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  1. #1
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    chart action for Stoned Love and New Ways

    there seems to be a bit of fun chatter about SL and NW, both here and on FB. figured i'd pull out the ol' excel sheet with all of the chart data and we can dig in a bit on these. they're quite interesting runs

    Stoned Love was released on Oct 15, 1970

    it entered the charts on Nov 7, which is typical. and maybe that's even a bit faster than other songs. usually it was a month delay from release to first chart action

    first chart entry was #61. that's a little lower than some other releases but definitely not out of the ordinary. You Keep Me Hangin entered at 68, someday entered at 50.

    the chart history is:

    61 - 48- 22- 21 - 20 - 12 - 7 - 7 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 12 - 21 -26

    so in the first 3 weeks it shot up to 22. the Tom Jones show aired 11/13 which very likely explains this big jump

    but then it stalled for several weeks around there

    then *wham* big jump to 12 around the 2nd week of Dec and then 5 weeks in top 10. so much of Dec and Jan the song was in the top ten. that's very strong performance. they performed on Mike Douglas and Smokeys special [[but neither contained SL) and then Flip Wilson on 1/7

    it's duration on the charts was also very very strong. one of the longest runs of any Sup songs. which means it was selling LOTS

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    New ways was released in October 70 and entered the Hot 200 album charts on 12/24 at 165.

    that's a rather poor entry charting for a Sup album. some earlier albums entered much higher [[On Broadway #61, Right On #37). but others had been at that range - Love Child #158, join the temps #200

    week 2 is were we see the problems start. NW only crept to #123. those other albums that started low, leapt to much much higher 2nd week rankings.

    NW chart rankings are:

    165 - 123 - 115 - 80 - 73 - 78 - 82 - 82 - 71 - 71 - 68 - 69 - 69 - 68 - 78 - 102 - 130

    so 3 - 4 weeks after it first charted, it finally leap frogged up a bit. but then stalled and started to decline

    then increased again and crept to it's peak

    then decreased for a week and then increased a week - very odd chart activity

    then finally it limped off the charts



    this is one of the most unusual chart patterns for any sup or DR release. anemic initial first few weeks, then it pops, then stalls, slow crept to a paltry peak, then down, then up and then down.

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    I've always wondered how the Supreme's records during this period were impacted by the release of River Deep, Mountain High single and their album with the Four Tops. I would imagine that the duets with the Four Tops cannibalized their group sales. Not to mention that during this time period the Jackson Five were Motown's top priority in terms of promotion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    I've always wondered how the Supreme's records during this period were impacted by the release of River Deep, Mountain High single and their album with the Four Tops. I would imagine that the duets with the Four Tops cannibalized their group sales. Not to mention that during this time period the Jackson Five were Motown's top priority in terms of promotion.
    you're spot on Satan ; lol

    Mag 7 was released in Sept whereas NW was Oct. for some reason, starting in the 70s, we don't have the exact release date. just month.

    M7 didn't chart until mid Oct, NW charted late Oct. they entered the Top 200 within 1 week of each other. That could certainly help explain why Week 2 for NW was so weak. M7 was never doing much on the chart either but i think it's clear that it diluted the movement of NW

    Basically the same story for River. it was released after SL, right around the time Stoned got stuck in the 20s on the charts. so had they not been competing, i bet SL would have risen to the top 10 earlier. i don't know that River held it back from peaking any higher. SL had an amazing Top 10 run. but it clearly slowed down those weeks

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    I never realized how poor the 70s Supremes LP performed on the UK charts, only magnificent 7 & Touch made the top 40, then a Greatest Hits compilation called Love Supreme, hit 10, it was a mix of 60's & 70's groups hits that was put out when Automatically Sunshine was used in a washing powder tv advert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickiemint View Post
    I never realized how poor the 70s Supremes LP performed on the UK charts, only magnificent 7 & Touch made the top 40, then a Greatest Hits compilation called Love Supreme, hit 10, it was a mix of 60's & 70's groups hits that was put out when Automatically Sunshine was used in a washing powder tv advert.
    They certainly underperformed.
    During this period only the top 50 singles and albums were officially released to the public, but many years ago i was given access to the full top 100. The likes of Right On, New Ways and Floy Joy barely scraped into the top 100 despite all of them containing major hit singles. I thought Touch suffered the same fate. I didn't realise it hit the top 40.

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    I've done a sheet on global chart rankings and the Sup albums always seem hit or miss in the UK. the only rankings i have are

    Meet - 13
    A Go Go - 15
    Sing Motown - 15
    R&H - 25
    Greatest Hits - 1
    Reflections 30
    Live at TOTT 6
    Join Temps 1
    Love Child 13
    TCB 1
    Together 28
    Cream 34
    Mag 7 6
    touch 40


    I assumed the data was just missing from Wikipedia or other basics sources like that for the ones w/o a chart. I would have thought More Hits would be on there. and right on too, given how strong Ladder performed.

    any idea why the lps simply died off with the 70s group?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    you're spot on Satan ; lol

    Mag 7 was released in Sept whereas NW was Oct. for some reason, starting in the 70s, we don't have the exact release date. just month.

