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  1. #1

    The Supremes Mary Wilson Cindy Birdsong Jean Terrell,It's Time To Break Down/Stone Lo

    This is the performance that was talked about all over town the following day:


  2. #2
    Thanks Marv. One of their best!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Thanks Marv. One of their best!
    You're most welcome Luke. It absolutely was. Few people know that they "borrowed" from this particular appearance for a scene in the original Broadway production of "Dreamgirls". I also recall the DJ's on the former KISS-FM in NYC talking about it on the air as late as 2000.

  4. #4
    Was Time To Break Down getting much airplay during this time? i know we fans love the song. such a departure for the girls.

  5. #5
    SO great!!!

  6. #6
    One of my fav performances of them.
    Love both songs.

  7. #7
    I wish that the 70s Supremes could of concentrated on they own material for their live show and dropped the show tunes and sped up medley , I believe they could of been more successful .

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dickiemint View Post
    I wish that the 70s Supremes could of concentrated on they own material for their live show and dropped the show tunes and sped up medley , I believe they could of been more successful .
    Totally agree. I was so disappointed by the lack of their own hits yet their set was awash with covers and showtunes. It is little wonder they went downhill as quickly as they did

  9. #9
    but keep in mind some of our fav 70s material from them is hard to properly duplicate live. Stoned Love was certainly a highlight of their live shows but the live version pales drastically next to the glorious album version. Nathan Jones never sounded right live. And this one performance of Time To Break Down is not one of their best. the album track is stunning but it's also mostly a studio production. The girls sing of course but it's hardly the most complex or groundbreaking lyric or melody. it's the overall magic of the album production

    Same with the disco hits. LYG, Sweet Dream, Driving, HE - none of the live versions some close to the studio. And even if they slowed them down to the proper tempos and all.

  10. #10
    I love the three-part harmony by the Girls on "We've Only Just Begun" here. They look good, move smoothly, and sound terrific--and I'd almost say that Cindy gets to be the "featured" vocalist here [[don't read too much into that--I mean words and partial lines). I see it as a continued part of the concept taken in early 1970 that Mary and Cindy didn't have to just stand there, sway, sing, and smile. Anyway, I know that many would've preferred that The Supremes would have sung their own material [[singles and album tracks) during concert and TV appearances--and I would've loved that idea, too--but I think during TV appearances it may have been smarter to include songs like WOJB because those songs were HUGE hits of the time. The Supremes always sang standards and, by the early 1970s, the shift to singing popular songs of the day [[rather than supper club-style standards) seemed to have taken hold. Plus, in those days [[like now), people watching TV could've easily changed the channel if they were bored by what they were seeing--or get up and grab something to eat/drink. Any savvy entertainer[[s) would've gone for what would keep eyeballs on them for the entire appearance.

    Also, while I really enjoy "It's Time To Break Down" as a song, I've never felt it had single potential. That they sang it at all on network TV says something about what the group's management felt about the song, what the show's producers may have felt about the song, and possibly even what the Girls themselves felt about the song. It doesn't seem that they were there to promote "Stoned Love" specifically [[but they weren't foolish and did interpolate it during the latter half of ITTBD), but they may have been testing the waters to see what kind of reaction there was to ITTBD. That said, IMO, it was never a great choice for a single. B-side? Sure. I just wonder if there was another track from the "New Ways" album that might have been a better choice for TV. Still gentle and slow to show a sensual side, but clearly Motown. What about "Shine On Me"? They still could've inserted "Stoned Love" into it. Woulda-coulda-shoulda, but... I think there were one or two better options for TV performance from "New Ways" and someone chose the wrong song.

  11. #11
    I always thought that 'I wish I were your Mirror ' from the New Ways album would of been a good concert opening for the 70s Supremes, I for one think that if they had a bit more backing from Motown they could have had a legacy as good as the 60s group.

  12. #12
    I always thought that Thank Him For Today or Is There A Place would have been good singles.

