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GREATEST HITS ALBUM REVIEW
Diana Ross & The Supremes
Released - September 28, 2008, on Motown Records. Tracks 1 thru 14 produced by Brian Holland & Lamont Dozier; Tracks 15 and 16 produced by Frank Wilson, R. Dean Taylor, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards; Track 17 produced by Frank Wilson & Nickolas Ashford; Track 18 produced by Johnny Bristol.
Diana Ross - Lead Vocals on all tracks; plus Backing Vocals on other tracks
- Backing Vocals on tracks 1 thru 14 and 17
with The Andantes:
Marlene Barrow -
Backing Vocals on tracks 10, 15, 16
Instruments played by The Funk Brothers on tracks 1 thru 11 and 13 thru 18; Detroit Symphony Orchestra on track 17; other musicians not noted.
Tracks 1 thru 14 written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, along with Frank DeVol on Track 13; Track 15 written by Deke Richards, Pam Sawyer, R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson; Track 16 written by R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, Henry Cosby, Berry Gordy; Track 17 written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, Jerr Ross; Track 18 written by Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers, Harvey Fuqua
Diana Ross and The Supremes were the greatest of all the girl groups of the 1960's. Ross, along with Flo Ballard and Mary Wilson, would scored 12 number one singles, all of which are found on this greatest hits album. Diana Ross was the reason for their success, as she was born with one of those unique voices. The group was called "The Supremes" up until July 24, 1967, when the song "Reflections" was released with Ross's name upfront. It was also the last song that Ballard sang on with the group. She would be replaced by Cindy Birdsong in 1968, who appears on one song on this LP.
Of the twelve songs I rate a ten, I got four clear favorites: "Stop! In the Name of Love", which when released, was the fourth out of five number one hits in a row they would release in 1964-65, and the best of that super bunch. I recall it was something special the night The Supremes premeired the song on TV. Then "You Can't Hurry Love", this gem of a song, about motherly advice, was The Supremes' seventh number-one hit. On "Love Child", Ross sings her heart out, and even if today the lyrics to this song seem so dated (thank goodness for modern birth control), the song still sounds great. Finally, my all time favorite Supremes song, "Someday We'll Be Together", which like "Love Child" isn't really a true Supremes song, with Ross the only Supreme on these two songs (same deal for "I'm Livin' In Shame", too).
"Someday We'll Be Together" was actually recorded with the idea to make it Ross' first solo single, as she was already planning to leave the group at the time. Berry Gordy thought that "Someday" would be a perfect first solo single for Ross. So that's why Wilson and Birdsong aren't on the song. The song's composer, Johnny Bristol, who also produced the song, ended up being on there singing himself - by accident. He was providing Ross with a vocal guide, harmonizing with her as she sang the song, really just adlibbing what ever came to him to get her more into the song. Bristol's vocals weren't suppose to be recorded, but the studio's engineer accidentally did just that. When the song's arranger, Wade Marcus, heard Bristo's adlibs throughout the song, he liked the results and they were kept in there. When Berry Gordy heard the completed song, he changed his mind and decided to release the tune as the final Diana Ross & the Supremes song. The title and lyrics were perfect for a swan song, and it went on to become The Supremes final number one single.
One other interesting song on the LP to note is "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me", one of many songs they did with The Temptations. Of all those other songs the two groups recorded together, this soul number was the best of the bunch, and showed the two super groups blended well together.
Really, all the songs on here are great and bring back happy memories for me of the '60s. From their first two number one singles that kick off the CD, "Where Did Our Love Go" and Baby Love", to "Someday We'll Be Together" (to bad that would never be the case for the group), you got one excellent album to listen to and enjoy!
- Keno 2011
To listen to some soundclips from The Definitive Collection or to purchase it, click on: The Definitive Collection
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