    M7 didn't chart until mid Oct, NW charted late Oct. they entered the Top 200 within 1 week of each other. That could certainly help explain why Week 2 for NW was so weak. M7 was never doing much on the chart either but i think it's clear that it diluted the movement of NW

    Basically the same story for River. it was released after SL, right around the time Stoned got stuck in the 20s on the charts. so had they not been competing, i bet SL would have risen to the top 10 earlier. i don't know that River held it back from peaking any higher. SL had an amazing Top 10 run. but it clearly slowed down those weeks
    Do you have the Four Top 45 and LP release schedule during 1970? It seems like all their releases were probably competing for both sales, airplay and promotion. Wasn't '70 the best and last good year for the Four Tops while at Motown post-HDH?

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    i don't have their release dates tracked but looks like it's a similar story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I've done a sheet on global chart rankings and the Sup albums always seem hit or miss in the UK. the only rankings i have are

    Meet - 13
    A Go Go - 15
    Sing Motown - 15
    R&H - 25
    Greatest Hits - 1
    Reflections 30
    Live at TOTT 6
    Join Temps 1
    Love Child 13
    TCB 1
    Together 28
    Cream 34
    Mag 7 6
    touch 40


    I assumed the data was just missing from Wikipedia or other basics sources like that for the ones w/o a chart. I would have thought More Hits would be on there. and right on too, given how strong Ladder performed.

    any idea why the lps simply died off with the 70s group?
    I think they were primarily seen as a singles act in the UK.
    Also bear in mind they had no presence on tv over here other than when they toured. The likes of Ladder, Stoned Love and Nathan Jones totally relied on radio airplay. I can imagine these songs [[and others too) charting even higher had the girls promoted them on Top of the Pops and other tv shows. The girls had lots of tv exposure in the States yet none of these songs did as well over there as they did in the UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I think they were primarily seen as a singles act in the UK.
    Also bear in mind they had no presence on tv over here other than when they toured. The likes of Ladder, Stoned Love and Nathan Jones totally relied on radio airplay. I can imagine these songs [[and others too) charting even higher had the girls promoted them on Top of the Pops and other tv shows. The girls had lots of tv exposure in the States yet none of these songs did as well over there as they did in the UK.
    I agree in that they were viewed more as a singles act in the UK. Having said that, it is rather odd the albums didn’t sell a little better considering how high their singles were consistently charting on these shores.
    Had Smokey Robinson been able to produce the follow up to his Floy Joy set i think the flow of hit singles may have continued.
    Further albums with the Tops were weak and far to many. The Webb project was career suicide and proved the proverbial nail for this particular line-up. Such a shame.

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    The Supremes and Four Tops appeared on Top of the Pops in the UK to promote Gotta to have love in your heart, I've seen photos, but not sure the video footage is still available, I think a lot of TOTP has been lost

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    The UK was pretty much a singles market and it's not like too many Motown acts had a quality album [[excepting Marvin & Stevie in the early 70s).

    The release of all those 'Motown Chartbusters'' albums in the UK showed that EMI knew the singles were what most people would rather buy in album form.

    As I've said many times, Motown certainly missed the boat in terms of producing video clips that could have promoted their singles and artists all over the world. And this continued for another decade after the time of 'Stoned Love'.
    Last edited by Levi Stubbs Tears; 03-02-2021 at 06:46 AM.

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    Stoned Love #5 in both Cash Box and Record World.

    Interesting that the Live At The Talk Of The Town album was big in the UK.

    As with Diana the Greatest Hits albums sold bucket loads both making #1.

    The 1977 compilation 20 Golden Greats released as Diana Ross & The Supremes was huge - 69 weeks on the charts and not far short of 1m.

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    It seems whenever the Supremes had a tv appearances they did well.
    Plus Stoned Love followed EGTRTL. Poor choice for a single.imo

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickiemint View Post
    The Supremes and Four Tops appeared on Top of the Pops in the UK to promote Gotta to have love in your heart, I've seen photos, but not sure the video footage is still available, I think a lot of TOTP has been lost
    Yes that footage still exists. I watched it only last week. The full show is available on youtube. Supremes and Four Tops were the penultimate act on the show just before the no.1. It is also available on it's own on youtube.
    The only other time the 70's Supremes appeared live on totp were in 1973 with Bad Weather and 1975 with He's my man. Neither of those performances have yet to resurface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickiemint View Post
    The Supremes and Four Tops appeared on Top of the Pops in the UK to promote Gotta to have love in your heart, I've seen photos, but not sure the video footage is still available, I think a lot of TOTP has been lost