  13. #13
    Together We Can Make would have been an excellent single. Thank Him and Shine On Me are my next two choices

  14. #14
    It was great to hear Cindy clearly here, and she seemed to be at the height of her beauty; the first look, with the swept-back, longer hair, accentuated her face especially well. If I recall correctly, she wore a similar style for her wedding and, per the photos, looked extraordinary then. And Jean, too, looked best with the hairstyle in this clip. Mary's most appealing long-hair look was in TCB, but the 'do she sports in this broadcast is also flattering. These fresh coifs enabled the group to look put-together, yet natural and contemporary. Had they worn similar long hairstyles consistently for the next few years -- and had they stuck with simpler, less sequined gowns -- they may have seemed more relevant, and less like relics of the last decade, for a much longer period. Too, while they adapted their sound somewhat for the changing time, they should have concentrated more on developing a consistent style in their appearance and tone. As the '70s wore on, it became less and less easy to identify the members [[even before the actual members did change over and over) because they had no longer had any visual or musical identity.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Totally agree. I was so disappointed by the lack of their own hits yet their set was awash with covers and showtunes. It is little wonder they went downhill as quickly as they did
    The other day I ran across a clip of Lynda leading on "You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You". I don't recall if Jean was in the group, or if this was a Mary, Cindy, Lynda lineup. Regardless, it was almost uncomfortable listening to it. Maybe embarrassing is a better word? By 1972/1973, the showtunes should have been ditched.

    While I'm on it, it's always been peculiar to me that regardless of 70s lineup, there seemed to be so many cover songs included in concert. "I'll Take You There", "He Ain't Heavy", etc. With such a vast catalog of songs, why feature hits by others?

  16. #16
    i think as Dan mentioned, cover tunes were extremely common at this time. Especially in a Vegas act. The girls were still frequently playing this old supper clubs so their shows there were still relevant.

    the problem is that these clubs were declining in overall popularity and younger audiences and stadium crowds were increasing. and in these types of venues, you're right - the covers and cornball stage patter comes across very dated and out of touch.

    Same with the outfits. Vegas def still needed glitz and glam. but for the other dates, they could have explored more hip and contemporary.

    it's almost like they needed Show A and Show B with different set lists, choreography, etc.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by benross View Post
    It was great to hear Cindy clearly here, and she seemed to be at the height of her beauty; the first look, with the swept-back, longer hair, accentuated her face especially well. If I recall correctly, she wore a similar style for her wedding and, per the photos, looked extraordinary then. And Jean, too, looked best with the hairstyle in this clip. Mary's most appealing long-hair look was in TCB, but the 'do she sports in this broadcast is also flattering. These fresh coifs enabled the group to look put-together, yet natural and contemporary. Had they worn similar long hairstyles consistently for the next few years -- and had they stuck with simpler, less sequined gowns -- they may have seemed more relevant, and less like relics of the last decade, for a much longer period. Too, while they adapted their sound somewhat for the changing time, they should have concentrated more on developing a consistent style in their appearance and tone. As the '70s wore on, it became less and less easy to identify the members [[even before the actual members did change over and over) because they had no longer had any visual or musical identity.
    the look the girls had for Central Park in summer 71 was fabulous. the fringed mini dresses, hair pulled back and special silver hair ornaments and jewelry commissioned. very hip. the set list is pretty good although it still has more standards than needed.

  18. #18
    Didn't Jean have an issue singing the 60's supremes songs. Also what stadium were the ladies playing in the 70's? They were a club act. I agree they should've had more than one show and less cover songs. Not sure of their set list through out the 70s but from what I've heard central park, was one of the best shows

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by rod_rick View Post
    Didn't Jean have an issue singing the 60's supremes songs. Also what stadium were the ladies playing in the 70's? They were a club act. I agree they should've had more than one show and less cover songs. Not sure of their set list through out the 70s but from what I've heard central park, was one of the best shows
    Yes she did, but she knew they were an important part of the Supremes legacy. Her main problem was being on the road 40 weeks per year working with people whom she did not get along with. It cannot have been easy for either party.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by rod_rick View Post
    Didn't Jean have an issue singing the 60's supremes songs. Also what stadium were the ladies playing in the 70's? They were a club act. I agree they should've had more than one show and less cover songs. Not sure of their set list through out the 70s but from what I've heard central park, was one of the best shows
    no that's my point - the girls didn't do lots of big stadium style gigs. not sure if Diana did at the time either. did the temps? I know Stevie broke into that, especially during his tour with the Stones.

