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  1. #1

    Dian Ross and The Supremes - why they used so often The Andantes

    When I hear "I´ll set you free" everytime I think by msyself it sounds so amazing breathless, the voices of Mary, Cindy and Diana blended perfect together. I can´t understand why the group or better Diana uses so often The Andantes. Maybe it was clear at this time she will left the group or were there divided among themselves. What´s your thought´s, opinions about that fact ?

  2. #2
    i don't think it was really meant as a direct slap in the face. the andantes are on a lot of DMF material too. they did the entire bg vocals on Merry Xmas, they were added into supplement the girls on CW&P. they did much of the background work on From Broadway to Hollywood and even some on There's A Place.

    With CW&P, i believe that as they prepared the material for release in late 64 and early 65, they decided to make the sound bigger. a more full vocal sound. so they recorded the A's and layered them in. I'm not a recording engineer so i don't know what techniques were available in 63 to have amplified the sound of DMF. If you listen to the couple of tracks on Motown Unreleased 63 you can hear just the 3 girls. they sound great. although the fuller sound on the released album does have a richness to it. Odds are there just wasn't time to get the girls in the studio to double their voices given their tour schedule in late 64 and 65

    Some cases (like Any Girl In Love on IHAS) were originally assigned to another artist. the backing vocals were already done and Diana just added her lead.

    On YCHL and other tracks, Flo didn't show up for the recording session. so they needed to find someone to do it.

    by the time of the DRATS era, there were several elements in place. 1 - berry really felt that the group was all about Diana and since she was the lead singer and leader of the group, it wasn't that big of a deal as to who backed her up. 2 - there was a constant pressure to have material ready for release. more releases meant more money 3 - the girls were still constantly touring and on tv. so if a producer had a track ready for DRATS he might have to fly out and then rent studio time in whatever city. that would mean hotel bills for him, studio rental time, etc. Or he could fly the girls back. the most cost efficient manner would be to only fly Diana back. that's 1 flight and she would stay at home or at Berry's.

    That 3rd point is an interesting one, IMO. if you don't have MRATV 50th anniversary singles set, there's a fascinating story from Deke about I Can't Dance To This Music You're Playing. his version of the story about why/how Syreeta's voice is on the final track is considerably different from Martha's. he makes no mention that she didn't like the lyric or that she refused to record. his story is that QC told him to re-record the song in a different key. he did and though he erased M's original vocal. then QC said, no don't like new key so go back to original. Deke didn't realize he still had the original vocal for the chorus so was trying to get funds to fly to wherever martha was on tour schedule. He was told there wasn't budget.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Fullfillingnessfirstfinale View Post
    When I hear "I´ll set you free" everytime I think by msyself it sounds so amazing breathless, the voices of Mary, Cindy and Diana blended perfect together. I can´t understand why the group or better Diana uses so often The Andantes. Maybe it was clear at this time she will left the group or were there divided among themselves. What´s your thought´s, opinions about that fact ?
    This appears to be a troll thread, or at least incredibly misinformed. I'm sure anyone who knows anything whatsoever about Motown knows that the individual performers had basically no say whatsoever in production. To presume so generally is disingenuous; to hint that the choice was Diana's is trolling.

  4. #4
    Exactly, how absurd to suggest Ross or any lead singer would be involved in that decision. They usually went in and did their work not knowing (or caring, I presume) who would back them.

    It think, in most cases, it cane down to the weak sound of Mary/Cindy. While Mary/Flo had a superb, rich, distinctive sound with volume and character, Cindy’s soft output was just plain bland next to Flo and would often be augmented or supplanted her entire time in the group. Both post-Ross Supremes Top Ten hits featured The Andantes in addition to MC. When Cindy was replaced, it was no longer necessary to booster her sound - unless a producer wanted still another sound. I think, when Cindy was chosen to replace Flo, the powers that be pretty much assumed she’d not be used much in the studio without help to try to lay the solid foundation that Mary and another strong singer could provide.

  5. #5
    while you're correct about Cindy being a second soprano, i don't think she wasn't used due to having a "weak sound."