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I agree in that they were viewed more as a singles act in the UK. Having said that, it is rather odd the albums didn’t sell a little better considering how high their singles were consistently charting on these shores.
    Had Smokey Robinson been able to produce the follow up to his Floy Joy set i think the flow of hit singles may have continued.
    Further albums with the Tops were weak and far to many. The Webb project was career suicide and proved the proverbial nail for this particular line-up. Such a shame.
    I also believe the 60's Supremes and Diana as a solo artist would have charted higher many times had they appeared on UK tv to promote their songs. I realise they could only be in one place at once, and the USA was obviously the main market to target, but you only need look at Diana's 90's chart action when she had a regular presence on UK tv to see just to see how much more successful she/they could have been in the 60's, 70's and 80's had they been visible to the public.

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    it is interesting that the idea of broadcasting video footage as opposed to live hadn't been thought up. Top of the Pops could have licensed footage from all sorts of US shows. Sullivan probably wouldn't have gone for it but perhaps American Bandstand would have [[not that the Sups appeared there either but you get what i'm saying)

    Also, my comment about the albums is more about the fact that the 60s era albums did generally chart, even though the DRATS singles didn't really perform all that spectacularly in the UK. whereas the 70s Sups singles were big hits but their albums faltered

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    it is interesting that the idea of broadcasting video footage as opposed to live hadn't been thought up. Top of the Pops could have licensed footage from all sorts of US shows. Sullivan probably wouldn't have gone for it but perhaps American Bandstand would have [[not that the Sups appeared there either but you get what i'm saying)

    Also, my comment about the albums is more about the fact that the 60s era albums did generally chart, even though the DRATS singles didn't really perform all that spectacularly in the UK. whereas the 70s Sups singles were big hits but their albums faltered
    They did license performances from Soul Train and a handful of other shows, but Ed Sullivan was strictly off limits. Not sure about shows such as Bandstand and Hollywood Palace.

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    I was very young at the time - only really got into the charts around 1974 so don't really remember You Gotta Have Love and Bad Weather being on TOTP.

    Although I don't remember much about then I was at concerts by them in the Lewisham Odeon and Croydon Fairfield Halls when Bad Weather was released.

    Given the fact that an appearance on TOTP usually guaranteed good sales you would have expected both of these records to have done much better especially the "duet".

    In response to complaints that I'm Gonna Make You Love Me had been ignored [[reached #3) by TOTP in 1969 they played No Matter What Sign You Are and it was another one which didn't really benefit from the exposure.

    Strange.

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    I always found it strange that the one TV show the Supremes didn't appear on was Bandstand. They were on just about everything else except that.

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    That's a nice clip; I always liked the song. Must say, however ... that although the Magnificent 7 all look great they also look rather 'mature' for singles-airplay. Can't help but think that may have had something to do with decreasing chart action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    That's a nice clip; I always liked the song. Must say, however ... that although the Magnificent 7 all look great they also look rather 'mature' for singles-airplay. Can't help but think that may have had something to do with decreasing chart action.
    I liked this record enough to buy it, but I knew it was gonna flop - it sounded old and fuddy-duddyish to me, even though I dug the rhythm of the verse very, very much but the rest was for grannies. Then that absurd album cover: hokey and dated cowboy looks b/w reconstituted glam that was way out of date. I knew the it was over for The Supremes. They had some good records but there was no interest in the group there was no talk about them at school nobody was talking about the new supreme’s record and how good it was or anything, they were dismissed by the same people that a year or two earlier talked about their stuff all the time. They used to be cool and fresh, but now they were Blah and clinging to a glam look with no one to anchor it or direct it fashionably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    I liked this record enough to buy it, but I knew it was gonna flop - it sounded old and fuddy-duddyish to me, even though I dug the rhythm of the verse very, very much but the rest was for grannies. Then that absurd album cover: hokey and dated cowboy looks b/w reconstituted glam that was way out of date. I knew the it was over for The Supremes. They had some good records but there was no interest in the group there was no talk about them at school nobody was talking about the new supreme’s record and how good it was or anything, they were dismissed by the same people that a year or two earlier talked about their stuff all the time. They used to be cool and fresh, but now they were Blah and clinging to a glam look with no one to anchor it or direct it fashionably.
    Maniac - what do you think of some of the posts on here about how a revised New Ways album might have done just what you stated?

