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    Flo "It Doesn't Matter How You Say It"

    Flo's first single turned 53 this month. Not a fan favorite, I know, but significant, as it was her debut solo single. I've never thought the song was a bad song. I just didn't think it fit Flo. And I've never heard a version that didn't sound sort of...muddy. Definitely didn't have the crispness of anything she had recorded with the Supremes. I don't think anyone expected this kind of sound from Flo. In the age of Aretha, Gladys, Etta and the other ladies of soul who were ruling the airwaves of the time, one might have expected that kind of song and performance. It wasn't to be. There's an outtake of "It Doesn't Matter", though, where Flo's vocal approach is less poppy and more, well, Flo. I guess the idea was to marry a pop vocal approach with the pop arrangement. For my taste I would've preferred the more soulful approach, but that's just me. Anyway, whatever side of the line you fall on, lets celebrate this milestone, not only in Flo's history, but in Supremes history, as it is the first single from a Supreme who had gone solo.


  2. #2
    Thanks RanRan. I've always enjoyed Flo's album, as well as this song, in particular. I still remember being 12 years old and I was so excited to have her CD, full of her unreleased recordings, back in 2001. I had my Uncle order it for me online from CD Universe, as he was a savvy internet shopper and fewer people were shopping online at that time, compared to now. I was also in the Florence Ballard Yahoo Club, where there was much talk about this album, at that time. Prior to its official CD release, you could order a bootleg copy of her album on CD through the Yahoo Club. I've been told that the bootleg version came with a few of those alternate versions that you mentioned. I believe the alternate version of It Doesn't Matter How You Say It was also on YouTube at one point, or perhaps I'm getting mixed up with My Heart. I believe there is also an alternate version of My Heart as well. I agree that Flo was capable of much more, but for me, I still do enjoy these recordings. I would also love to see Run Out Groove do a limited vinyl pressing of her album.

    One thing I've wondered is whether this track [[and the entire album, for that matter) would have sounded better without the excessive reverb/echo effect that they had added to her vocals.
    Last edited by carlo; 05-25-2021 at 09:50 AM.

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    I also preferred the alternate version of "It Doesn't Matter How I Say It". It would have been nice to hear a cleaned up version of the song but I believe the masters were destroyed in a fire years back. The single version definitely sounded like they were trying to get her to channel Diana. I think Flo even does the hiccups if I recall lol. Flo could sing sweet and light like Diana if she really wanted to like on the alternate version of "Makes No Difference Now" and in the background on "Baby Love" but I don't think Flo preferred that style.

    Carlo, I'm one of the rare fans who enjoy most of Flo's solo album as well. I'll admit there's a few stinkers on there but I could say the same for the Supremes recording history too. I actually have always loved Flo's "The Impossible Dream" and also love "Forever Faithful". I just wish the recording quality wasn't so crappy to put it bluntly.

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    i've not been a huge fan of much of the content on Flo's solo album. these lighter pop songs really are just not her forte. her voice is too heavy and thick for these. makes her sounds whiney and pinched.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    Thanks RanRan. I've always enjoyed Flo's album, as well as this song, in particular. I still remember being 12 years old and I was so excited to have her CD, full of her unreleased recordings, back in 2001. I had my Uncle order it for me online from CD Universe, as he was a savvy internet shopper and fewer people were shopping online at that time, compared to now. I was also in the Florence Ballard Yahoo Club, where there was much talk about this album, at that time. Prior to its official CD release, you could order a bootleg copy of her album on CD through the Yahoo Club. I've been told that the bootleg version came with a few of those alternate versions that you mentioned. I believe the alternate version of It Doesn't Matter How You Say It was also on YouTube at one point, or perhaps I'm getting mixed up with My Heart. I believe there is also an alternate version of My Heart as well. I agree that Flo was capable of much more, but for me, I still do enjoy these recordings. I would also love to see Run Out Groove do a limited vinyl pressing of her album.