    During the DRATS years, you have a couple of situations. In addition to the constant touring and Berry's focus on Diana, there's the issue of the singing ranges of the singers. None of the 3 really had a super strong upper range. none of them were 1st sopranos and so you have an issue with not really having the top note covered. Even Diana stains some for those very top notes. her more comfortable range is more closely aligned with both M and C

    Post diana, you have J, S, L and S who all have much stronger upper registers and ranges of their voices. Also, many time you have all three women recording the backing vocals. In Stoned Love, JMC do the backings (with some added touches of Andantes) and it's Jean that hits that high note in the bg when she sings Amen in the lead just before the bridge. During the Scherrie years, sometimes Scherrie took the top note in the backings too. but not always.

  6. #6
    As far as I’be heard, For the 70’s singles Jean sang background on all of the hits the only ones that the Andantes were the Floy Joy singles. As far as touch, I’m not sure if it’s the andantes or the blackberries

  7. #7
    i think Frank tried to use M and C whenever possible. but the As are on some of his work too. hard to tell when it's M and C with layered vocals and when it's the As.

    I believe on Stoned Love it's the Andantes doing the "tell it like it is" lines. sounds like it to me.

    Other producers though tended to use the As more. Clay McMurray for instance used them across nearly all of his producers on Right On and Is There A Place on NWBLS. it's possible he added M and C into the productions later. This might be a situation where he was preparing a range of tracks to use on a variety of artists and then once they were assigned to the Sups, in some cases, he added M and C

    On Ladder, i wonder if the A's are subtly mixed in to fill out the sound. sort of like CW&P.

  8. #8
    Frank was pretty straight forward in using M and C on singles On Stoned Love it sounds like just the girls to me. Also if I’m correct the vocals for ST were done in NY not Detroit.

  9. #9
    We can disagree about Cindy’s vocals, but I really feel her voice was pleasant but bland. The A’s are definitely on both Stoned Love and Up The Ladder as been confirmed here by Andy or George - Plus you can hear that it is definitely not just Mary and Cindy on those two records. Jean singing bg was rare, we’ve been told here. There was no reason to add her into the background, when everyone was so used to working with the A’s and they were quick learners and have a superb vocal blend.

  10. #10
    The Andantes are on Stoned Love in certain spots of the song, at times alone and at times with Mary and Cindy. I hear Jean in the background for Up the Ladder but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Andantes are in the mix too.

  11. #11
    Jean singing background vocals wasn’t rare.

  12. #12
    Jean herself said she did sing background along with m and c

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    The Andantes are on Stoned Love in certain spots of the song, at times alone and at times with Mary and Cindy. I hear Jean in the background for Up the Ladder but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Andantes are in the mix too.
    No they're not. All vocals for "Stoned Love", lead and backgrounds were recorded in New York City by Jean Terrell, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong.

  14. #14
    Yes, she did and said it was a few times. The interview was linked here I believe it was on the Providence RI station. Amazing, informative wonderful interview.

    the issue, I believe, with Cindy was that she was up against a powerhouse vocalist likevMary. Anyone can say anything they want about Mary, but her voice is rich strong and distinctive…… Almost heavy - and if she’s not singing softly she buries Cindy, so she hast to sing softer than she normally would, and that compromises her sound as well also. Then you get the background like on everybody’s got the right to live which works for that song, But not very many songs. When you listen to the live albums, Mary totally dominates the background, which is wonderful because her voice is wonderful and it makes such a strong foundation for the other vocals, but it still yearns for another strong distinctive voice like Flo, or even lynda or SuSaye. Even in the live shows in the 70s, when Cindy was given a rare solo, it was very ineffective compared to Jean, Mary, Sherrie or Susaye - Cindy knew this herself that her strength was a harmonizing layer

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    No they're not. All vocals for "Stoned Love", lead and backgrounds were recorded in New York City by Jean Terrell, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong.

    You are absolutely 100% correct: all vocals for stoned love by Jean Mary and Cindy were recorded in New York City. All additional vocals, however, were recorded in Detroit.

    The fact is that the preponderance of tracks cut by The Supremes during the Jean years featured the andantes (or others) by themselves or in addition to Mary Cindy and lynda.