    1. rename the album Stone Love
    2. cover is the afro look, no hodge podge of sequin pics. although maybe it's still gatefold and when you opened it up, there are more pics from on stage, in contemporary clothing, maybe mini bios on the girls
    3. a few adjustments to the song list to tighten up Side B
    4. skip the duet projects altogether

    The album was mostly focused on peace, god, humanity and love. a real rock/opera sound. If there had been a real smart strategic plan around this album, i think it might have been the one to return them to huge status

    and i know we've discussed before the motown really DID do a lot of promotion of the Jean led group. but when the product isn't as good as it could be, promotion will only take you so far

    thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    there seems to be a bit of fun chatter about SL and NW, both here and on FB. figured i'd pull out the ol' excel sheet with all of the chart data and we can dig in a bit on these. they're quite interesting runs

    Stoned Love was released on Oct 15, 1970

    it entered the charts on Nov 7, which is typical. and maybe that's even a bit faster than other songs. usually it was a month delay from release to first chart action

    first chart entry was #61. that's a little lower than some other releases but definitely not out of the ordinary. You Keep Me Hangin entered at 68, someday entered at 50.

    the chart history is:

    61 - 48- 22- 21 - 20 - 12 - 7 - 7 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 12 - 21 -26

    so in the first 3 weeks it shot up to 22. the Tom Jones show aired 11/13 which very likely explains this big jump

    but then it stalled for several weeks around there

    then *wham* big jump to 12 around the 2nd week of Dec and then 5 weeks in top 10. so much of Dec and Jan the song was in the top ten. that's very strong performance. they performed on Mike Douglas and Smokeys special [[but neither contained SL) and then Flip Wilson on 1/7

    it's duration on the charts was also very very strong. one of the longest runs of any Sup songs. which means it was selling LOTS
    I LOVE this thread!!!!!

    I was shocked by the chart action for these - especially when Diana’s sophomore album performed so much better with no single or promotion that I ever encountered. I loved Stined Love and was sure it would hit bigger, but the album, had only one radio friendly cut, And opened with that cornball lyric why should you go to the left why should I go to the right? That would’ve been cool and topical three or four years earlier, but now it sounded like old people trying to be hip. I swear I cringed when I first heard it. I know a lot of people here like that song, But I think outside of the dedicated fan base, it was a weak cornball. That being said, I found the album playable all the way through, but it was missing the punch vitality and radio friendly hooks from its predecessor.

    I don’t believe there was any cannibalization going on because magnificent seven was a disaster, if you added that sales to the sales of new ways but loves days it still wouldn’t of been that impressive. It was a clear indication that interest in the group had slipped a great deal.

    I will never understand why SL stalled for so long where it did, it was too good of a record. Once I began to hear it on the radio, it wasn’t as dynamic as some of the records that were bigger like tears of a clown which burst through the speakers, or the richness of I’ll be there or the raw gritty urban sound of ball Of confusion Or the magnificence of ain’t no mountain high enough or the bombast of war. They were all huge because their sound was unique, SL was great, but nothing really new. I ve always felt that the lyrics of the verses of RivervDeep held it back.

    those records, had they been stronger, would have not competed with each other. Love child, I’m gonna make you love me, cloud 9, I’m living in Shane we’re all over charts at the same time and they didn’t hurt each other. Plus, TCB and join we’re both at the top of the album charts at the same time, folks will spend the money if the product is there. I think magnificent seven deserved to stall where it did because to me it just sounded like throwaway tracks that had almost nothing put into them. I’ve never played that album all the way through since I first got it

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    Quote Originally Posted by florence View Post
    I was very young at the time - only really got into the charts around 1974 so don't really remember You Gotta Have Love and Bad Weather being on TOTP.

    Although I don't remember much about then I was at concerts by them in the Lewisham Odeon and Croydon Fairfield Halls when Bad Weather was released.

    Given the fact that an appearance on TOTP usually guaranteed good sales you would have expected both of these records to have done much better especially the "duet".

    In response to complaints that I'm Gonna Make You Love Me had been ignored [[reached #3) by TOTP in 1969 they played No Matter What Sign You Are and it was another one which didn't really benefit from the exposure.

    Strange.
    I think the main reason why You gotta have love in your heart did not go higher in the charts is because it quite simply was a bang average song.
    Many people thought the same about Bad Weather and He's my man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    I LOVE this thread!!!!!

    I was shocked by the chart action for these - especially when Diana’s sophomore album performed so much better with no single or promotion that I ever encountered. I loved Stined Love and was sure it would hit bigger, but the album, had only one radio friendly cut, And opened with that cornball lyric why should you go to the left why should I go to the right? That would’ve been cool and topical three or four years earlier, but now it sounded like old people trying to be hip. I swear I cringed when I first heard it. I know a lot of people here like that song, But I think outside of the dedicated fan base, it was a weak cornball. That being said, I found the album playable all the way through, but it was missing the punch vitality and radio friendly hooks from its predecessor.

    I don’t believe there was any cannibalization going on because magnificent seven was a disaster, if you added that sales to the sales of new ways but loves days it still wouldn’t of been that impressive. It was a clear indication that interest in the group had slipped a great deal.

