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Baby Love: The Sound Of The Supremes

Siobhanne Beattie


The 27th June 2011 marks the release of ‘Let Yourself Go : The 70s Album, Volume 2 1974-1977 : The Final Sessions’, which celebrates one of the original and best girl groups of all time; The Supremes.  This amazing collection includes all of the LPs from this distinctive era, as well as numerous bonus tracks remastered in their entirety and rare never-seen-before photographs.

Originally formed as The Primettes in 1959, the girl group initially included Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Betty McGlown.  They were the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.  Barbara Martin replaced Betty McGlown in 1960, but left the group in 1962.  The remaining members, Ross, Ballard and Wilson continued as a trio.

However, in 1967 the group was renamed Diana Ross & The Supremes, after they achieved mainstream success with Diana as lead vocalist.  Cindy Birdsong replaced Florence Ballard and Diana Ross left the group in 1970, she went on to enjoy a very successful solo career.

Following Ross’ departure the group went through various line-ups before splitting in 1977, after eighteen years.  Throughout their career, The Supremes repertoire of doo-wop, pop, soul and disco, earned them major mainstream success and critical acclaim, including, twelve Number 1 Singles in the US Billboard Charts. The girl group were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1994.  In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine named The Supremes Number 97 on their list of ‘100 Greatest Artists Of All Time’.

At their peak The Supremes rivalled The Beatles and paved the way for future African/American R&B, pop and soul singers including, The Three Degrees, The Pointer Sisters, TLC and Destiny’s Child.

In 1981, The Tony Award winning, ‘Dreamgirls’ opened at The Imperial Theatre on Broadway and ran for 1,522 performances.  The musical is loosely based on The Supremes career and follows girl group, The Dream, an all-singing trio from Chicago who go on to become musical superstars.  Allegedly, Mary Wilson loved the musical but Diana Ross was angered by it and reportedly refused to see it.  A film adaptation of the musical was released in 2006 starring Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson.

‘Let Yourself Go : The 70s Album, Volume 2, 1974-1977 : The Final Sessions’ picks up where ‘This Story : The 70s Album, Volume 1, 1970-1973, The Jean Terrell Years’ left off – showcasing the talents of later Supremes members, Scherrie Payne, Cindy Birdsong and Susaye Greene.  It’s a must, not only for fans of the supergroup, but essentially for those with a love of girl groups who want to learn where it all began!

‘Let Yourself Go…..’ is available on 27th June 2011 on Universal Music.