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  1. #1
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    A Breath Taking Guy 58th Anniversary

    Well folks, the day after tomorrow "A Breath Taking Guy" turns 58. I'm not sure that I can really point to any one song as my favorite Supremes song, but I think if I could, it would be this one. This would be a song I'd play if someone asks "Why do you love the Supremes so much?". It used to boggle my mind that this great song didn't place any higher than it did on the charts, but I've since come to the opinion that some here in the forum have had, that by the time of the song's release it was dated. The Motown Sound for sure had evolved by then. Perhaps had it been released in place of "My Heart Can't Take It No More" it may have done better.

    But of course I don't judge my likes or dislikes based on how successful a song is. To my ears "A Breath Taking Guy" is perfect. I love that signature [[at the time) Smokey track, which I always think has this Latin thing mixed in there that I find so appealing. Diana's lead voice is so sweet and sexy at the same time. It's almost hard to believe that this is the same voice on "I Want A Guy" a couple years before. She is definitely becoming more and more in command of her instrument. And the backing vocals are exquisite. I believe if you listen closely you'll hear Diana singing with Flo and Mary. They have a beautiful blend.

    Anyone else love this one as much as I do? Anybody recall hearing it played on the radio back then? Anyone ever hear it played on the radio in the last 30/40 years? Interested in reading anyone's memories of this great song.


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    Diana Ross does this song justice there’s just something about that voice that takes her music to the next level way above the other female singers even today the back ground of Mary And Flo are Devine

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    Have you figured out yet what you will say when one of their songs reaches 100 years???

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    WDOLG was our first lp and we were just kids. didn't really know that Baby Love was the mega hit that it was. we'd just play the album and enjoy all of the songs. Like Long Gong Lover and Breathtaking. so this song has always been a fav. i love their work on the chorus and trading off the lines

    as for why it flopped - i think this song just doesn't necessarily break through the clutter of what was going on. many Girl Group songs were more teen oriented. maybe not specifically with the lyrics [[like Leader of the Pack or My Boyfriend's Back) but definitely in the style and sound. Postman, Will you Still Love Me, Da Do Ron Ron all have an adolescence about them.

    Breathtaking is far more mature. the singing, the lovely harmonies, the lyric, the style.

    someone [[maybe one of Randy's books?) mentioned that Mary Wells, even though she was a teen, came across as a Woman. She projected this image of knowing and understanding love. whereas the Marvelettes and the girls groups came across as teens.

    So the Sups had this sophisticated image and sound with Breathtaking which was really not in sync with Girl Groups at the time

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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    Have you figured out yet what you will say when one of their songs reaches 100 years???
    Yup.

    "Let me out of this box!"

    "Get that dirt off of my face!"


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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    Have you figured out yet what you will say when one of their songs reaches 100 years???
    And just in case anyone was wondering, I like doing these to keep the music conversations going. There's a preference around here for topics that skew to the negatives of the behind the scenes stuff. And the music topics are usually Diana Ross songs posted by specific screennames who can't get enough. And there's nothing wrong with that, but the Supremes' music gets lost in the shuffle. So I do my part to remind the forum that the Supremes actually made music and didn't just argue, make catty comments, have missed opportunities, and just screw the job up in general. These anniversaries make figuring out which songs [[and albums) to post about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yup.

    "Let me out of this box!"

    "Get that dirt off of my face!"

    I just thought about how old I'll be when the first Supremes' song reaches 100. I won't be as old as I thought I might. I'll still be around asking if anyone, somebody somewhere, remembers the first time they heard "Buttered Popcorn".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    WDOLG was our first lp and we were just kids. didn't really know that Baby Love was the mega hit that it was. we'd just play the album and enjoy all of the songs. Like Long Gong Lover and Breathtaking. so this song has always been a fav. i love their work on the chorus and trading off the lines

    as for why it flopped - i think this song just doesn't necessarily break through the clutter of what was going on. many Girl Group songs were more teen oriented. maybe not specifically with the lyrics [[like Leader of the Pack or My Boyfriend's Back) but definitely in the style and sound. Postman, Will you Still Love Me, Da Do Ron Ron all have an adolescence about them.

    Breathtaking is far more mature. the singing, the lovely harmonies, the lyric, the style.

    someone [[maybe one of Randy's books?) mentioned that Mary Wells, even though she was a teen, came across as a Woman. She projected this image of knowing and understanding love. whereas the Marvelettes and the girls groups came across as teens.

    So the Sups had this sophisticated image and sound with Breathtaking which was really not in sync with Girl Groups at the time
    Cool memory!

