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  1. #1

    British guitarist analyses the supreme Supremes live in 1966!

    This guy does a great analysis in all of his videos:


  2. #2
    I saw this earlier and was going to post it when I got home. You beat me to the punch. Thanks for posting. I agree, he does a very good job. He had some very interesting things to say.

  3. #3
    I enjoyed it....he seems to appreciate the 2 performances very much.

    He praises the harmony and balance of the 3 singers beginning around 6.38....I imagine he would have a VERY different opinion of the JML and especially the MSS lineups live performances

  4. #4
    Interesting post. Nice to get a breakdown of the vocals. As Flo i’m sure would have said. “Honey we Is terrific”. She looks very statuesque in this performance.

  5. #5
    I watched this the other day. It was so great to see someone discussing the art of being the Supremes. And he was not only appreciative of what Diana was doing, but also what Florence and Mary were doing. This is the kind of talk I wish we had more of here in the forum. Unfortunately, even with such a great breakdown of their artistry, the comment section is more interested in who sang better than who, who slept with who, who was wrong, who was right. The Supremes are so underrated by the industry and I personally place the bulk of that blame to the fandom who have reduced the group to gossip and controversy. And the legacy of the group suffers.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I watched this the other day. It was so great to see someone discussing the art of being the Supremes. And he was not only appreciative of what Diana was doing, but also what Florence and Mary were doing. This is the kind of talk I wish we had more of here in the forum. Unfortunately, even with such a great breakdown of their artistry, the comment section is more interested in who sang better than who, who slept with who, who was wrong, who was right. The Supremes are so underrated by the industry and I personally place the bulk of that blame to the fandom who have reduced the group to gossip and controversy. And the legacy of the group suffers.
    Agree 100%. There sure are some strange ones out there LOL.

  7. #7
    Interestingly he doesn't mention that in the studio recording of YKMHO, Miss Ross' vocal was multi-tracked - in effect, she's duetting with herself with two different vocal takes. This obviously is missing from this live performance. Given his examination over how this is a true live vocal performance vs a prerecorded track, I am amazed he does not mention this.

    But it is a great analysis. I look forward to his next one.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Agree 100%. There sure are some strange ones out there LOL.
    great recap Ran

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by grangertim View Post
    Interestingly he doesn't mention that in the studio recording of YKMHO, Miss Ross' vocal was multi-tracked - in effect, she's duetting with herself with two different vocal takes. This obviously is missing from this live performance. Given his examination over how this is a true live vocal performance vs a prerecorded track, I am amazed he does not mention this.

    But it is a great analysis. I look forward to his next one.
    I still haven't picked up a copy of HDH expanded, so does the booklet make mention of why there was a decision to double track Diana? Without knowing the answer, my theory is that her voice sounds so thin on a song with such forceful lyrics. Even double tracked it still sounds rather reedy to me. Interestingly, she doesn't sound so thin to me on "Hurry" or "Love Is Here".

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    great recap Ran
    Thanks Sup.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I still haven't picked up a copy of HDH expanded, so does the booklet make mention of why there was a decision to double track Diana? Without knowing the answer, my theory is that her voice sounds so thin on a song with such forceful lyrics. Even double tracked it still sounds rather reedy to me. Interestingly, she doesn't sound so thin to me on "Hurry" or "Love Is Here".
    ok first of all, how on earth have you not gotten Sing HDH EE?!?!?! lol

    in the booklet itself, there's a brief interview with Lamont. He talks about having Diana doubled but doesn't say specifically why.

    My guess is that she sounds more full on YCHL because of the heavy echo effect. they don't use the echo on YKMHO im thinking because of the double track. My understanding is that they were going for a harder edge here. maybe a bit more rock and roll.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    ok first of all, how on earth have you not gotten Sing HDH EE?!?!?! lol

    in the booklet itself, there's a brief interview with Lamont. He talks about having Diana doubled but doesn't say specifically why.

    My guess is that she sounds more full on YCHL because of the heavy echo effect. they don't use the echo on YKMHO im thinking because of the double track. My understanding is that they were going for a harder edge here. maybe a bit more rock and roll.
    Supremes A Go-Go expanded found me at just the right time. By the time HDH expanded rolled around the budget had gotten so tight that I honestly couldn't justify fitting it in. And then when the budget opened up, I'd forget about HDH EE until the budget closed again and of course by that point it's too late. And the cycle has been continuing. But I still consider myself a good fan since this (and Copa EE) are the only ones I didn't snap up.

