Tired of "Baby Love" for the 5,000th time? Try this one.
D.V. Lindner | King George, VA, USA | 10/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the glorious year that marked the first and most stunning success of the Supremes, roughly summer of 1964 through that of 1965, Motown hurriedly put out three albums of non-Holland-Dozier-Holland material. (A buck's a buck, you know...) "A Bit Of Liverpool" came first in October 1964, as "Baby Love" was charging up the singles' chart. Really not that bad, as the girls took a run at different British Invasion hits of that year, but its hurried production still told on it. Nevertheless, the sexy cover with the girls sporting bowler hats and umbrellas was irresistible. "Sing Country Western & Pop" came out in time to cross-cash-in with "Stop! In The Name Of Love's" chart run. This one's much more difficult to find praise for, and is a challenge for all but the most hard-core Supremes fans. It's pace and excitement is about as charged as molasses. Still, even it had an interesting read on Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away" and the one instance on a Supremes song where each member has a lead verse, "It Makes No Difference Now."Then, with the release of the "Back In My Arms Again" single came "We Remember Sam Cooke," the best of the three. Cooke's pop stylings were perfect as well for the Supremes and this catalog of his songs is a very good album for them. Diana, then just 21, brings an irresistible sexiness to her performance, especially on "Cupid," "You Send Me," and "Wonderful World." Yes, indeed, this album holds up even near 40 years later. And of course, it's also famous now for the one spotlight song on Florence Ballard, "(Ain't That) Good News." As well she should, with the group now flush with success, Ballard charges through this number with great confidence and command. Yes, alright, Ross had the most commercial voice of the three, but one listen to "Good News" refutes any claim that this group was mined of all the talent it had to offer. At the same time, it's one of the instances that keep lifelong fans of the group pondering `why' regarding the cruel fate that lay ahead for Blondie.If you can find this, it is a really good collection of their less-familiar material, but close enough in line with their `hit' sound that you'll wonder how you let it get away from you. Search it out. (Originally Motown LP 629)."