    One thing I've wondered is whether this track [[and the entire album, for that matter) would have sounded better without the excessive reverb/echo effect that they had added to her vocals.
    I don't know if they're on Youtube, but "My Heart" has a couple different alternates. The bootleg from the Yahoo club [[which I purchased) had alternate vocals for "It Doesn't Matter", "My Heart", I think maybe one other song I can't remember, and then the instrumental to "You Don't Have To", which supposedly never got vocals. But there's another bootleg floating around that has several other alternates of other songs, such as "Everything Wonderful". I'm hoping to get my hands on one someday.

    As far as the Spectrum release, I enjoy it too. Like everything the Supremes and Diana Ross ever recorded, there's some highs and some lows. I treat the lows like I do any other songs, and I treat the highs the same way. I play some of the cuts from Flo's album like I play some of the Supremes and Diana Ross stuff. I would've rather a different sound for her, but very little on the album is actually "bad".

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    I also preferred the alternate version of "It Doesn't Matter How I Say It". It would have been nice to hear a cleaned up version of the song but I believe the masters were destroyed in a fire years back. The single version definitely sounded like they were trying to get her to channel Diana. I think Flo even does the hiccups if I recall lol. Flo could sing sweet and light like Diana if she really wanted to like on the alternate version of "Makes No Difference Now" and in the background on "Baby Love" but I don't think Flo preferred that style.

    Carlo, I'm one of the rare fans who enjoy most of Flo's solo album as well. I'll admit there's a few stinkers on there but I could say the same for the Supremes recording history too. I actually have always loved Flo's "The Impossible Dream" and also love "Forever Faithful". I just wish the recording quality wasn't so crappy to put it bluntly.
    She does do the hiccups! Lol It wasn't a good look. Like you say, Flo could do sweet and light, but I don't think anything she recorded at ABC was built for her style even if she did do sweet and light.

    I know Flo's name is on the list of the masters that burned in the fire, but I don't know how true that is. Supposedly Motown's masters are stored elsewhere and were thus not affected. Motown acquired the masters to Flo's album decades ago. I would think they would be in Motown's possession now, and not at the warehouse that caught fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post

    I know Flo's name is on the list of the masters that burned in the fire, but I don't know how true that is. Supposedly Motown's masters are stored elsewhere and were thus not affected. Motown acquired the masters to Flo's album decades ago. I would think they would be in Motown's possession now, and not at the warehouse that caught fire.
    Was this ever confirmed re Motown having Flo's masters? Tony Turner alleged as much in his book but I've never seen it anywhere else.

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    As my music interest has broadened past The Supremes and Motown over the years, I've "run into" Linda Jones. Everyone knows her for "Hypnotized," but Supremes fans don't always recognize the connection between Linda and Florence. That connection: George Kerr--producer for both ladies. My opinion is that George wasn't the greatest producer...but he wasn't the worst. George isn't really my focus here, however.

    Listen to the Linda Jones collections released in the last 5-10 years: "The Complete Atco, Loma & Warner Brothers Recordings," and "Precious: The Anthology 1963-1972." You will hear several tracks on both sets that were produced by George Kerr and recorded by Linda in 1967 and 1968 [and even a couple in early 1969]. Linda even recorded on the same track and released, "My Heart [Will Understand]" [recorded August 1968, released April 1969]. I'm also not 100% sure [Flo's masters seemed so muddy] but I think they may have shared the same track to "Yesterday" that Linda recorded probably in early 1968 and released as a B-side in June 1968.

    When I listen to Linda's material recorded with George, the arrangements are SO MUCH like what Flo recorded with him! It makes me wonder whether some of the tracks George produced from 1967/68/69 were given to both Linda AND Florence. Linda just had better luck in 1967 [[before Flo had even started recording with George) with the success of Hypnotized as a single and then even the subsequent album. Of course, Linda and Flo were basically different types of singers, but I can't help but wonder...what if? *shrugs*

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    One thing I didn't understand was what did Flo really want? She wanted to be a solo recording artist but then she gets married and pregnant at the same time? Tommy should have never been allowed to manage her. Love makes you do stupid things. I know I've been there.

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    I think Tony Duchess Turner said it best: all of Flo's solo material was too damn depressing.

  11. #11
    Thanks for the info, RanRan, in regards to the alternate versions.

    Danman, I will have to take a listen to some of the Linda Jones recordings that you mentioned. Very interesting!