    And i sort of mentioned "stadiums" and "arenas" to mean the bigger rock gigs that young people were going to. sort of more a general terms for the college/young adult market

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Yes she did, but she knew they were an important part of the Supremes legacy. Her main problem was being on the road 40 weeks per year working with people whom she did not get along with. It cannot have been easy for either party.
    and also she was frustrated that the 70s songs were relegated to medleys, other than Stoned Love and maybe their current single.

    Tony Turner [[and this is certainly not a perfect source) mentioned how L and J wanted to change the image and style of the group. go more r&b. i would guess that would mean dropped more of the corny stage age and showtunes.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    and also she was frustrated that the 70s songs were relegated to medleys, other than Stoned Love and maybe their current single.

    Tony Turner [[and this is certainly not a perfect source) mentioned how L and J wanted to change the image and style of the group. go more r&b. i would guess that would mean dropped more of the corny stage age and showtunes.
    If that were the case then they were spot on. All the show tunes should have been dumped and replaced with full versions of their 70s hits and/or album cuts. I would certainly ditch the 60s Supremes medley and have Mary and Scherrie each perform a revamped, reimagined version of a 60 s hit instead.
    A slight change of name, perhaps to The New Supremes would also have helped to establish their new sound and identity with the general public. In short they needed to move forward, not hang onto to the old.
    Last edited by Ollie9; 05-06-2021 at 10:12 AM.

  23. #23
    I’ve heard the full 71 show and it definitely wasn’t a DRATS show. It was pretty updated.
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    the look the girls had for Central Park in summer 71 was fabulous. the fringed mini dresses, hair pulled back and special silver hair ornaments and jewelry commissioned. very hip. the set list is pretty good although it still has more standards than needed.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think as Dan mentioned, cover tunes were extremely common at this time. Especially in a Vegas act. The girls were still frequently playing this old supper clubs so their shows there were still relevant.

    the problem is that these clubs were declining in overall popularity and younger audiences and stadium crowds were increasing. and in these types of venues, you're right - the covers and cornball stage patter comes across very dated and out of touch.

    Same with the outfits. Vegas def still needed glitz and glam. but for the other dates, they could have explored more hip and contemporary.

    it's almost like they needed Show A and Show B with different set lists, choreography, etc.
    While showtunes might have been acceptable for Vegas, at the very least they could have upgraded to something more contemporary. "SOMEBODY LOVES YOU" had been in the act for almost a decade by then. It's shocking they weren't still doing "MAME".

    JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR was huge in 1971. Same with GODSPELL. Certainly something could have been plucked from the score.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    If that were the case then they were spot on. All the show tunes should have been dumped and replaced with full versions of their 70s hits and/or album cuts. I would certainly ditch the 60s Supremes medley and have Mary and Scherrie each perform a revamped, reimagined version of a 60 s hit instead.
    A slight change of name, perhaps to The New Supremes would also have helped to establish their new sound and identity with the general public. In short they needed to move forward, not hang onto to the old.
    I agree. "The New Supremes" might have given them an extra boost. Much like The New Seekers.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    If that were the case then they were spot on. All the show tunes should have been dumped and replaced with full versions of their 70’s hits and/or album cuts. I would certainly ditch the 60’s Supremes medley and have Mary and Scherrie each perform a revamped, reimagined version of a 60 ‘s hit instead.
    A slight change of name, perhaps to The New Supremes would also have helped to establish their new sound and identity with the general public. In short they needed to move forward, not hang onto to the old.
    they sort of did that name change in 70 back to The Supremes. it wasn't official [[as in being printed on the record labels) but in PR, magazines, tv spots, they referred to themselves as the NEW supremes

  27. #27
    in summer 71, the Central Park set list was:

    Intro medley: Feeling Good, Loving Country, Together we can make such sweet music
    We've only just begun
    60s medley
    Love Story
    River Deep
    Love the one you're with
    Can't take my eyes off you/quiet nights
    everybody's got the right
    nathan jones
    People [[jean solo)
    Stoned love
    Revival/O Happy Day
    Last edited by sup_fan; 05-06-2021 at 10:44 AM.