    Regarding "Hangin", I wonder why the "why" of the double track wasn't asked or printed? These behind the scenes artistic choices are always so interesting to me.

  13. #13
    It is a good analysis, especially from a musical standpoint, but what he missed was that the performance of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was a prerecorded live vocal performance, it wasn't live in the moment. There are three clearcut instances where the lyrics that you hear Diana singing are not the lyrics that you see her mouthing.

    At 0:53 of the video you hear Diana singing "Now you don't really NEED me...", but looking at her you can see that at that moment she was actually singing "Now you don't really WANT me...".

    At 1:24 of the video you hear Diana singing "LET ME BE why don't you baby..." but looking at her you can see that at that moment she was actually singing "GET OUT MY LIFE why don't you baby...".

    And at 1:35 of the video you hear Diana singing "Now you don't really WANT me...", but looking at her you can see that at that moment she was actually singing "Now you don't really NEED me...".

    Some of what all he was saying about lead vocals and background vocals made sense, but some of it was a little silly in the sense that background vocal parts are written, arranged and produced to be just that- background vocal parts. It's not "background" in the sense of someone being pushed out front and others pushed in the back, it's simply the nature of how a song is delivered from a musical, and from a commercial standpoint.

    Seems to me that he was just repeating what Berry Gordy said about having two names as opposed to one name for the group in efforts to command more money for the group. Think about it, how many commercially successful hit songs can anyone name where all of the members of the group were singing lead at the same time. Songs that have a lead and background vocals is the most commercially successful format in the world.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by brothadc View Post
    It is a good analysis, especially from a musical standpoint, but what he missed was that the performance of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was a prerecorded live vocal performance, it wasn't live in the moment.

    Some of what all he was saying about lead vocals and background vocals made sense, but some of it was a little silly in the sense that background vocal parts are written, arranged and produced to be just that- background vocal parts. It's not "background" in the sense of someone being pushed out front and others pushed in the back, it's simply the nature of how a song is delivered from a musical, and from a commercial standpoint.

    Seems to me that he was just repeating what Berry Gordy said about having two names as opposed to one name for the group in efforts to command more money for the group. Think about it, how many commercially successful hit songs can anyone name where all of the members of the group were singing lead at the same time. Songs that have a lead and background vocals is the most commercially successful format in the world.
    Yeah, I had never caught that before, but you're right. She appears to be mouthing one thing but can be heard singing another. Good catch.

    Regarding background, he was referring to Diana's elevation as lead singer over the other two. At this point the Supremes' history is well known. They started out as a group whose members shared leads and eventually morphed into a group with an unofficial and then official majority lead singer. He actually does a great job of describing how nutty it would be if Flo and Mary went full throttle as if singing lead while Diana is singing lead (ya know, what sometimes happened during the Susaye grouping many years later). I think you may have misunderstood his point.

    I pretty much shrugged off his explanation for having a group member's name in front of the group as just a regurgitation of something he read without going any deeper than the official Motown explanation. Of course we all know why the name was changed to Diana Ross and the Supremes, and it had nothing to do with the act being able to command more money.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yeah, I had never caught that before, but you're right. She appears to be mouthing one thing but can be heard singing another. Good catch.

    Regarding background, he was referring to Diana's elevation as lead singer over the other two. At this point the Supremes' history is well known. They started out as a group whose members shared leads and eventually morphed into a group with an unofficial and then official majority lead singer. He actually does a great job of describing how nutty it would be if Flo and Mary went full throttle as if singing lead while Diana is singing lead (ya know, what sometimes happened during the Susaye grouping many years later). I think you may have misunderstood his point.