    Yeah, this isn't typical girl group stuff here. But then the Supremes were always a bit more sophisticated than their peers. I wonder what might it have looked like had the group gotten a chance to do tv at this point. I wonder if their look would have interested the public enough to check out the music more. By the time the group has national tv exposure, they're already three hits in. I guess a better question is what role might television have played in the success of their earlier singles?

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    Ran - i think the thing is that they couldn't GET national exposure without a hit. but they struggled to get a hit without tv exposure. But in those early years, there were very few outlets for rock and roll singers, much less black ones. their best bet would have been American Bandstand. But they only booked hit makers.

    The girls' sophistication is what helped to set them apart. my understanding is it was NOT easy to book the girls that first time on Sullivan. but they had had 3 number ones in a row and they had this classiness about them. so Sullivan probably thought - ok, why not. but then Ed also saw that special something in the girls and he was also at the Copa appearance [[prob because Gordy comped everything! lol) and by then Ed was sold that these girls were special

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    Yeah, you're probably right. I wonder if there's any more live footage of the Supremes prior to 1964 other than "My Heart Can't Take It" at the Apollo. Would love to see what a set performance would've looked like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yeah, you're probably right. I wonder if there's any more live footage of the Supremes prior to 1964 other than "My Heart Can't Take It" at the Apollo. Would love to see what a set performance would've looked like.
    There might be some old home video or local tv spots. Whether we will ever see it is the question.

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    I think a dance remix of the song would have been rather fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    There might be some old home video or local tv spots. Whether we will ever see it is the question.
    I highly doubt,but would love to be proven wrong, that any footage exists prior to the Apollo show ..I've never heard of any tv spots pre wdolg

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    Hindsight is perfect. In hindsight, knowing what would come, Breathtaking is, well, breathtaking. A perfect mix of the "girls" with DR in the lead. But this context only reflects the Supremes in our knowledge today, 58 years later. In the day, this was just another girl song amongst thousands of girl songs trying to "make it". There were hundreds of performers mocking this style. The fact that The Supremes "made it" with the later "WDOLG" is the more fascinating to me. Happen-stance and context dictated why "WDOLG" hit and "Breathtaking"did not. What circumstances led to WDOLG emerging when it did and why it did?

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    There might be some old home video or local tv spots. Whether we will ever see it is the question.
    I wonder when was the first time the group actually did a television show for the first time. It's these kinds of facts I always want to learn about. The group's Sullivan appearance is often thought of as the first, but I think they appeared on TV at least twice before that.

    I imagine you're most likely right about the home video footage. I bet Gordy has a ton of this kind of stuff in his possession. I get a kick out of seeing the early photos of the girls performing, when they leak out every now and then. There's a great shot of them, I think they're in the Meet the Supremes dresses, and they have on their white gloves, standing around one mic. They may not have danced across the stage like the Marvelettes, but I can tell from the photo that they were doing what they did best and that was just straight sing. Fingers crossed that some early footage surfaces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I wonder when was the first time the group actually did a television show for the first time. It's these kinds of facts I always want to learn about. The group's Sullivan appearance is often thought of as the first, but I think they appeared on TV at least twice before that.

    I imagine you're most likely right about the home video footage. I bet Gordy has a ton of this kind of stuff in his possession. I get a kick out of seeing the early photos of the girls performing, when they leak out every now and then. There's a great shot of them, I think they're in the Meet the Supremes dresses, and they have on their white gloves, standing around one mic. They may not have danced across the stage like the Marvelettes, but I can tell from the photo that they were doing what they did best and that was just straight sing. Fingers crossed that some early footage surfaces.
    Probably the first ever Supremes tv appearance was " teen town " sometime in ' 64 possibly performing " love light "..their next performance was " Saturday date" then "Steve Allen "

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    Didn't the first pressing of the single include the full title of the song? "A Breathtaking, first sight soul shaking, one night love making, next day heartbreaking guy"? I can see that as impediment to the 45 getting a lot of airplay as the DJ wouldn't want to announce the full title and it would have been difficult for listeners to call in to request the song if they liked it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    Didn't the first pressing of the single include the full title of the song? "A Breathtaking, first sight soul shaking, one night love making, next day heartbreaking guy"? I can see that as impediment to the 45 getting a lot of airplay as the DJ wouldn't want to announce the full title and it would have been difficult for listeners to call in to request the song if they liked it.
    There was an early pressing with the full title.

    I think there's a thread here somewhere debating the pros and cons of the longer title. Myself, I think some DJs [[especially those in the 60s) might have gotten a kick out of announcing the full title, interjecting themselves as one of the "guys" mentioned.

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    This track was my first introduction to the Supremes when it appeared in the UK on the Various Artistes EP, R&B Chartmakers No. 2.

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