  28. #28
    The Aug 72 show at Valley Forge while on tour with the Temps:

    TCB
    60s medley
    Your wonderful sweet love
    It's alright with me
    Stoned love
    can't take my eyes/quiet nights
    love the one you're with
    60s medley 2
    lean on me
    everybody's got the right
    He aint heavy
    you're nobody till somebody
    somewhere
    I'm gonna mak you love you
    rhythm of life



    The Dec 72 show at the Apollo was [[and they did multiple but shorter shows)

    TCB
    60s medley
    Can't take my eyes/Quiet night
    stoned love
    I guess i'll miss the mane
    60s medley #2
    He's ain't heavy [[jean solo)
    revival/love train/oh happy day

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    but keep in mind some of our fav 70s material from them is hard to properly duplicate live. Stoned Love was certainly a highlight of their live shows but the live version pales drastically next to the glorious album version. Nathan Jones never sounded right live. And this one performance of Time To Break Down is not one of their best. the album track is stunning but it's also mostly a studio production. The girls sing of course but it's hardly the most complex or groundbreaking lyric or melody. it's the overall magic of the album production

    Same with the disco hits. LYG, Sweet Dream, Driving, HE - none of the live versions some close to the studio. And even if they slowed them down to the proper tempos and all.

    I heard Mary sing a damn good version Nathan a few years ago. It could have been a symphony concert. The part where she does the "hoo hoo" was especially haunting as it was exactly like the studio cut. I wish they ditched the show tunes and dressed more contemporary. I thought for a while they were going to a more rock orientated sound that suited me fine. I guess they were caught between the wants "older fans" while trying to attract newer fans. They had been at this for over a decade so they still had to please their original fan base.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    I heard Mary sing a damn good version Nathan a few years ago. It could have been a symphony concert. The part where she does the "hoo hoo" was especially haunting as it was exactly like the studio cut. I wish they ditched the show tunes and dressed more contemporary. I thought for a while they were going to a more rock orientated sound that suited me fine. I guess they were caught between the wants "older fans" while trying to attract newer fans. They had been at this for over a decade so they still had to please their original fan base.
    yes but their original fan base from the 60s [[those who would have been early teens buying Back In My Arms and You Can't Hurry Love) would now be in college or in their early 20s. And new younger fans in 1970 and 71 would have been eager for a new more modern approach than the cutesy-pie ditties of the 60s and You're Nobody Till Somebody.

    I think some of the things they did in the early 70s were somewhat modern, or at least first baby steps towards that. but then it's like the got nervous and backtracked

    Some of the Jean-era outfits are pretty hot - the green fringe pantsuits from Tom Jones, the red and blue halter top and hot pants from Flip Wilson, the white fringe mini dresses from Central Park

  31. #31
    So the question is:

    The consensus is that the Supremes needed the gowns and the showtunes and the slick moves for Vegas. How many times did they ACTUALLY play Vegas? I could see this type of show spilling into the Copa/Supper Club setting, but weren't most gigs state fairs and college campuses?

  32. #32
    I really think Mary just loved dressing up like that whether it was the popular thing to do at the time or not. She made excuses for it but as others have pointed out, they were lame excuses. By her own admission Mary was a girly-girl. She wrote and has said that she loved the gowns, make up, etc. I think she was just doing what she wanted to do regardless.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    I really think Mary just loved dressing up like that whether it was the popular thing to do at the time or not. She made excuses for it but as others have pointed out, they were lame excuses. By her own admission Mary was a girly-girl. She wrote and has said that she loved the gowns, make up, etc. I think she was just doing what she wanted to do regardless.
    i think a lot of the Supremes image was based on Diana and Mary. both were really into style, fashion, glamour. I don't know who made final decisions on things regarding stagewear, style, live show set lists, etc. By Mary's own admission, she began taking on more of these responsibilities in the 70s. But not sure about during the Jean years just how much she was. Certainly during the Scherrie era it was really all Mary's design.

    Mary really loved the glam image of the group and i think that was something she held onto. Once established, it's hard to change as people expect it. look at some of the MJL fashions - the chiffon gowns on Kate Smith, the red floral gowns they wore with the Temps in LA at The Grove. they were definitely NOT overly glam or sequined and they didn't really seem to go over that well. of course that doesn't mean they couldn't have continued to explore or find better options that weren't to glitz.

  34. #34
    Mary did love to live like it was 1966 and the champagne was still flowing.