    I will never understand why SL stalled for so long where it did, it was too good of a record. Once I began to hear it on the radio, it wasn’t as dynamic as some of the records that were bigger like tears of a clown which burst through the speakers, or the richness of I’ll be there or the raw gritty urban sound of ball Of confusion Or the magnificence of ain’t no mountain high enough or the bombast of war. They were all huge because their sound was unique, SL was great, but nothing really new. I ve always felt that the lyrics of the verses of RivervDeep held it back.

    those records, had they been stronger, would have not competed with each other. Love child, I’m gonna make you love me, cloud 9, I’m living in Shane we’re all over charts at the same time and they didn’t hurt each other. Plus, TCB and join we’re both at the top of the album charts at the same time, folks will spend the money if the product is there. I think magnificent seven deserved to stall where it did because to me it just sounded like throwaway tracks that had almost nothing put into them. I’ve never played that album all the way through since I first got it
    see i disagree about Stoned Love. I think the record is amazing with a sensational orchestration and a wonderfully 'hum-able' chorus and melody. plus the lyrics are incredible. you could completely rework the production and leave the lyrics as-is and you have a prayer. while not as blunt or straight-forward as War or Ball of Confusion, i find the message to be equally compelling.

    The fans you mentioned that bought TCB, Love Child and Cloud 9 were now 2 or 3 years older. now they're in college and have matured [[to some degree lolol) So you needed to evolve the group's image to keep hold of this base. I think the following faults contributed to the failure of NW:

    1. the duets - since we don't have actual sales figures, we'll have to just assume here. Mag 7 didn't chart well but it still sat on the charts for 15 weeks. Now Return and Dynamite didn't even do that. Both of those 2 were only on the charts 6 week! but Mag 7 was lingering for a while. So it would have pulled at least some sales but more importantly, it hurt their image. agree with your comment that they were just mostly throwaway tracks. some of the DRATS albums were pretty sad affairs too and so this just further eroded people's belief that Motown/Supremes could put out a quality lp

    2. cover art - i agree with Mary's assessment that the look was dated and teeny-bopper. again, this core base of fans were now a couple years older.

    3. group image - the giggly glamour girl image was tired by this point. Motown had been so adept at developing this Vegas style for their top groups. and in the mid-60s that was still acceptable. but by late 70, that was really becoming out of date. i don't know that the kids would have cared that the Sups were still booked at the Frontier. but on tv shows, in radio interviews, mag articles, they still came across as rather superficial girls that dally away at life and skip off to the stores to shop for clothes, etc.etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I think the main reason why You gotta have love in your heart did not go higher in the charts is because it quite simply was a bang average song.
    Many people thought the same about Bad Weather and He's my man.
    agree - Gotta Have Love is frankly a rather terrible arrangement. the chorus in particular. this is one of the hokiest things the group ever released. sounds like a bad church singalong at a revival meeting under a tent somewhere

    the verses do pick things up a bit and had there been a harder rock or r&b sound, the lyrics and the overall message are quite timely.

    one possible way to have somewhat saved this would have been to keep more of Jean's stunning ad libs and singing at the end. they kept some of it but the extra high notes in the EE version at the very end just blow you away!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    agree - Gotta Have Love is frankly a rather terrible arrangement. the chorus in particular. this is one of the hokiest things the group ever released. sounds like a bad church singalong at a revival meeting under a tent somewhere

    the verses do pick things up a bit and had there been a harder rock or r&b sound, the lyrics and the overall message are quite timely.

    one possible way to have somewhat saved this would have been to keep more of Jean's stunning ad libs and singing at the end. they kept some of it but the extra high notes in the EE version at the very end just blow you away!
    I'm not really a fan of the Supremes/Tops duets but each album does have its moments.

    Re YOU GOTTA HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, I always wondered why towards the end, Levi basically disappears, leaving the vocals to Jean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I'm not really a fan of the Supremes/Tops duets but each album does have its moments.

    Re YOU GOTTA HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, I always wondered why towards the end, Levi basically disappears, leaving the vocals to Jean.
    i think you could have made 1 really solid album out of all of the material. I appreciate that much of Return is at least original content, but frankly most of it is 2nd rate.

    a fan once made a comment that YGHLIYH was originally intended for the Sups alone. no idea if this was true and there's no mention of it in the EE. Motown certainly had a habit of recording two full leads and then splicing things together to "create" a duet.

    there are a few tunes on the duets that are barely duets. Love The One You're With is strictly a Jean lead with a choir of voices behind her. while it's definitely men and women in the background, who knows if it's the Tops and Sups. meanwhile Levi basically does all of Where Would I Be Without You Baby. jean sings 1 verse and then disappears


    there's another interesting tidbit with YGHLIYH

    in the released version, before they get to the "breakdown" and all, there's a high "wooo" in the backing vocals. in the new mix on the EE, that is missing and for the remainder of the song, it sounds like only the Tops on backing vocals. i can't hear any women singers. I've wondered if, when doing the EE version, the track with the Supremes' [[or the female backing singers, in case of it being nonSups) simply ends much earlier than the Tops' track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I'm not really a fan of the Supremes/Tops duets but each album does have its moments.

