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The Supremes: More Hits by the Superemes [Limited Edition]

Album Notes

Its title might lead one to think this was a compilation, but it wasn't -- rather, More Hits by the Supremes is merely a valid presumption of its worth. It was also the original group's third highest charting album of their five years on Motown, and came not a moment too soon. The Supremes were doing incredibly well as a singles act, but not since Where Did Our Love Go had any of their LPs done particularly well on the pop charts; even a well-intentioned Sam Cooke-tribute album recorded early in 1965, which ought to have done better, had only reached number 75 (though it had gotten to number five on the R&B LP charts). "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Back in My Arms Again" helped drive the sales, but those singles had been out six and three months earlier at the time this album surfaced -- listeners were delighted to find those singles surrounded by their ethereal rendition of the ballad "Whisper You Love Me Boy" with its exquisitely harmonized middle chorus; the gently soulful, sing-song-y "The Only Time I'm Happy"; and the sweetly dramatic "He Holds His Own" (with a gorgeous and very prominent piano accompaniment). The material dated across six months of work, from late 1964 through the spring of 1965 (apart from "Ask Any Girl," the B-side of "Baby Love," which was cut in the spring of 1964), and showed that Motown could put a Supremes album together piecemeal around the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team and place the trio right up at the top reaches of the charts, in the company of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, et al. Its release also opened a floodgate of killer albums by the trio -- overlooking their 1965 LP of Christmas songs, they were destined to issue three more long-players that delighted audiences a dozen songs at a time over the next two years, which was a lot of good work. ~ Bruce Eder


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