  35. #35
    To be honest, I think there's too much finger pointing at the live shows. The truth is, how much of the record buying public went to see their favorite artists in concert anyway? Wouldn't it be safe to say that most of the people who bought the singles and albums of the 60s Supremes never even saw them in person? Wouldn't that same thing go for the 70s Supremes?

    The live shows were certainly important. There was a lot of money to be made on the road. And the best live acts usually got the best money. The 70s Supremes needed to revamp the live act, no doubt about it. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that all the talk about the live shows is nitpicking. And I don't mean that as an insult to anyone participating in the conversation. Like I said, I'm in agreement that the live act needed to be re-worked a ton. But the real problem was material. The 70s Supremes could've had the hottest live act in the world, but the story would've turned out the same if we're talking the same singles and albums. They needed material for radio that was going to knock the public's socks off, and that rarely happened, and when it did it was early on in the post Diana period.

    Glammed up, glammed down, too much Mary, not enough Mary, too many showtunes, not enough showtunes, it wouldn't have mattered much if the group couldn't score major hits. The rest of the issues are distractions because none of those things would really have solved the problem. I'm convinced now more than ever before that there was no one at Motown who was really in a position to give the Supremes material that was going to return them to the top. The writers and producers who could do it were outside the company and either Motown didn't give a shit or it never occurred to them to seek someone outside the label for the Supremes. The talent was there, the chemistry was there, but the hit songs were missing.

  36. #36
    You took the words right out of my mouth.
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    To be honest, I think there's too much finger pointing at the live shows. The truth is, how much of the record buying public went to see their favorite artists in concert anyway? Wouldn't it be safe to say that most of the people who bought the singles and albums of the 60s Supremes never even saw them in person? Wouldn't that same thing go for the 70s Supremes?

    The live shows were certainly important. There was a lot of money to be made on the road. And the best live acts usually got the best money. The 70s Supremes needed to revamp the live act, no doubt about it. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that all the talk about the live shows is nitpicking. And I don't mean that as an insult to anyone participating in the conversation. Like I said, I'm in agreement that the live act needed to be re-worked a ton. But the real problem was material. The 70s Supremes could've had the hottest live act in the world, but the story would've turned out the same if we're talking the same singles and albums. They needed material for radio that was going to knock the public's socks off, and that rarely happened, and when it did it was early on in the post Diana period.

    Glammed up, glammed down, too much Mary, not enough Mary, too many showtunes, not enough showtunes, it wouldn't have mattered much if the group couldn't score major hits. The rest of the issues are distractions because none of those things would really have solved the problem. I'm convinced now more than ever before that there was no one at Motown who was really in a position to give the Supremes material that was going to return them to the top. The writers and producers who could do it were outside the company and either Motown didn't give a shit or it never occurred to them to seek someone outside the label for the Supremes. The talent was there, the chemistry was there, but the hit songs were missing.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by dickiemint View Post
    I always thought that 'I wish I were your Mirror ' from the New Ways album would of been a good concert opening for the 70s Supremes, I for one think that if they had a bit more backing from Motown they could have had a legacy as good as the 60s group.
    Yes, 'Mirror' would have been a great opening song.

  38. #38
    How many regular musicians toured with the Supremes? Besides their conductor, how many other musicians were a part of their regular band? And what percentage were pick up musicians at the locale they were playing? Based on what I've heard they always had a Vegas style big band up there playing. Maybe one of the elements of updating the show could have been cutting down to Guitar/bass/drums/keyboards and a 4 piece horn section? May not have produced the full sound of their Motown hits, but might have something to consider.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I agree. "The New Supremes" might have given them an extra boost. Much like The New Seekers.
    Funnily enough I was thinking of The New Seekers when I posted.
    IMO, with the vast majority of joe public the name Supremes will always be associated with Diana Ross. That’s why a name change to The New Supremes would have declared to the world this was a new sound and identity, not a continuation of the Diana led years with a different lead singer.
    Other then mega stars, hit singles are of course the life blood for any group or solo act. Is it possible that had the group created a completely new identity form the off, some of those records might have sold better then they did.. “SL” alone should have gone mega.
    As it was, it seemed the group were often trying to live up to the expectations of their 60’s heyday, or attempting to breakaway from the long shadow that DR undoubtedly cast.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    To be honest, I think there's too much finger pointing at the live shows. The truth is, how much of the record buying public went to see their favorite artists in concert anyway? Wouldn't it be safe to say that most of the people who bought the singles and albums of the 60s Supremes never even saw them in person? Wouldn't that same thing go for the 70s Supremes?