    Re YOU GOTTA HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, I always wondered why towards the end, Levi basically disappears, leaving the vocals to Jean.
    Jean gives a killer performance toward the end of the record. I think both "Gotta Have Love" and "Everybody's Got the Right" were tapping into the current trend of pop music, and so on one hand their releases made sense. Unfortunately I think for "Gotta", something is lost in the translation. Had this same song- lyrics, track- been recorded by someone like Ray Stevens or the Carpenters, I think it would've hit. But the Supremes and Tops...in order for it to work, I think it needed more. Gospel up the track, make the sound big, let Levi and Jean rip it up from beginning to end and only then might it have had a chance.

    Same with "Right to Love". IMO it's a gorgeous record. I love every thing about it. But it doesn't scream hit to me, not in the way it's been produced. In the end it made an excellent album track, might have even been interesting as a B side, but to follow up "Ladder" with it...I really don't think the song stood much of a chance. Of course this is in comparison to the singles that it's sandwiched between. Hitting #21 pop and #11 r&b is nothing to sneeze at.

    What I think would've been interesting is what if "Everybody's" had been paired with a stronger B side than "But I Love You More", and DJs had flipped the single and started playing it over the A side. I like "But I Love You" but don't hear hit with it either. Wonder what might have happened with a stronger song like "I Got Hurt" or even "Bill" as the B side. The Supremes weren't known for charting B sides though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think you could have made 1 really solid album out of all of the material. I appreciate that much of Return is at least original content, but frankly most of it is 2nd rate.

    a fan once made a comment that YGHLIYH was originally intended for the Sups alone. no idea if this was true and there's no mention of it in the EE. Motown certainly had a habit of recording two full leads and then splicing things together to "create" a duet.

    there are a few tunes on the duets that are barely duets. Love The One You're With is strictly a Jean lead with a choir of voices behind her. while it's definitely men and women in the background, who knows if it's the Tops and Sups. meanwhile Levi basically does all of Where Would I Be Without You Baby. jean sings 1 verse and then disappears


    there's another interesting tidbit with YGHLIYH

    in the released version, before they get to the "breakdown" and all, there's a high "wooo" in the backing vocals. in the new mix on the EE, that is missing and for the remainder of the song, it sounds like only the Tops on backing vocals. i can't hear any women singers. I've wondered if, when doing the EE version, the track with the Supremes' [[or the female backing singers, in case of it being nonSups) simply ends much earlier than the Tops' track.
    I think THE BIGGER YOU LOVE from DYNAMITE was another one that was all Levi as opposed to a duet.

    LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH actually ended up as a bonus track on the cd reissue of NEW WAYS BUT LOVE STAYS. Go figure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Jean gives a killer performance toward the end of the record. I think both "Gotta Have Love" and "Everybody's Got the Right" were tapping into the current trend of pop music, and so on one hand their releases made sense. Unfortunately I think for "Gotta", something is lost in the translation. Had this same song- lyrics, track- been recorded by someone like Ray Stevens or the Carpenters, I think it would've hit. But the Supremes and Tops...in order for it to work, I think it needed more. Gospel up the track, make the sound big, let Levi and Jean rip it up from beginning to end and only then might it have had a chance.

    Same with "Right to Love". IMO it's a gorgeous record. I love every thing about it. But it doesn't scream hit to me, not in the way it's been produced. In the end it made an excellent album track, might have even been interesting as a B side, but to follow up "Ladder" with it...I really don't think the song stood much of a chance. Of course this is in comparison to the singles that it's sandwiched between. Hitting #21 pop and #11 r&b is nothing to sneeze at.

    What I think would've been interesting is what if "Everybody's" had been paired with a stronger B side than "But I Love You More", and DJs had flipped the single and started playing it over the A side. I like "But I Love You" but don't hear hit with it either. Wonder what might have happened with a stronger song like "I Got Hurt" or even "Bill" as the B side. The Supremes weren't known for charting B sides though.
    I think the b-side I'M GLAD ABOUT IT had hit potential of its own.

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    completely agree Ran

    Ladder established a totally new sound for the group and not just simply introducing a new lead singer

    the ethereal effects on the vocals, the little call-outs for Mary and Cindy, a more mature lyrical content, the swirling strings and that strong Motown beat. Plus the heavier guitar elements. Frank was perfect with this production!

    and given it's resounding success, it's surprising that the tried and true Motown rule of following up with a similar song didn't prevail. IMO the closest thing on RO to Ladder is Loving Country.

