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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    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.

    The one thing that let the sunshine in and cream of the crop had going for it, was diana ross was still with the group and so for better or worse, there was that familiarity and perhaps even subconsciously loyalty. Let the sunshine in is a very dismal affair - Even the mixes of the singles are not listenable……I don’t really mind cream of the crop as much at all, but it got cannibalized by greatest hits volume three, plus it had a cheesy back cover and the front cover was probably a little bit too much in your face for many tastes.

    technically, new Waze should’ve outperformed right on because it’s lead single was a much much much bigger hit, however, the fact that there was so much drop off, indicates the public wasn’t really buying the new act. You’ll notice the touch album had a much more hip look to it, I don’t think that was a mistake. And Gordy was so anal retentive about cloning what had already been successful that he was unable or incapable providing any forward thinking or vision to established acts. He preferred Marvin going to release how can I forget instead of what’s going on, for example. It’s a shame that no one in the group had a sense of the pulse of the now generation. It’s much more important for a group to remain current, then it is for a single. Ross could get away with more of that stuff than the group could. And they could still continue to have their nightclub act but their concerts should’ve done away with all that. Look at the name and reputation Ike and Tina turner developed with their app. They were rarely on the radio, especially on pop stations, but their show rocked and grew. JMC needed an identity, and never got one.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    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.
    Exactly! I think ross suffered greatly from not getting her singles on television. I still lose sleep over the fact they were plugging remember me on her first TV special when we chat I’ll be there was her current single. If ever a single needed television exposure it was reach out I’ll be there. I do feel that with a lot of exposure [[and of course my re-edit) there’s a hit record there. The Supremes and tops on at Sullivan would’ve been ideal to boost stoned love and River deep. Plus it would help the sales of the Stillwaters album perhaps. I was surprised that river Deep didn’t hit hard, they got a lot of airplay, but people didn’t seem to be snapping it up.

    perhaps Motown should’ve done a yearly special, with taped live performances of Diana Supremes Stevie tempts Marvin the tops Gladys Martha Junior Walker each having a chance to plug something new and present it as if it were one show. It would have to be performed in front of an audience however, not that gaping maw void of energy like GIT on Broadway. Even if they lipped the song, they would still have the energy of a live show. Maybe have Sullivan host it, or, gulp, Cosby or Lily Tomlin - Who could do a little bit with each introduction, A hip, current comedian wouldve been great. That way they could create television time for spring and summer releases. I think if Diane I have performed I’m still waiting on the Grammys that year, it would’ve gone Gold.

  3. #53
    BG promised Sullivan Ross would make her debut on his show then pulled out of the deal.sullivan was furious and cancelled every Motown act forward.
    Stoned Love was a million seller plus.
    I think the loss of tv hurt the group and the group was still performing standards.
    They lost the young record buyers

  4. #54
    The problem with Motown albums released in the Fall of 1970 is that there were way too many and most were lacking, in one way or another. Motown had a big sales convention at that time. I once counted about 40 albums released from July through October. Just an overreach. It seemed to be quantity over quality. Was there no plan or direction other than to make a splash, with a small “s”?

    The Supremes album should have been titled “Stoned [[or Stone) Love”, for sure. Or maybe just “New Ways”, or even “New Ways, Love Stays”. No “But” necessary.

    The cover was ill-conceived: small pics, cut-out gatefold, pink color. All of that detracting from a stunning pic in the center. Maybe the back cover should have had a collage of pics of the new group in various styles.

    The guys in my dorm wanted to hear SL while we were painting our walls. They liked the first three songs of NWBLS and lost interest once they heard “Bridge”.

    I think a tighter album would have been to limit the concept, or theme, to Side 1 and have Side 2 a more familiar Supremes or Motown Sound.

    Side 1: Together, SL, Break Down, Shine On Me, Thank Him For Today
    Side 2: Life Beats, Mirror, Is There A Place, Got To Pay The Price, Na Na Hey Hey [[or other miscellaneous tracks).
    Last edited by johnjeb; 03-20-2021 at 05:56 PM.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    BG promised Sullivan Ross would make her debut on his show then pulled out of the deal.sullivan was furious and cancelled every Motown act forward.
    Stoned Love was a million seller plus.
    I think the loss of tv hurt the group and the group was still performing standards.
    They lost the young record buyers

    I believe that Ed was quite unhappy that diana ross did not appear as a solo on his show. And it may be the reason why the Supremes were canceled, but he did not cancel all Motown acts because I know the Temptations performed just my imagination on Ed Sullivan and if I’m not mistaken Gladys was on around the same time. I’ve heard all kinds of rumors but it does seem likely that the Supremes got canceled for this reason because just a few months after that he did a tribute to diana ross without ever mentioning the Supremes on his final show. Cindy mentioned the cancellation, she had heard it was cuz of Ross, but they were never told the official reason by Motown. That appearance would’ve helped both records a great deal, but it also would’ve really helped remember me, reach out and touch and reach out I’ll be there.
    Last edited by TheMotownManiac; 03-19-2021 at 11:15 PM.

  6. #56
    If I could go back and re-write history, the Supremes would only have released one album [[with two strong single releases) each year. And between their albums a Tops/Supremes album [[with one single) could have filled the gap.


    To ensure that the Top/Sup albums had one hit [[or potential hit) a cover version would have been an easy choice. For their second album, something like 'Heaven Must Have Sent You' would have been an up-beat track and could certainly have been at least Top 20 in the UK. For a third, maybe something like 'Everlasting Love' [[the Robert Knight song from 1967, written intentionally in a Motown/Four Tops style) and again ideal as a duet.