    The live shows were certainly important. There was a lot of money to be made on the road. And the best live acts usually got the best money. The 70s Supremes needed to revamp the live act, no doubt about it. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that all the talk about the live shows is nitpicking. And I don't mean that as an insult to anyone participating in the conversation. Like I said, I'm in agreement that the live act needed to be re-worked a ton. But the real problem was material. The 70s Supremes could've had the hottest live act in the world, but the story would've turned out the same if we're talking the same singles and albums. They needed material for radio that was going to knock the public's socks off, and that rarely happened, and when it did it was early on in the post Diana period.

    Glammed up, glammed down, too much Mary, not enough Mary, too many showtunes, not enough showtunes, it wouldn't have mattered much if the group couldn't score major hits. The rest of the issues are distractions because none of those things would really have solved the problem. I'm convinced now more than ever before that there was no one at Motown who was really in a position to give the Supremes material that was going to return them to the top. The writers and producers who could do it were outside the company and either Motown didn't give a shit or it never occurred to them to seek someone outside the label for the Supremes. The talent was there, the chemistry was there, but the hit songs were missing.
    actually the supremes did LOTS of shows and at venues that were readily accessible to the general public. Forrest Hills stadium, college dates, Steel Pier, the apollo, central park

    In 71 the girls played a range of dates and my list is quite incomplete - Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Schafer Music Festival, Athletics and Convocation Center in South Bend, IN. Plus playing Palisades Amusement Park, Magic Mountain, Disney Resorts,

    yes the girls continued to play the bigger club rooms and all where the crowds were mostly older. But that's also part of my point of my complaint about motown's strategy for the group. I think they should have done more package revues again with Gladys Knight, Stevie, The Sups, etc. Those could have commanded the big convention centers and stadiums, playing for thousands of teens and college students.

    There has been fan discussion over the years of the Sups on Jesse Jackson's Operation Push in 72. there's video footage of the J5 and GKATPs and their sets are wonderful. But supposedly the Supremes did that Cabaret medley like they did on their Japanese live album, other showtunes and stuff. and the crowd wasn't very receptive

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    To be honest, I think there's too much finger pointing at the live shows. The truth is, how much of the record buying public went to see their favorite artists in concert anyway? Wouldn't it be safe to say that most of the people who bought the singles and albums of the 60s Supremes never even saw them in person? Wouldn't that same thing go for the 70s Supremes?

    The live shows were certainly important. There was a lot of money to be made on the road. And the best live acts usually got the best money. The 70s Supremes needed to revamp the live act, no doubt about it. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that all the talk about the live shows is nitpicking. And I don't mean that as an insult to anyone participating in the conversation. Like I said, I'm in agreement that the live act needed to be re-worked a ton. But the real problem was material. The 70s Supremes could've had the hottest live act in the world, but the story would've turned out the same if we're talking the same singles and albums. They needed material for radio that was going to knock the public's socks off, and that rarely happened, and when it did it was early on in the post Diana period.

    Glammed up, glammed down, too much Mary, not enough Mary, too many showtunes, not enough showtunes, it wouldn't have mattered much if the group couldn't score major hits. The rest of the issues are distractions because none of those things would really have solved the problem. I'm convinced now more than ever before that there was no one at Motown who was really in a position to give the Supremes material that was going to return them to the top. The writers and producers who could do it were outside the company and either Motown didn't give a shit or it never occurred to them to seek someone outside the label for the Supremes. The talent was there, the chemistry was there, but the hit songs were missing.
    Yes, yes--a thousand times--yes to all you said, RanRan.

  42. #42
    Truth is, the Supremes should have focused less on the US and more on the UK. Mary herself said the UK fans embraced the Supremes in the 70s tenfold than in the US.

    The Three Degrees JUMPED on that bandwagon; had hits throughout the 70's overseas and are still to this day HUMONGOUS in Japan. They LOVE their ooohs and aaahs!

  43. #43
    It’s interesting that you said that because according to a few sources is that Diana gotten the older crowd ant Mary and the girls were grabbing more of the kids and more of us [[black folks) were rediscovering the girls.

