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  1. #1

    The Supremes "My Imagination"

    I've really been digging on this lately. One of those odd things where the song isn't really anything to write home about and yet there is just something really enjoyable about it. I like its very bluesy setting- the pace/tempo also gives Diana quite a bit of room to stretch out those notes and luxuriate on the delivery. Most of all, it's the backing vocals that fascinate me; the use of that rather ominous-sounding male group providing some ghostly backing and very beefy "AHHHHHHS". Near the end, The Sups and the guys just seem to go for it and sing the living hell out of their respective parts with as much power as they could. I just about lose it at this point, hearing these two factions singing as if this was the last thing they'd ever do.
    Last edited by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance; 04-05-2021 at 01:21 AM.

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    When I bought the WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO 40th anniversary set, this was one of the songs that stood out for me. All of the vocalists are doing some serious singing but Flo sounds like she was really feeling it. I remember thinking they all must have had some serious sore throats after multiple takes.

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    I had this song on a bootleg before the EE was ever released. I loved it then, even though the version I had was good quality, but not the best quality. It was so good to finally have a polished copy. And yes it is a standout IMO. Probably would've made a great addition to the Ballads and Blues album.

    While I do think Flo shines on it, I also think she was a bit sharp sometimes and I know what Reese means about the sore throats. I feel this is Flo singing at her absolute highest. Diana sounds very good. I can't really pick Mary out on this one.

    I wish we knew for sure who the guys are on the track. I thought it might be HDH when I had it on bootleg, assuming they were the producers. But that's probably not the case. The Originals or the Spinners maybe?

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    I take back what I said about Mary. In the beginning, when Flo isn't drowning her out, I hear her clearly.

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    it's an intriguing track but not a good one IMO. what i mean is that the song itself is lacking [[not the best song ever written by motown). it has an oppressive feeling to it - this unrelenting military beat, the singers accenting every note, the heavy vocals.

    if you want a visual think of the old Space Invaders game on Atari lol. the aliens figures are relentless is the pounding assent down the screen. getting closer, and closer and CLOSER!! lol

    This is another example of songs that i don't "like" but am thrilled to have and enjoy listening to. I would never play this song for some random person. but it's a fascinating inclusion in the WDOLG timeline. the experimentation that was going on as they hunted for a Sup sound. the growth MDF were going through in their singing.

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    It's a bluesy song, so there's no pep in it because there isn't supposed to be any. I love hearing the girls this way.

    Would love an official tracklist for the Ballads and Blues album. I know what we all speculate the lineup could've been, but I wonder if there's an official one. Wasn't this set assigned a catalog number?

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    i'm not sure if they got that far with Ballads and Blues. It is cataloged as 610 which, given the other albums just before and just after, might have made it a release in fall 63. which makes some sense so that they'd have an album release in 63.

    I wonder if Lovelight's success prompted Gordy to ditch the ballads lp so they could focus on this new "wall of sound" approach for the girls. I guess they assumed Run would be a runaway smash lol. then they could have prepared a totally new album to leverage those new songs. sure they would have padded the lp with some of the other songs like Breathtaking.

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    The CW&P sessions were conducted in Feb 63 so i would assume several would have been added. so i guess these could have been top contenders. Plus you had several recent singles and recordings that worked too. according to the WDOLG EE booklet, these were the songs considered for B&B:

    Mr Blues
    Come on Boy
    My Imagination
    I idolize you

    Plus I'd say:

    My Heart
    Makes No Difference
    Funny How Time
    Breathtaking
    Im giving you your freedom
    He Means the World to Me

    You also need to get a few song on there that are a bit more energized so maybe Long Gone Lover, This is it, Everyday I'll love you more.

