But Always In My Heart)

From The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland (Motown, 1966)

Before there was Destiny's Child or them Dreamgirls, there were the Supremes.

In celebration of Motown 50th anniversary, I decided to dig up one of the better albums from the Supremes. The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland (also know as The Supremes Sing Motown), one of the group's last works together before H-D-H left Motown in 1967, finds Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard in comfortable territory singing to the tunes of their successful producers and song writers known as Holland-Dozier-Holland. The group worked on renditions of the Isley Brothers ("I Guess I'll Always Love You"), the Four Tops ("It's the Same Old Song," "I'll Turn to Stone") and Martha & the Vandellas ("Love Is Like a Heatwave"). While good to hear, none worked as good as the originals: "You Keep Me Hanging On" was a smash, "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone" was just as great and the bluesy, bossa noova tones of "You're Gone (But Always In My Heart)" are welcoming on their sweet voices.

One of my personal favorites, "Going Down for the Third Time," possessed a light Stax formula that brought up memories of Sam & Dave and Johnnie Taylor. With Ross providing strong energy to the meaty lyrics, the background vocals from the Supremes serenade the melody with precocious results. It could have easily have been just as popular as "Baby Love" and "Reflections" if released as a single.

On the back of the original 1966 album cover, Scott Regen mentioned that "besides Berry Gordy, Jr., who discovered The Supremes, the individuals most responsible for their phenomenal success are Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland. The producing and songwriting team of Holland, Dozier, Holland has produced all of the Supremes number one record hits."

More on Motown 50:
More on Motown:

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