    If one person had been the manager/agent for both the Tops & The Supremes, overseeing a master-plan with solo tours, joint tours and especially joint TV appearances throughout the 1970-72 period, both groups could have benefited greatly on both sides of the Atlantic [[and beyond).


    Keeping to a strict but simple routine each year might have seen the Supremes' output looking like this:


    1970
    Up the Ladder to the Roof
    ALBUM
    Everybody's Got The Right to Love [[would be nice to have a stronger option than this one)
    River Deep Mountain High*
    TOPS ALBUM


    1971
    Stoned Love
    ALBUM
    Nathan Jones
    Heaven Must Have Sent You*
    TOPS ALBUM


    1972
    Floy Joy
    ALBUM
    Automatically Sunshine
    Everlasting Love*
    TOPS ALBUM


    1973 [[or even Christmas 72) might have been an ideal time to release a best of album with a new single or two included. A world tour could have further promoted the greatest hits album [[and allowed for recording of a 'live' album to be released further down the track).


    Besides possible cannibalising by the Tops/Supremes releases, record buyers & radio programmers in 1970 were probably also confused by a bunch of Diana&Supremes/Temptations releases after 'Up the Ladder'. Sadly, Motown's 'quality control team' was a thing of the past by 1970 with all these willy-nilly releases.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post

    perhaps Motown should’ve done a yearly special, with taped live performances of Diana Supremes Stevie tempts Marvin the tops Gladys Martha Junior Walker each having a chance to plug something new and present it as if it were one show. It would have to be performed in front of an audience however, not that gaping maw void of energy like GIT on Broadway. Even if they lipped the song, they would still have the energy of a live show. Maybe have Sullivan host
    When I've had a few glasses of something *hic* and wondered 'if i could turn back time' [[like my above essay lol), I've thought a similar thing.

    But perhaps monthly, not yearly, during the mid-60s. Perhaps some kind of partnership with Sullivan to use their crew/studio [[audiences?) to record Motown artists singing their latest hits [[and also some past hits which hadn't been performed on colour TV) would have allowed Motown to promote it's newest releases around the world via this monthly [[or at least regular) show. A monthly show might only need to be 22 minutes long [[so 6 songs per show plus host talking) to fit a 30m commercial TV slot.

    Sullivan as a host might have been fine, but what about Motown performers like Diana, Smokey, Martha [[etc) being given the chance to demonstrate their own TV skills hosting the show themselves on a roster basis?

    As Motown would own this show, they could use the individual clips of each song to promote the singles to overseas audiences via 'Top of The Tops', 'Musikladen' and other music shows around the world where the Motown acts couldn't usually appear.

    If only *sigh*

    Now time for a refill
    Last edited by Levi Stubbs Tears; 03-20-2021 at 08:07 AM.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    When I've had a few glasses of something *hic* and wondered 'if i could turn back time' [[like my above essay lol), I've thought a similar thing.

    But perhaps monthly, not yearly, during the mid-60s. Perhaps some kind of partnership with Sullivan to use their crew/studio [[audiences?) to record Motown artists singing their latest hits [[and also some past hits which hadn't been performed on colour TV) would have allowed Motown to promote it's newest releases around the world via this monthly [[or at least regular) show. A monthly show might only need to be 22 minutes long [[so 6 songs per show plus host talking) to fit a 30m commercial TV slot.

    Sullivan as a host might have been fine, but what about Motown performers like Diana, Smokey, Martha [[etc) being given the chance to demonstrate their own TV skills hosting the show themselves on a roster basis?

    As Motown would own this show, they could use the individual clips of each song to promote the singles to overseas audiences via 'Top of The Tops', 'Musikladen' and other music shows around the world where the Motown acts couldn't usually appear.

    If only *sigh*

    Now time for a refill
    make mine a double, with an edible, please. I like your idea but it was never going to happen that way because Ed Sullivan would never have Martha on again after the poor showing they had the first time. Ed would only bring on polish 1st rate acts.

    A frequent special might be too much exposure for some acts and especially in the 60s none of them had the skills to host. I think once or maybe twice a year at the most would keep it special unique and leaving people yearning for more.

  9. #59
    motown was in the business of profits, not in the business of singers looking to make artistic statements. get people to buy singles, albums. get shows to book act. get people to purchase concert tickets.

    from an artist standpoint, i agree that a more thoughtful approach to the Supremes' releases was necessary. same with DR. for the most part, the Tops/Sups duets are cheesy and lack a real purpose. you could MAYBE cobble together 1 relatively strong album. but barely. from an "artistic" standpoint you only have a couple of songs that really adequately combine the voices of Jean and Levi.

    from a business perspective though, it makes more sense. again it's about selling material. the Tops had some degree of popularity resurgence with It's all in the game and Still water. The Sups in 70 were still pretty hot. so let the Tops piggy back with the girls and let's repeat the success of the DRATS/Temps situation. the problem is that was a strategy that was 2 years old. and frankly that strategy IMO worked better for the Temps than the girls.

    in reality, in mid to late 70, the Sups were NOT as strong as some might believe because they were still in this precarious position with Jean and where the group was going to go. you had the spike in group interest with all of the hoopla of Diana's departure, the new sound with Ladder, jean's amazing voice. but then you had to strike fast and hard with continuing that evolution. packaging them up with the Tops for a bunch of MOR/lounge-style duets is NOT a step forward

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