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    The first versions of "Sunset", "You Need Me" and "Tears In Vain" and "You Didn't Care" would've also been considered. I figure the album would've been:

    Funny
    My Heart Can't Take It No More
    Makes No Difference Now
    Tears In Vain
    You Didn't Care
    You Need Me

    Sunset
    Mr. Blues
    Come On Boy
    I Idolize You
    My Imagination
    A Breath Taking Guy

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I had this song on a bootleg before the EE was ever released. I loved it then, even though the version I had was good quality, but not the best quality. It was so good to finally have a polished copy. And yes it is a standout IMO. Probably would've made a great addition to the Ballads and Blues album.

    While I do think Flo shines on it, I also think she was a bit sharp sometimes and I know what Reese means about the sore throats. I feel this is Flo singing at her absolute highest. Diana sounds very good. I can't really pick Mary out on this one.

    I wish we knew for sure who the guys are on the track. I thought it might be HDH when I had it on bootleg, assuming they were the producers. But that's probably not the case. The Originals or the Spinners maybe?
    Didn't the Originals form post 1963/64?

    Could it be the Tops? Weren't they on "Run Run Run"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    The first versions of "Sunset", "You Need Me" and "Tears In Vain" and "You Didn't Care" would've also been considered. I figure the album would've been:

    Funny
    My Heart Can't Take It No More
    Makes No Difference Now
    Tears In Vain
    You Didn't Care
    You Need Me

    Sunset
    Mr. Blues
    Come On Boy
    I Idolize You
    My Imagination
    A Breath Taking Guy
    i just wonder if that would make the album too country

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    When I bought the WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO 40th anniversary set, this was one of the songs that stood out for me. All of the vocalists are doing some serious singing but Flo sounds like she was really feeling it. I remember thinking they all must have had some serious sore throats after multiple takes.
    Definitely! They were really giving it their all. Flo must have been enjoying this song; one of the few times I've really heard her going full strength.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    While I do think Flo shines on it, I also think she was a bit sharp sometimes and I know what Reese means about the sore throats. I feel this is Flo singing at her absolute highest. Diana sounds very good. I can't really pick Mary out on this one.

    I wish we knew for sure who the guys are on the track. I thought it might be HDH when I had it on bootleg, assuming they were the producers. But that's probably not the case. The Originals or the Spinners maybe?
    I did notice that too, Flo was sometimes a bit sharp, but I chalked it up to her being so excited to just be able to really belt it out on a song. And yes, she does hit some pretty high notes here, like you said, I don't think I recall her singing in this high of a register before.

    I was thinking the male vocalists were maybe the Love Tones. On those early Motown recordings, they were usually the go-to guys for male backing vocals. It may have been maybe '65 at the earliest that The Originals and Spinners were used on backing vocals. Whoever is on here, they are impeccable.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Didn't the Originals form post 1963/64?

    Could it be the Tops? Weren't they on "Run Run Run"?
    That's what I had thought as well about the Originals. I know Freddie Gorman was at Motown in the early days, but as a group with the classic Originals sound, I believe, as you said, that was post-'63/'64.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Didn't the Originals form post 1963/64?

    Could it be the Tops? Weren't they on "Run Run Run"?
    I think you're right about the Originals. I don't think it's the Tops. Doesn't sound like them to me. For that matter, it doesn't sound like the Originals either. I can usually pick out Freddie Gorman when they're backing someone up and I don't hear him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i just wonder if that would make the album too country
    Blues and Country sometimes had an interwoven sound, so, knowing Motown as we do, it wouldn't seem a stretch to me that the Country project would morph into the B&B project. And honestly, IMO, the only song that comes across as pure Country is "My Heart". "Tears In Vain" has a bit more Country to it too. And keep in mind, the tracks that would've made the B&B album are the original 1963 sessions and not the re-records and remixes that were done at the end of 1965 for the CWP album.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    I did notice that too, Flo was sometimes a bit sharp, but I chalked it up to her being so excited to just be able to really belt it out on a song. And yes, she does hit some pretty high notes here, like you said, I don't think I recall her singing in this high of a register before.