    As much as many downplay Flo's album and the quality of the material, I do feel that Love Ain't Love at least deserved to experience some chart action. It's a very solid track. The best out of the bunch, imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Was this ever confirmed re Motown having Flo's masters? Tony Turner alleged as much in his book but I've never seen it anywhere else.
    I think this is one Tall Tales got right. Flo's songs are listed on DFTMC with the other Motown catalog cuts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danman869 View Post
    As my music interest has broadened past The Supremes and Motown over the years, I've "run into" Linda Jones. Everyone knows her for "Hypnotized," but Supremes fans don't always recognize the connection between Linda and Florence. That connection: George Kerr--producer for both ladies. My opinion is that George wasn't the greatest producer...but he wasn't the worst. George isn't really my focus here, however.

    Listen to the Linda Jones collections released in the last 5-10 years: "The Complete Atco, Loma & Warner Brothers Recordings," and "Precious: The Anthology 1963-1972." You will hear several tracks on both sets that were produced by George Kerr and recorded by Linda in 1967 and 1968 [and even a couple in early 1969]. Linda even recorded on the same track and released, "My Heart [Will Understand]" [recorded August 1968, released April 1969]. I'm also not 100% sure [Flo's masters seemed so muddy] but I think they may have shared the same track to "Yesterday" that Linda recorded probably in early 1968 and released as a B-side in June 1968.

    When I listen to Linda's material recorded with George, the arrangements are SO MUCH like what Flo recorded with him! It makes me wonder whether some of the tracks George produced from 1967/68/69 were given to both Linda AND Florence. Linda just had better luck in 1967 [[before Flo had even started recording with George) with the success of Hypnotized as a single and then even the subsequent album. Of course, Linda and Flo were basically different types of singers, but I can't help but wonder...what if? *shrugs*
    Dan, I believe I posted Linda's version of "My Heart" in the forum about a year or two ago. I'm a big Linda Jones fan. I just love to hear that lady sing. She really reaches in and twists something inside of me when she lets loose. As you said, she and Flo were different singers so I wouldn't bother comparing them. However, I found that I much preferred Florence's interpretation of "My Heart" than Linda's. Flo's had a more personal touch IMO, if that makes any sense.

    I have a couple of Linda compilations that I've had for years. I was unaware of the two you mention so now I've got to get my hands on those. Thanks for the information!

    Oh, and in regards to George Kerr: I think he was a good producer. The problem was, according to him, he and Flo didn't always get along in the studio. It's possible that the breakdown affected the end result. Compare much of the Kerr productions to that of Robert Bateman and there is definitely a difference, even in how comfortable Flo seems with the songs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    One thing I didn't understand was what did Flo really want? She wanted to be a solo recording artist but then she gets married and pregnant at the same time? Tommy should have never been allowed to manage her. Love makes you do stupid things. I know I've been there.
    Remember, Flo was 24/25 at this point. She probably wanted it all. Getting married should not have been much of a hinderance to her career, but I suspect getting pregnant wasn't planned and just happened at the most inopportune time. Getting a solo career off the ground with two people growing inside of you has to be a difficult thing. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it: so much in the music business is luck. Some people have it, some people don't. Flo was one of the ones who had it for awhile [[during the Supremes) and then couldn't catch a break as a solo. That pregnancy was probably the biggest issue, because toward the end there, things seemed to be opening up for her. But motherhood took priority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    Thanks for the info, RanRan, in regards to the alternate versions.

    Danman, I will have to take a listen to some of the Linda Jones recordings that you mentioned. Very interesting!

    As much as many downplay Flo's album and the quality of the material, I do feel that Love Ain't Love at least deserved to experience some chart action. It's a very solid track. The best out of the bunch, imo.
    No prob Carlo. I agree about "Love Aint Love". I've actually seen some local charts that the song made at the time. Perhaps with some more promotion, it could've gone at least top 40. The flipside, "Forever Faithful", is a great one too. Good enough for it's own A side IMO.

  16. #16
    Ever since I heard it, I thought that “Everything Wonderful” was/is a great song.

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    The whole thing is beyond dreadful to my ears. The complete and utter opposite of what she should have been recording.

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