Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My Top Ten Supremes Songs

Another 50th Anniversary Ten! The Supremes actually formed in 1959 (I know, it's unfathomable), yet released their first album for Motown three years later. With or without Diana Ross, there's never been a better girl band in my humble opinion. Here's Ten Reasons Why I Love 'em...

10. Reflections

It begins like the opening to a classic sci fi film... and gets progressively more divine with each passing second.

9. Baby Love

You may be surprised to find what's arguably their most famous record only coming in at #9. I can't deny it's a stone cold classic - it was written by Holland-Dozier-Holland, how could it not be? My only defence is what I like to call "The Beatles Effect". Ubiquity can damage even the greatest of records.

That said, on a chart that could easily have run to a Top 50, #9 is hardly a poor showing. 

8. 5:30 Plane

The only post-Diana song that made my Ten - though there were many which deserved consideration (Automatically Sunshine, Nathan Jones and Up The Ladder To The Roof being just three). What makes this one particularly special though is that it's written and arranged by the great Jimmy Webb. Nuff said.

7. Love Child

The words "tenement slum" never sounded so sweet.

6. I Second That Emotion (with The Temptations)

Written by Smokey, with the Temps on duet duties...

A taste of honey is worse than none at all

5. You Keep Me Hanging On

From that teletype intro to the thumping drumbeat that powers it, another heartbreakin' classic.

4. I'm Livin' In Shame

And some people think Morrisey invented kitchen sink songwriting...

This one's a genuine heartbreaker.

I was always so afraid for my uptown friends to see her
Afraid one day when I was grown, that I would be her

3. You Can't Hurry Love

Look, not even Phil Collins could kill this one. And let's not forget how many other great records owe their existence to that intro. Just ask The Jam for starters...

2. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me (with The Temptations)

Strictly speaking, it's the Temptations who win this one, but it's still one of the greatest love songs ever written... and when Diana joins in on the chorus: shiver me timbers.

1. Stop! In The Name Of Love

Not sure if it's the wind-up intro, the pleading title or the sweetness of Diana's voice, but right now - and this could easily change depending on when you asked me - this one wins it for me.

I know what you're saying - "Rol, Where Did Our Love Go?" Sadly, there could be only 10. But which one rules... ahem... Supreme for you?


  1. Oooh - now that's a good one.

    Yes indeedy, the over-familiarality/ubiquityness-ness is deffo a deciding factor. Imagine if you'd just heard these songs for the first time last week? My word! (Still ... 'Baby Love' at No 9!)

    Anyway, here's a few more to consider from the Birdsong songbirds..
    Someday We'll Be Together
    Stoned Love
    Where Did Our Love Go?
    My World Is Empty Without You
    I'm Still Waiting (does that count?)
    Come See About Me.

    Big BUT. I'd still say that (even for all those supreme, lustrous, glorious hits) - for depth and mystery - The Shangri-Las are the top girl band for me. (Not including Bananarama, obviously!)

    1. I can see where you're coming from re: the Shangri-Las, and yes, some of their songs are unbeatable. The only thing the Supremes have going for them that tips the balance for me is the amount of classic material. They were around much longer and volume-wise produced more memorable songs. In terms of quality though, it'd be a tightly run race.

      I'm Still Waiting doesn't count: there's a whole other chart in Diana's solo efforts. All your other suggestions came very close though... so close, in fact, that I actually thought a couple of them HAD made it in... until I checked back!

  2. Supreme choices...but I too worry about Baby Love at 9, agree with dvd about Someday we'll be together.

    Hope you realise the office has to sit through all of these whenever you do a reputation as a slacker increases everytime...

  3. I've fallen in and out of looooooooooooooooooove, searching for the one I'm dreaming off.......

    I like that, I know it's not massively produced but I just like the tune of it.

    And 'I hear a symphony' but that one is mainly because I have a great memory of hollering it at about 3am with a girlfriend as we staggered home from a party one night.

    I'm also fairly keen on 'come see about me' and 'back in my arms again'. Never did like 'Love child' and 'reflections' isn't one of my top ten either.

    1. I do think that the Supremes produced a lot of records that invoke strong memories in the listener of good times gone by. Even though listeners, like ourselves, who aren't quite old enough to have heard them first time round.

      That said, your memories are of late night carousing. Mine are of sitting alone in my teenage bedroom with headphones on. Still.

  4. I'd have to put The Happening at number 1 myself

    1. The Happening actually made it into my draft ten, but somehow got pushed out by some of the above. It sounded better in my head than when I actually re-listened to it.

      That's not to say it isn't ace.

  5. Can't fault your choices, Rol, but the added ingredient of Smokey, I Second That Emotion wins it for me. Plus I like the Japan version too.

    1. Well, somebody has to...

      ...KIDDING! ;-)


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