  16. #16
    Actually Stoned Love was recorded on March 10, April 2, and April 27, 1970 in Detroit (instrumental) and in New York City: May 12, 1970 (vocals). So unless the Andantes put vocals down before Frank went to NY or there’s an additional recording date after May 20, highly unlikely the andantes were on it. If I’m wrong please prove it.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    Yes, she did and said it was a few times. The interview was linked here I believe it was on the Providence RI station. Amazing, informative wonderful interview.

    the issue, I believe, with Cindy was that she was up against a powerhouse vocalist likevMary. Anyone can say anything they want about Mary, but her voice is rich strong and distinctive…… Almost heavy - and if she’s not singing softly she buries Cindy, so she hast to sing softer than she normally would, and that compromises her sound as well also. Then you get the background like on everybody’s got the right to live which works for that song, But not very many songs. When you listen to the live albums, Mary totally dominates the background, which is wonderful because her voice is wonderful and it makes such a strong foundation for the other vocals, but it still yearns for another strong distinctive voice like Flo, or even lynda or SuSaye. Even in the live shows in the 70s, when Cindy was given a rare solo, it was very ineffective compared to Jean, Mary, Sherrie or Susaye - Cindy knew this herself that her strength was a harmonizing layer
    I agree. As much as I love Cindy, Mary's vocals easily overpowered hers. When Cindy was in the Bluebelles, Nona and Sarah's vocals overpowered Cindy's in the background a lot of the times so you wouldn't know when Cindy would come in. When Patti sung, you'd hear Sarah's soprano and Nona's contralto but Cindy was buried underneath, it looks.

  18. #18
    Diana Ross and the Supremes never, ever used the Andantes. Motown producers did.

  19. #19
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    I think the 99% of radio listeners could not have cared less whose voices were singing behind any Motown lead singer. If it sounded great, all was right in the world for those three minutes. Include me in that 99%. Berry understood this.
    Last edited by Circa 1824; 07-25-2019 at 09:54 PM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    Actually Stoned Love was recorded on March 10, April 2, and April 27, 1970 in Detroit (instrumental) and in New York City: May 12, 1970 (vocals). So unless the Andantes put vocals down before Frank went to NY or there’s an additional recording date after May 20, highly unlikely the andantes were on it. If I’m wrong please prove it.
    Proof? LOL, um I don’t have that, but one of the boys said it here and, if you listen, you can clearly hear - especially on the single mix, when it is just M&C and when it’s The A’s. It’s there in your ear: Mary and Cindy couldn’t make those oooooooooo’s. It’s M&C repeating stoned love after Jean in the beginning for example. However, I don’t really care who it is, it’s just what I think. I bought the 45 and the album and just assumed they sounded very different at times or had some help, but I loved the direction the group was going and hoped they’d lighten up on the glam and move forward fashion wise to match their sound. For Vegas? Keep the gowns - to sing these songs on TV? Drop the glam and go hip like DMF should have done on Sullivan for Itching.
    Last edited by TheMotownManiac; 07-26-2019 at 01:36 AM.

  21. #21
    Sounds to me Ike we hear what we want to hear
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    Proof? LOL, um I don’t have that, but one of the boys said it here and, if you listen, you can clearly hear - especially on the single mix, when it is just M&C and when it’s The A’s. It’s there in your ear: Mary and Cindy couldn’t make those oooooooooo’s. It’s M&C repeating stoned love after Jean in the beginning for example. However, I don’t really care who it is, it’s just what I think. I bought the 45 and the album and just assumed they sounded very different at times or had some help, but I loved the direction the group was going and hoped they’d lighten up on the glam and move forward fashion wise to match their sound. For Vegas? Keep the gowns - to sing these songs on TV? Drop the glam and go hip like DMF should have done on Sullivan for Itching.

  22. #22
    was Cindy a high 1st soprano - no
    was cindy a lead singer - no
    was cindy a powerhouse singer - no
    was cindy an excellent 2nd soprano background singer - yes

    I agree with mary's comment about her being a star that sang backing/harmony vocals. the same applies for Cindy.

    M and C were probably the most skilled and blended bg combo of all the lineups. Part of why you can't hear Cindy as distinctly is that her voice blends perfectly with Mary's. that's a good thing. it provides a wonderful cushion for a gifted and unique lead singer to sing on. Diana, Jean and Scherrie all had very powerful and unique voices. they all have a nasality to their tone. this perfect bg blend of M and C is just the ideal setting for someone like J or S or D to be able to shine

    Also the background vocals require a much more trained ear for harmony. the lead singer is typically singing the melody. but M and C had to harmonize to this and that often requires more intricate vocals.

    so Cindy's role as a background singer and her talents in doing this should not be minimized.