    I was thinking the male vocalists were maybe the Love Tones. On those early Motown recordings, they were usually the go-to guys for male backing vocals. It may have been maybe '65 at the earliest that The Originals and Spinners were used on backing vocals. Whoever is on here, they are impeccable.
    I can't find any information that the Love Tones were still with the company that late in 1963. Maybe George or Andy can shine at least a little more light on who it might be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Blues and Country sometimes had an interwoven sound, so, knowing Motown as we do, it wouldn't seem a stretch to me that the Country project would morph into the B&B project. And honestly, IMO, the only song that comes across as pure Country is "My Heart". "Tears In Vain" has a bit more Country to it too. And keep in mind, the tracks that would've made the B&B album are the original 1963 sessions and not the re-records and remixes that were done at the end of 1965 for the CWP album.
    yeah from an overall thematic standpoint, they do work well together. Just maybe not too much of that [[annoying lol) weepy guitar stuff. Since My Heart was a single, i'd guess it would be included. Maybe Tears in Vain stays in the vault.

    of course releasing an album of all subdued material might not be a great idea. you need variety on the album.

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    Weren't the Spinners there at Motown when this was recorded? I know they had to be doing other things than driving people around. My guess is that it's the Spinners or some formation with some of the Temptations, or a grouping of both.

  20. #20
    To me it sounds like the song falls apart at toward the end. It seems like Diana is just holding on here. Overall, I like the idea of hearing 3-part harmony from them. It doesn’t sound like a hit to me though.

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    i describe this song as the Supremes "chinese water torture song" lol. that insistent organ in the background. the melody is basically 2 or 3 notes. over and over and over and over. and when they do the 3-part harmony it's like hammer hitting an anvil again and again and again.

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    Who is credited with writing/composing this song? Thank you for your response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mowest View Post
    Who is credited with writing/composing this song? Thank you for your response.
    Richard Parker and Andre Williams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kpitt1204 View Post
    To me it sounds like the song falls apart at toward the end. It seems like Diana is just holding on here. Overall, I like the idea of hearing 3-part harmony from them. It doesn’t sound like a hit to me though.
    I agree in that Diana sounds slightly off key towards the end. It’s as if it all becomes just to much for her lol. A real oddity this one, but fun all the same as they were experimenting with their sound. “Baby Love” it ain’t.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stingbeelee View Post
    Weren't the Spinners there at Motown when this was recorded? I know they had to be doing other things than driving people around. My guess is that it's the Spinners or some formation with some of the Temptations, or a grouping of both.
    We tend to think that it had to be a formed group as backing vocalists, but Motown was no stranger to pulling people into the recording studio as needed, so it's possible that the male vocalists could be any combination of singers employed [[or not employed) at the company and we'll just never know who they are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I agree in that Diana sounds slightly off key towards the end. It’s as if it all becomes just to much for her lol. A real oddity this one, but fun all the same as they were experimenting with their sound. “Baby Love” it ain’t.
    I'd rather listen to "My Imagination" than "Baby Love" any day of the week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I'd rather listen to "My Imagination" than "Baby Love" any day of the week.
    Really!!. “Baby Love” being such a sweet song and all.
    I find Diana rather irritating on this one. I think Mary’s voice would have been a better fit in creating the sorrowful, haunting vocal the song needs.
    Diana’s kittenish sound just doesn’t suit the vibe of it. In my humble opinion of course.

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    good gawd, Supremes singing about masturbation!!

    the guitarist is having a great time - but get rid of that organist or at least fix that stuck key !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Really!!. “Baby Love” being such a sweet song and all.
    I find Diana rather irritating on this one. I think Mary’s voice would have been a better fit in creating the sorrowful, haunting vocal the song needs.
    Diana’s kittenish sound just doesn’t suit the vibe of it. In my humble opinion of course.
    While I'm not irritated by Diana's voice on the song, I agree that it might have been better had she used her lower register. I also agree that Mary, and even Flo, could have done a worthy lead on it as well. But yeah, I'll take "Imagination" over "Baby Love", which is quite possibly the most annoying hit the Supremes ever recorded. Well, maybe second only to "The Happening".

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