    Everybody is sort of a bumbling, shuffling production. the backing track basically lacks any of the elegance of Ladder. on the released version, Jean's vocals seem rather hemmed in. that alt version on GH&RC is better. And on Ladder you had just re-introduced Mary's and Cindy's vocals. what a wonderful opportunity on Everybody to give the girls a bit more room to shine. like they did with the live version.

    i think a faster beat, some more shared lead elements, a more aggressive Jean vocal and a more powerful backing track might have made the difference

    in other words, complete redo it lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I think the b-side I'M GLAD ABOUT IT had hit potential of its own.
    I love "Glad" but don't know if it had that certain something that would've caused the DJs to play it over the A side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    in other words, complete redo it lol
    I get it. That's how I feel about some songs. Great songs, like "Everybody", starts out with a great shell. In this case, you have the lyrics and the basic melody, all very nice. You take the original greatness and expound upon it to create a hit single. Sometimes the shell is great but if the producer doesn't add anything more to it, then it just duds along. Most hit songs do more than "dud along". There are quite a few cuts in the Supremes' catalog I feel could've benefitted from a complete redo and "Everybody's Got the Right To Love" is definitely on the list. As is, I still love it, but I never would've green lit this for single release.

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    Everybody was definitely a rush job. Jean's leads were recorded on 4/22. the RO album was released on 4/26.

    My guess is that Frank and team had started to come up with a great idea for a song and then rushed themselves with it.

    fortunately they didn't do that with Stoned Love and gave themselves the proper time to create a masterpiece

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    Yeah, that was a rush job. Now the single was released in June, so Frank still had time to perfect the song for single release, even if the album version would be different.

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    A good point regarding the Motown Chartbusters UK compilation lps I now they performed well on the UK charts [[ especially vol3)
    Casual buyers get a full l.p. of hits by various artists instead of 1or 2 hits then fillers/covers
    Also in the UK there was a mix price label called music for pleasure that released a 70s Supremes compilation called Stoned Love which included most of their hits a couple of duets and tracks from New Ways it was a really good buy from good old Woolworths

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    Watched a you tube video of a 1982 Jean Terrell performance and was surprised that she never performed Stoned Love when acknowledged her Supremes years she sang Up the Ladder and Everybody got the right to love, a massive overlook I believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I think the main reason why You gotta have love in your heart did not go higher in the charts is because it quite simply was a bang average song.
    Many people thought the same about Bad Weather and He's my man.
    Exactly what I thought of each song.

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    Didn't Tarraborelli describe Everybody's Got the Right to Love as a "dismal Dean Martin sing along" type of song? Sums up how I see it very well. The lyrics are just plain dumb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Maniac - what do you think of some of the posts on here about how a revised New Ways album might have done just what you stated?

    1. rename the album Stone Love

    not a bad idea but I’m not certain it would’ve made a difference. There was a great big sticker on the cover to let everyone know that stoned love was on this album.

    2. cover is the afro look, no hodge podge of sequin pics. although maybe it's still gatefold and when you opened it up, there are more pics from on stage, in contemporary clothing, maybe mini bios on the girls

    at the time, I thought that they had done a pretty good job of bridging the gap between the new look of the Supremes and the old look at the Supremes, I liked the title I thought it was actually clever and indicated that things were changing, I didn’t mind the pink at the time. Do I think it would’ve been better with just the Afro look on the front and back with cool, hip graphics? Yes.

    3. a few adjustments to the song list to tighten up Side B

    I know I’m the only one but I think together we could make such sweet music was silly, and even at the time I felt they were pandering to an older crowd. No one at my high school was talking about the left on the right. I would’ve gotten rid of I wish I wear your mirror, and Nana hey hey…… Or, giving and then funkier arrangements would’ve been great. I would not have released the album without a sure fire follow up single. That being said, even with all the negatives, It’s still way under performed because, I believe, people were not embracing the new group visually or for its vocal sound.

    4. skip the duet projects altogether

    if the only decent track you can come up with is River deep Mountain high, skip the duets. That first duet album is so terrible that I’m surprised it did as much as reaching 112. A great 45, and that hot mess album…… I think some greatness could’ve been achieved by pairing the two groups together, and one would think that the album would do at least as well as the groups last solo efforts, but clearly word of mouth on this album was awful because it was such a gigantic disappointment…… mammoth....A cut out been staple for years. I don’t believe in releasing an album just because you’ve collected 12 tracks that may or may not be listenable.