    Frankly i love Lynda and Susaye but their wonderfully strong and unique voices didn't always blend with Mary's in the backgrounds. so you have J and L and then S and S sort of vocally competing.

  23. #23
    I think BG was consumed with pushing Diana forward and out of the group so he didn't care who sang back up . In a way I think BG kind of almost ruined the group.imo
    But the group would continue but it was the producers who used other singers

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    I think BG was consumed with pushing Diana forward and out of the group so he didn't care who sang back up . In a way I think BG kind of almost ruined the group.imo
    But the group would continue but it was the producers who used other singers
    I think using the Andantess started as one thing but became another a few years in.
    The last two Supremes albums didn't even have the Motown sound to me.

  25. #25
    Think it’s what Stu said on the other thread

    The producers used who they wanted for the sound and that came from adding or using the Andantes

    In concert, they wanted a look and that came with Mary and Cindy

    It wasn’t sinister; Berry was busier with other things

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Think it’s what Stu said on the other thread

    The producers used who they wanted for the sound and that came from adding or using the Andantes

    In concert, they wanted a look and that came with Mary and Cindy

    It wasn’t sinister; Berry was busier with other things
    Right, neither sinister nor conspiracy no matter what some may say. What with the actual Supremes on the road and producers looking for different sounds the A's came in handy. That. Was. That. Unless you are one of those who believes that Diana and Berry personally killed promotion of each and every other M'twn record by threatening each and every radio programmer in the USA, staged the moon landing, got various M'twn acts addicted to drink 'n drugs and ended the Viet Nam war just so that soldiers would be brought back to America with the agreement that they would buy Diana Ross solo records.

  27. #27
    I'll take the Andantes any day. Their sound was so heavenly and sweet. Not used enough.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Soulmusic4life View Post
    I'll take the Andantes any day. Their sound was so heavenly and sweet. Not used enough.
    I agree. Love their backgrounds!

  29. #29
    First i heard that the andantes were featured in stoned love.

  30. #30
    I may be wrong but tell it like it is sounds like cindy to me not the a.s

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by franjoy56 View Post
    First i heard that the andantes were featured in stoned love.
    Same here, but they are not on that record at all.

  32. #32
    It is extremely clear to me that it’s the andantes on many parts of stoned love. Especially that one high note that the background singers sing. It sound like love child all over again.

  33. #33

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by imakicola View Post
    It is extremely clear to me that it’s the andantes on many parts of stoned love. Especially that one high note that the background singers sing. It sound like love child all over again.
    i believe the high notes are Jean. like when she sings the lead "i pray for peace and loooove, Amen!" and the bg vocals so the big "oooooo" behind her, that's MJC in 3-part harmony with Jean singing the top note. From a chord structure you have Mary singing the bass background note, Jean lead note with Amen, Cindy's mid-range bg note and then Jean again with her bg top soprano note.

    The only part of Stoned that makes me wonder if it's the A's is the "tell it like it is" stuff

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i believe the high notes are Jean. like when she sings the lead "i pray for peace and loooove, Amen!" and the bg vocals so the big "oooooo" behind her, that's MJC in 3-part harmony with Jean singing the top note. From a chord structure you have Mary singing the bass background note, Jean lead note with Amen, Cindy's mid-range bg note and then Jean again with her bg top soprano note.

    The only part of Stoned that makes me wonder if it's the A's is the "tell it like it is" stuff
    "Say it like it is........" LOL! Pray for peace y'all.

  36. #36
    Here is a great example of how misinformation gets around and people pick it up and run with it like it is FACT. Check this out. The lyrics to "Stoned Love" are on the upper right side of this page. Scroll to the bottom of the lyrics and be prepared to be surprised that someone would even print this:

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=Stoned...AA196555A9E544

  37. #37
    How about all the Stoned Love’s credited to Diana Ross and the Supremes?

  38. #38
    I hope STONED LOVE is an authentic Supremes vocalized recording. It sounds like the real thing to my less than trained ears. It's an iconic Supremes record with a perfect Supremes backup arrangement in the classic Supremes style. It needs to be them !!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 08-07-2019 at 01:14 AM.

  39. #39
    I never bothered listening for this before - but it sounds augmented.

    The Andantes were all over Right On so no big surprise.

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