The Supremes last hit album with Florence Ballard pictured
Sebastian | 08/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even though this was not the last studio album with the original Supremes (that would be The Supremes Sing Rogers and Hart) it is the last one with Florence on an album with hit singles. The cover is one of their most favorite poses; Diana, Mary and Florence (l-r). You Keep Me Hangin' On and Love Is Here and Now You're Gone are the hits. I like them both for different reasons. You Keep Me features full lead and background vocals. I have read a few places that Florence backs up Diana on lead. Love Is Here, the background vocals are a little muted but still a great song. Most of the the other songs are covers of Holland, Dozier, Holland
who are featured with the Supremes on the back cover. All in all another superb album from the Supremes."
Fantastic Studio Album From Diana Ross And The Supremes
Ian Phillips | Bolton, Lancashire, UK | 06/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In late 1966, The Supremes enjoyed their EIGHTH chart-topper with the startling classic, You Keep Me Hanging On. You Keep Me Hanging On was quite a dramatic change in style for The Supremes with the rolling rhythm section, courtesy of Motowns divine in-house band The Funk Brothers, having a much harder edge, diverting The Supremes into the Rock&Roll genre. Diana Ross' lead vocal performance is also far more assertive and she sounds as though she's virtually howling at the exalting climax when she sings "so go on, get out, get out of my life, and let me sleep tonight". Quite a detour from those sweet love songs like Baby Love. An adventurous and succesful experiment for Diana and the girls.
Their next single, the fabulous Love Is Here And Now You're Gone, propelled to No.1 becoming their NINTH chart topper. The Supremes chart action at this stage was just amazing where they effortlessly pumped out mega hit after mega hit! Ross glides along the verses with finesse delivering a divinely sensual performance whilst also talk-singing in that great, intricate voice on the chrous ( a unique technique that would reach full effect on Ross' future blockbuster classic, Ain't No Mountain High Enough). The glorious, bouncy musical arrangements contain slight hints of jazz. Fantastic!
The accompanying album to these classic pair of hits was The Supremes Sing Holland Dozier Holland (1967). Like the chart-topping album The Supremes A Go Go (1966) contains many cover versions and also hosts some B-sides and left over tracks from various recording sessions.
You're Gone But Always In My Heart was a lovely heartache ballad recorded some years earlier in 1964. Ross packs in a compelling performance with her vocals sharp and distinctive, brimming tenderley with emotion. There are also impeccable backing vocals from Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson.
I Wanna Mother You, Smother You may be admitedly formulaic to the genre but it comes complete with such super-fine performances from Diana and the girls that it's almost impossible to fault. These cracking album tracks on The Supremes Sing Holland Dozier Holland are all, to say the least, totally infectious!
The Motown cover versions all work extremely well with Ross' beautiful, sensual delivery on The Isley Brothers' I Guess I'll Always Love You being sensational.
Their riviting cover version of The Four Tops' I'll Turn To Stone is just as dynamic and as effective as the original. The wonderful contrast of harmonies from Ross' sweet tender voice to the earthy vocal style of Florence Ballard and the breezy soprano of Mary Wilson all blend together beautifully on I'll Turn To Stone.
Not quite as riviting but still great and compelling regardless is their rolling version of The Four Tops' It's The Same Old Song. Ross sounds strong and passionate throughout igniting the fast and furious musical arrangements.
Ross packs in a powerhouse performance on the raw, upbeat Goin' Down For The Third Time, which had been originally recorded by Martha Reeves And The Vandellas. Certainly this track was indeed far closer to the earthy style of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas than the swinging Supremes but Ross' unusually gritty performance exceeds all expectations as she really takes a big bite into the lyrics sounding dynamic and strong.
Slightly more reminiscent of their showbiz like persona on stage is the rather sugary sweet Love Is In Our Hearts which works well but far better is the stunning ballad Remove This Doubt, one of the Supremes BEST-ever album tracks. Remove This Doubt is touching in its mere simplicity and Ross' gorgeous voice is at its most angelic. The fade out at the end when Ross, Ballard and Wilson unite to sing the chrous is just magical and perfectly demonstrated their distinct, unique sound. Remove This Doubt had been recorded bak in 1964 and had initially been planned as a single at one point though it did not see the light of day until it was pulled from the huge Motown vaults and used as the B-side to their chart-topping classic, You Keep Me Hanging On.
Another stand out track on The Supremes Sing Holland Dozier Holland (1967) is the superb, rocketing version of There's No Stopping Us Now. Ross whips along those jamming musical arrangements with conviction sounding utterly magnificent in the process.
The album then bows out on a rip-roaring version of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas knockout classic, Heat Wave. It's debatable as to whether Ross' rocketing renedition exceeds the more famous Martha Reeves Version (I must admit as much as I also love Martha Reeves I do prefer Ross' version of Heat Wave) but either way judged on its own individual merits it is a pretty damn good version with Ross neatly surfboarding along Motowns somewhat complex musical arrangements where as Ballard and Wilsons eager and enthusiastic backing vocals merley add to that dazzling effect. Had this not been already a hit for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, this could just of as easily been a hit for The Supremes.
Arguably even better than their chart-topping album, The Supremes A Go Go on which this album had obviously taken its cue but it failed to duplicate the success of The Supremes A Go Go though still enjoyed big sales that propelled the album into the Top 10 album charts. The Supremes Sing Holland Dozier Holland firmly stands as one of their ultimate albums.