    I pretty much shrugged off his explanation for having a group member's name in front of the group as just a regurgitation of something he read without going any deeper than the official Motown explanation. Of course we all know why the name was changed to Diana Ross and the Supremes, and it had nothing to do with the act being able to command more money.
    That never even made sense to me from way back. Two names commanding more money, than a single group name. I remember thinking to myself, they are doing the exact same act when they were called "The Supremes" as they were doing when the name changed to "Diana Ross & the Supremes". They were the same three people (well with the exception of Cindy replacing Flo) as they were the year before and playing much of the same places.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    That never even made sense to me from way back. Two names commanding more money, than a single group name. I remember thinking to myself, they are doing the exact same act when they were called "The Supremes" as they were doing when the name changed to "Diana Ross & the Supremes". They were the same three people (well with the exception of Cindy replacing Flo) as they were the year before and playing much of the same places.
    I give Motown an A for effort in coming up with a plausible reason. If you don't think too hard about it, it does make sense that Diana Ross, solo, and the Supremes, her backing group (also Smokey Robinson and his backup group the Miracles), would be able to command money for two separate acts. But if you think hard (not too hard) it all falls apart. You give an excellent example: why would an entity pay twice as much for the same act as last year simply because one's name is out front? Also, Diana Ross never had a solo contract with Motown until she left the Supremes, so while her name may have been out front, she was still contractually a Supreme, and it's my understanding she didn't make any more money than the other two did. Finally, there's no way in hell that Martha and the Vandellas were making 5 dollars one day and then the name becomes Martha REEVES and the Vandellas and now they're getting twice as much. Nobody would have ever paid twice as much for an act simply because the last name is now a part of the billing.

    Clearly Gordy made these changes to soften the blow with the public that Diana's name is out front, which isn't a bad PR move. He rightfully figured there might be blow back if Diana's name was put out front, but if you complain about her name then you have to complain about Smokey's. And believe it or not it pretty much worked. People gave the name DRATS the side eye, but it didn't stop them from going out and buying millions of copies of "Love Child" and "Someday We'll Be Together", so the crisis was averted. But the truth is that changing the name was a brilliant move to single Diana out and ready her for a solo career. Gordy was banking on it paying off, and it eventually did. But at the time there was no payoff. DRATS wasn't making double what the Supremes did when Flo was in the group. Certainly not because they were two acts in one.

  17. #17
    Believe it or not, I actually heard this explained by someone else in the business- not related to Motown. They weren’t explaining this in regards to Motown or it’s groups. It was a common business practice.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I give Motown an A for effort in coming up with a plausible reason. If you don't think too hard about it, it does make sense that Diana Ross, solo, and the Supremes, her backing group (also Smokey Robinson and his backup group the Miracles), would be able to command money for two separate acts. But if you think hard (not too hard) it all falls apart. You give an excellent example: why would an entity pay twice as much for the same act as last year simply because one's name is out front? Also, Diana Ross never had a solo contract with Motown until she left the Supremes, so while her name may have been out front, she was still contractually a Supreme, and it's my understanding she didn't make any more money than the other two did. Finally, there's no way in hell that Martha and the Vandellas were making 5 dollars one day and then the name becomes Martha REEVES and the Vandellas and now they're getting twice as much. Nobody would have ever paid twice as much for an act simply because the last name is now a part of the billing.

    Clearly Gordy made these changes to soften the blow with the public that Diana's name is out front, which isn't a bad PR move. He rightfully figured there might be blow back if Diana's name was put out front, but if you complain about her name then you have to complain about Smokey's. And believe it or not it pretty much worked. People gave the name DRATS the side eye, but it didn't stop them from going out and buying millions of copies of "Love Child" and "Someday We'll Be Together", so the crisis was averted. But the truth is that changing the name was a brilliant move to single Diana out and ready her for a solo career. Gordy was banking on it paying off, and it eventually did. But at the time there was no payoff. DRATS wasn't making double what the Supremes did when Flo was in the group. Certainly not because they were two acts in one.
    He also came up with that story so that they wouldn't beat each other up! LOL! Mr. Gordy was very smart with a lot of street smarts. He knew that he had to pay them all equally or the group would have dissolved into the unmentionable, hehehehehehehe!

    He did not dare try it with the Four Tops or the Temptations.
    Last edited by marv2; 03-26-2020 at 07:50 PM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    Believe it or not, I actually heard this explained by someone else in the business- not related to Motown. They weren’t explaining this in regards to Motown or it’s groups. It was a common business practice.
    Yeah, it was also a common business practice to get the groups to change their names upon signing with a record company where the company would end up owning the rights to the new name! This happened to so many groups, I can't even count them.

  20. #20
    By 1966, Diana Ross was a household name - without the Supremes. The name change made perfect sense as she eventually ended up giving interviews, appearing on talk shows, and guest starring on television without Flo, Mary, or Cindy. The same can’t be said for Martha, Smokey, or anyone else impacted by “double billing”. Diana could have left the group in 1966 and would have still become a successful solo artist and global superstar.

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