    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    actually the supremes did LOTS of shows and at venues that were readily accessible to the general public. Forrest Hills stadium, college dates, Steel Pier, the apollo, central park

    In 71 the girls played a range of dates and my list is quite incomplete - Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Schafer Music Festival, Athletics and Convocation Center in South Bend, IN. Plus playing Palisades Amusement Park, Magic Mountain, Disney Resorts,

    yes the girls continued to play the bigger club rooms and all where the crowds were mostly older. But that's also part of my point of my complaint about motown's strategy for the group. I think they should have done more package revues again with Gladys Knight, Stevie, The Sups, etc. Those could have commanded the big convention centers and stadiums, playing for thousands of teens and college students.

    There has been fan discussion over the years of the Sups on Jesse Jackson's Operation Push in 72. there's video footage of the J5 and GKATPs and their sets are wonderful. But supposedly the Supremes did that Cabaret medley like they did on their Japanese live album, other showtunes and stuff. and the crowd wasn't very receptive

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    actually the supremes did LOTS of shows and at venues that were readily accessible to the general public. Forrest Hills stadium, college dates, Steel Pier, the apollo, central park

    In 71 the girls played a range of dates and my list is quite incomplete - Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Schafer Music Festival, Athletics and Convocation Center in South Bend, IN. Plus playing Palisades Amusement Park, Magic Mountain, Disney Resorts,

    yes the girls continued to play the bigger club rooms and all where the crowds were mostly older. But that's also part of my point of my complaint about motown's strategy for the group. I think they should have done more package revues again with Gladys Knight, Stevie, The Sups, etc. Those could have commanded the big convention centers and stadiums, playing for thousands of teens and college students.

    There has been fan discussion over the years of the Sups on Jesse Jackson's Operation Push in 72. there's video footage of the J5 and GKATPs and their sets are wonderful. But supposedly the Supremes did that Cabaret medley like they did on their Japanese live album, other showtunes and stuff. and the crowd wasn't very receptive
    Looking back, I can understand why after 1972, the Supremes weren't singing their latest release - because most of them were not successful enough. But there seemed to be very little planning and preparation - why would you go to Operation Push and sing the Cabaret Medley? It makes no sense. All it showed was a group out of touch and on the downward slide.

  45. #45
    They always did their latest releases after 72 regardless of where on the charts they were. I’ve heard they did their club act for the kids not sure how true or false since there’s no record of it.
    but if they did , wrong move.
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Looking back, I can understand why after 1972, the Supremes weren't singing their latest release - because most of them were not successful enough. But there seemed to be very little planning and preparation - why would you go to Operation Push and sing the Cabaret Medley? It makes no sense. All it showed was a group out of touch and on the downward slide.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Looking back, I can understand why after 1972, the Supremes weren't singing their latest release - because most of them were not successful enough. But there seemed to be very little planning and preparation - why would you go to Operation Push and sing the Cabaret Medley? It makes no sense. All it showed was a group out of touch and on the downward slide.
    that's sort of my overall point here. I'm not sure if it was the girls, the manager, motown overall. or all of the above. i've mentioned it on here a bunch and it still baffles me that there didn't seem to be more coordination between release schedule, tv dates and live shows. it's really almost as if the recording and releases were all in 1 corporate silo and the tour planning and all was a totally different silo.

    with NW, Touch, FJ, etc you could have easily revamped the show with new content from the singles and albums, new additional material that was appropriate for the tour and album, sets and costumes, etc.

    for instance, with Floy Joy you could have done a marvelous job of some new costumes that aligned with the album art. They often wore 2 or 3 in a show so if you had 6 or 7 sets, you'd be covered. white, reds, pinks. some matching some not.