    The album was mostly focused on peace, god, humanity and love. a real rock/opera sound. If there had been a real smart strategic plan around this album, i think it might have been the one to return them to huge status

    ****There certainly was a great opportunity here to make this their are coming of age moment, and I wish that Barry Gordy had told Frank wilson to stop working with anyone but the Supremes follow up album to make it great. But he didn’t work that way. He didn’t even work that way with diana ross. He flew by the seat of his pants and often accepted mediocrity. The album age was clearly upon us, but he was still concentrating on one or two good cuts per album, it was very shortsighted of him…… Very The Supremes and diana ross both deserve much better. I think a concept album of peace and love and spiritualism and things like that would’ve been great, but you’ve got to have quality songs and great production in order to do that. You can’t have corn ball, tried lyrics wife, “why should you go to the left, why should I go to the right? Why should we argue this way, why should we fuss and fight? To me, that is songwriting 101. I like very much but they are trying to say, but I would rather have sly stone lyrics that people could relate to instead of this fluff. I don’t know one single person who liked stoned love because of its message, not one. I think 50 years later people are looking at it and thinking “oh what a deep message this had”- what’s going on, it ain’t. If you want to go for the hip, with-it market, you’ve got to give them hip with it music - not a 10-year-old act in sequin dresses on television trying to bridge the generation gap.

    and i know we've discussed before the motown really DID do a lot of promotion of the Jean led group. but when the product isn't as good as it could be, promotion will only take you so far.




    ****promotion is great, but you can’t make people buy a record and you can’t make people buy an album even if they like the single, they buy the album because they want to hear 12 cats like the one they heard on the radio. If they don’t want to hear 12 cuts like that, then they just buy the 45 and that was the problem with the new supremes. I really think part of it is that Jean’s voice, for whatever reason, did not get embraced. And I’m not talking talent, because there’s no question she was very talented.
    thoughts?
    so, I guess it could’ve been better ....lol

    yikes - I just realized I answered in the body of your questions so look above for the answers… Sorry about that!

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    It's too bad that in the midst of "Stoned Love" rising and staying Top 10, that there weren't able to get more exposure in television. I wonder if Smokey's Show would have helped. "Ladder", which they performed, was released in February. "SL" was released in October. While the show didn't air until December, it had to have been recorded sometime in the summer. Which makes sense why they would have performed "Someday", I assume that was still on the charts shortly before they taped. A year later when it aired, it seemed out of place.

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    "NEW WAYS BUT LOVE STAYS" would have been a brilliant title.....for their DEBUT album.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    so, I guess it could’ve been better ....lol

    yikes - I just realized I answered in the body of your questions so look above for the answers… Sorry about that!
    great thoughts Maniac - love your POV and all.

    I think the group had to maintain some degree of Vegas because they still had their Frontier contract. and big clubs like that were still an important part of their live revenues. but at the same time they needed to do more to appeal to the college kids. the college kids in 1970 were definitely NOT the same types of kids from 1964. so the question of would the Sups ever be super popular with the college kids is one that probably would never be. they were always going to have a bit of "the establishment" about them. the girls would maintain a sunny squeaky clean image. but they could have done more to step away from the excessive glitter and sequins of DRATS.

    as for the whole message of SL and all, yeah. the girls were not doing to be overly militant or Black Power. again that just wasn't their image. so with SL and New Ways, we get Message Lite - there's some nods towards peace and love and all But wrapped up in a pretty package.

    i agree with you that motown did invest a lot of promotional effort into the new group. but i think sloppy decisions by the company and shoddy group strategic planning undermined that promotional effort.

    if nothing else, NW should have charted somewhere in the 30s at least. albums like Let the Sunshine In reached these levels and there certainly couldn't have been much positive word of mouth about that crapbag. lol Cream wasn't really any better. and it too made it to the 30s. and both of these albums lingered on the charts many weeks longer than NW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    It's too bad that in the midst of "Stoned Love" rising and staying Top 10, that there weren't able to get more exposure in television. I wonder if Smokey's Show would have helped. "Ladder", which they performed, was released in February. "SL" was released in October. While the show didn't air until December, it had to have been recorded sometime in the summer. Which makes sense why they would have performed "Someday", I assume that was still on the charts shortly before they taped. A year later when it aired, it seemed out of place.
    yeah it's surprising that there seemed to be 0 attempt to tie product releases in with tv schedules or tours. It's like the 3 concepts were totally siloed and worked independently of each other. there are a few times that motown really did it perfect - love child was debuted on Ed Sullivan and released the next day. and they clearly knew how important those tv appearances were. But still there are many, many singles they released when there just wasn't much tv exposure due to it being late spring/summer when tv was in reruns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    It's too bad that in the midst of "Stoned Love" rising and staying Top 10, that there weren't able to get more exposure in television. I wonder if Smokey's Show would have helped. "Ladder", which they performed, was released in February. "SL" was released in October. While the show didn't air until December, it had to have been recorded sometime in the summer. Which makes sense why they would have performed "Someday", I assume that was still on the charts shortly before they taped. A year later when it aired, it seemed out of place.
    I agree. I know that they were scheduled to do ed sullivan with the tops, and I don’t know for sure, because she was vague about it’s cancellation, but I suspect it has something to do with not getting diana ross as a solo act on. He settled for a tribute to Her on his final show, but with the Supremes and tops - they had three hit records at the time it would’ve been a good draw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    "NEW WAYS BUT LOVE STAYS" would have been a brilliant title.....for their DEBUT album.
    of course! I’m embarrassed that I didn’t think of that myself!

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