Come See About Me. Probably my personal favorite Supremes song because it's very "early Supremes" but has a little more punch than their more repetitive songs of the same year (1964): 'Baby Love' or 'Where Did Our Love Go' which, to me, often seem interchangeable.
Nathan Jones. Part of the later Supremes list of hits (1971) this song doesn't have the same 'trying to be psychedelic' elements other songs like "Love Child" and "Stoned Love" or display. I like it better for that reason. Mainly, I just like it because all pieces considered - the driving beat, the melody, harmonies, lyrics about a woman telling a guy he's been incommunicado just too long to win her back - combine for a great song. It's like the women singing "Keep Me Hanging On" came back with a badder attitude.
Reflections. A mid-career hit (1967). This song about not being able to let go of lost love is filled with traditional Motown love song lyrics "all the love that I wasted/all the tears I've tasted" but also has some nice metaphors about how life's a "distorted reality" without that person who's gone. Gained additional fame with a new generation as a anthem to the turmoil and lost innocence of the 60s when it was used as a theme to the Vietnam war TV drama "China Beach" in the 1980s
I Hear A Symphony. The title song of a 1966 album, this seems always seems a little more to me than the typical Holland-Dozier-Holland song. I don't know why, there's just more to the music going on under the lyrics. The tempo, the repeated key changes. It just moves around a little more than some other songs and I think accordingly it's a little prettier.
Up The Ladder To The Roof. The Supremes ushered in the 70s with this up-tempo romantic hit about getting closer to heaven. If you know what I mean. If it doesn't sound like it's Diana Ross singing lead, that's because it isn't. Miss Ross had left the group. In fact, the only original Supreme on the recording is Mary Wilson.
Someday, We'll Be Together. Speaking of Diana Ross' departure, this song was the last released with her in the group. She went on to have a successful solo career in the 70s-80s. And eventually, there were some tumultuous reunions where she and some of the other Supremes, including Wilson were together again. Usually, they didn't end well.
Love Child. As the 60s turned less bubble gum and more, well, 60s, Motown also made the transition. This Supremes song has Ross singing the lyrics of a young "love child" who refuses to create a love child of her own, knowing the poverty and pain such a child is in for. Interesting tidbit: Ross is the only Supreme to sing on this song.
Baby Love. One of the "early" Supremes hits, this song is somewhat quintessential for them, wouldn't you say? It's all about love, young love, "why must we separate my love." Short, with a killer hook, it has the songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland written all over it.
Where Did Our Love Go? This is another just classic. Supremes song courtesy of hit makers Holland-Dozier-Holland. You got the beat in the back, the young lost love lyrics. The guy wanted her, she went with him, now he wants out. That stinks. Try to sing it without eventually segueing into Baby Love, I dare you.
Stop In The Name of Love. This song is probably the top mimicked of all Supremes tunes; who can resist doing the 'stop' gesture? The song's a plea for some mercy, really, from a woman who's given her all to a guy who's cheating on her. I prefer the message of 'Nathan Jones' better, personally.
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Memorial Day Voices
Which Memorial Day family activity is your favorite?
- Check out the Motown boxset Hitsville for a great compliation of Motown tunes. Check out the Supremes on Wikipedia for their complete chart toppers list.
- The Supremes early hits included themes of love young and catchy hooks
- In the late 60s and 70s, the Supremes moved into the psychedelic era with songs like "Love Child"
- Holland-Dozier-Holland was the team behind most Supremes' hits