    And what a perfect way to promote the album by incorporating a Smokey medley. I could see opening the show with YWSSL The band is on stage and jamming on the intro. there's a white set backdrop with a center panel with Floy Joy on it in red. Then the panel could open or rotate and there are the girls in white outfits and the white & red patio table set up. They descend a few stairs from that platform to start singing the opening number.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    They always did their latest releases after 72 regardless of where on the charts they were. I’ve heard they did their club act for the kids not sure how true or false since there’s no record of it.
    but if they did , wrong move.
    the Valley Forge show with the Temps included only the most recent - YWSSL. but they did do a few more full versions of the 70s music. Stoned Love and Everybody. but that's only 3 70s songs

    I wonder if on the Japan album there are a few more songs on the setlist but were cut from the lp. I'd guess they did You're Nobody. wonder if I Guess I'll Miss The Man was still in the act? The version live at the Apollo was lovely

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    that's sort of my overall point here. I'm not sure if it was the girls, the manager, motown overall. or all of the above. i've mentioned it on here a bunch and it still baffles me that there didn't seem to be more coordination between release schedule, tv dates and live shows. it's really almost as if the recording and releases were all in 1 corporate silo and the tour planning and all was a totally different silo.

    with NW, Touch, FJ, etc you could have easily revamped the show with new content from the singles and albums, new additional material that was appropriate for the tour and album, sets and costumes, etc.

    for instance, with Floy Joy you could have done a marvelous job of some new costumes that aligned with the album art. They often wore 2 or 3 in a show so if you had 6 or 7 sets, you'd be covered. white, reds, pinks. some matching some not.

    And what a perfect way to promote the album by incorporating a Smokey medley. I could see opening the show with YWSSL The band is on stage and jamming on the intro. there's a white set backdrop with a center panel with Floy Joy on it in red. Then the panel could open or rotate and there are the girls in white outfits and the white & red patio table set up. They descend a few stairs from that platform to start singing the opening number.
    Grant, I absolutely don't disagree with your opinion and great ideas here, but I think the problem was: MONEY. Diana *might* have gotten that kind of budget [including rotating sets], but I would think by 1972 that money for that kind of thing [especially with the singles chart performances starting to slide] just wasn't there. I have to wonder, as well, whether or not in 1972, if/when Diana was on stage, whether or not she had/would've had that kind of presentation. For years, the Supremes generally just skipped on stage after they were announced. I would almost imagine that Diana either did the same during her early solo career or perhaps she entered from the back of the house. Building moveable stagings would've been expensive, as was storing them, transporting them, and having a crew to stage and strike them. As I said above, I would've loved that kind of idea [and similar more creative ways to stage their show for the '70s and incorporate more album material and themed shows], but I think that the bottom line for The Supremes during those years was money. Secondary was exactly what you said--there didn't seem to be any strong connection between Corporate and Group Management/Coordination.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    the Valley Forge show with the Temps included only the most recent - YWSSL. but they did do a few more full versions of the 70s music. Stoned Love and Everybody. but that's only 3 70s songs

    I wonder if on the Japan album there are a few more songs on the setlist but were cut from the lp. I'd guess they did You're Nobody. wonder if I Guess I'll Miss The Man was still in the act? The version live at the Apollo was lovely
    Something I noticed in reading the '70s set lists [and it's definitely not some major revelation for most] is that Up The Ladder To The Roof didn't seem to get much full performance. Sure, it was included in their hit medley, but you see a full version of Everybody's Got The Right To Love included over and over again, but not Up. I don't get the reasoning behind marginalizing UTLTTR and pushing EGTRTL. The latter plods along where as the former is more of a 'get up and dance' track. Odd choices, IMO.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by danman869 View Post
    Grant, I absolutely don't disagree with your opinion and great ideas here, but I think the problem was: MONEY. Diana *might* have gotten that kind of budget [including rotating sets], but I would think by 1972 that money for that kind of thing [especially with the singles chart performances starting to slide] just wasn't there. I have to wonder, as well, whether or not in 1972, if/when Diana was on stage, whether or not she had/would've had that kind of presentation. For years, the Supremes generally just skipped on stage after they were announced. I would almost imagine that Diana either did the same during her early solo career or perhaps she entered from the back of the house. Building moveable stagings would've been expensive, as was storing them, transporting them, and having a crew to stage and strike them. As I said above, I would've loved that kind of idea [and similar more creative ways to stage their show for the '70s and incorporate more album material and themed shows], but I think that the bottom line for The Supremes during those years was money. Secondary was exactly what you said--there didn't seem to be any strong connection between Corporate and Group Management/Coordination.
    yeah this is more of a fantasy idea. it might have been too "ahead of its time" like you said. And certainly for 1 nighters, it would have been very expensive. but a fun idea.

    Still the disconnect between Corp and Management seems glaring

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