"LOVE CHILD" Re-Packaged!
Steven Cross | USA | 07/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DIANA ROSS & The Supremes "Love Child" album has been re-issued on CD in a marvelous mini-cardboard sleeve! It's delightful musical content adds to the nostalgic artwork. Each detail duplicated exactly as originally released. This Japanese import is a wonderful collector's item and a Supreme treasure."
Love Child has a positive message...
G. Bradshaw III | Flint, MI USA | 03/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...in response to the "offensive" review - obviously the story of the song revolves around the thoughts of a girl not ready to be a mother based on what society will feel about her child and the way it will be treated...the end of the song states very clearly "I'll always love you...." it seems to me that the song covers the variety of emotions a young girl would experience going through this kind of situation...only someone who has never experienced it would be offended...or they're just conservatives who do not take the ENTIRE lyric in consideration.
Love Child is not my favorite Supremes record - not by any measure - but, I feel the message behind the song conveys a lot more than a simpleton view of wedlock = not worthy. I never read the song that way."
Excellent Early 1969 Studio Album
Ian Phillips | Bolton, Lancashire, UK | 07/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Love Child became Diana Ross and the Supremes eleventh chart-topper in late 1968. This song was actually something of a comeback for Ross and the Supremes as their previous singles Somethings You Never Get Used To and Forever Came Today didn't even manage to break into the Top 20 charts.
It's true that a lot of Motown acts suffered from the loss of the genius songwriting and production team Holland-Dozier-Holland. Holland-Dozier-Holland take credit for creating and defining that magical phenomenon that became commonly known as "The Motown sound - the sound of young America". Holland-Dozier-Holland had left Motown in early 1968 following a bitter dispute with head boss Berry Gordy over royalty payments (many other Motown acts also sued the company over back royalty payments as most felt they were exploited).
Anxious to keep the "motown sound" alive and thriving, Berry Gordy appointed some remarkably talented new in-house songwriters and producers with the cream of the crop including the likes of Ashford and Simpson, Norman Whitfield, Deke Richards, Frank Wilson to name but a few.
Love Child had been penned by Frank Wilson, Deke Richards and R.Dean Taylor (one of Motowns few white acts that scored hits with the classic There's A Ghost In My House and Gotta See Jane). This was Diana Ross and the Supremes first real contemporary musical offering that made any form of political statement and to explore relevant social issues of that of a baby born out of wedlock. Love Child was deemed controversial at the time though is tame by todays standards.
Love Child was perharps Ross and the Supremes most compelling and powerful recording. Ross puts in a power-house performance sounding untypically raw and earthy across the dramatic orchestrations thats given a sharp, soulful edge. Whilst hitting No.1 in the States it also enjoyed success in the U.K (renewing their popularity there where they had also struggled with their last two singles) where it became a Top 20 hit gliding in at No.15.
The Love Child album steers away from their earlier sound and if anything you could argue this does sound more like a showcase for Ross' talents (which was the case pretty much from their first hit and as neither Mary Wilson or Cindy Birdsong hardly appear on any of these tracks as backing duties were provided by The Andantes). This does lack the group-oriented sound of their earlier phenomenon but still its a credible album and showed The Supremes comfortably changing with the ever-changing musical tastes of the 1960s.
Motown had by now fully recognised the potential in albums being used as pieces of musical art and not just a mere dumping ground for routine "filler" (as mostly the case with studio albums by any Motown artist in the 60's with all acts covering each others hits).
Ashford and Simpsons Keep An Eye has a slow, mellow arrangement thats ignited by Ross' strikingly husky delivery. Keep An Eye tells the tale of betrayal, bitterness and paranoya and really has that urban feel which was the intentional tone of the album (one look at the front cover with Ross, Wilson and Birdsong sporting afro hairstyles, dressed in cut off jeans and sweatshirts standing somewhere down some isolated back alley in the heart of Detroit really conveys that this album was going to be pure street).
How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone continues the mellow mood where Ross lets go and puts in a strong, assertive performance which compliments the complex musical arrangements consisting of that pounding percussion and glorious saxophone interludes courtesy of Motowns legendary in-house band known as The Funk Brothers.
More reminiscent of their showbiz persona was their commendable take on Does Your Mama Know About Me where Ross' voice shines too full effect revealing the real depth and essence in her soft, unique voice whilst moe familiar but ultimately an unexpected highlight of the album is the totally infectious Honey Bee Keep On Stinging Me. This track really was more reminiscent of their earlier sound with a contemporary twist. Ross sings in an engaging lower throat register which proves quite effective for her unusual, unique sound.
Somethings You Never Get Used To was Ross and the Supremes first single since 1963 not to have been written and produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland. They were immediately teamed with the multi-talented duo Ashford and Simpson that brought to Motown their own brand of chic, New York kind of sound that was fresh and exciting. The rolling Somethings You Never Get Used To was a concious effort by Ashford and Simpson to keep up the momentum of Holland-Dozier-Holland and it partially succeeds in its mission even though this became their first single since 1963 not to hit the Top 20.
He's My Sunny Boy is utterly fabulous from its fantastically assembled musical arrangements to the gorgeous, yearning sounds of Ross' slightly angelic vocals where as that showbizzy sound they delved into at their live concerts, creeps in on You've Been So Wonderful To Me though is still a catchy affair at that with Ross putting in a warm, exuberant vocal performance.
Even better was the upbeat, feel-good Chains Of Love where Ross' stirring performance is impressive whilst they make their version of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrells' You Ain't Livin Till Your Lovin' compelling with Ross putting in a commendable intepretation.
Ross' delicate voice enhances to great effect on the soulful I'll Set You Free whilst they move into funkier terriotry on the fun, bouncy I Can't Shake Loose where Ross' soulful performance ignites the stirring arrangements.
Love Child (1969) remains one of Diana Ross and the Supremes most popular studio albums. It was a big seller jumping into the Top 10 album charts on both sides of the Atlantic as well as winning many favourable reviews from critics that had previously predicted that Ross and the Supremes would sink following the departure of Holand Dozier Holland.
Love Child (1969) captures Diana Ross and the Supremes - the worlds biggest girl group of all time - at their swinging prime. For any lover of Motown or indeed Ross this album is pure gold!
(Incidentally is that reviewer who claims the song Love Child is offensive for real? May I strongly advise that person to get out the house more!!!!)