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  1. #1
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    A Bit of Liverpool Turns 57

    This month the Liverpool album turned 57. It's a noteworthy album in the Supremes collection because it's so different from most of the albums the group would release. A few fans seem to love it. Seems like to me more fans dislike it [[if not outright hate it). Personally, I have to be in the mood for it. And even then I usually don't play it from start to finish, and instead skip through to the songs I particularly like/love.

    As stated in the C&W album thread, I love both the C&W album and the Sam Cooke album. The main complaint I have about the C&W album is that Flo and Mary didn't have more leads and Diana sometimes sounded weak. But the harmonies were on point, and as a country music fan, the album is easily a favorite of mine. My main complaint with Sam Cooke album is that an LA band was used for the tracks instead of the Funks. But I think the caliber of songs chosen were so great that the Supremes were able to give charming performances throughout and make good on what some other group might have made barely listenable.

    I said all of that to say that for me the Liverpool album embodies the best and worst of the other two superior albums. Horrible decision to use anyone other than the Funks on this. The British acts, whom the album is supposed to be paying tribute to, were wild about the Motown Sound, and R&B in general. Those groups took previously recorded R&B songs, including some Motown, and put their own spin on them. In theory the Liverpool album was a dynamite idea. Take the Supremes, the latest ambassadors of the Motown Sound, and pair them with songs recently made popular by British acts. But where the idea should have been to pair the Supremes and the Motown Sound with the British hits, Motown decided to pair the Supremes with this faux Brit sounding band and IMO it wasn't a very interesting match. The song selection wasn't as good as either that of Sing C&W&P or We Remember either. However, the one saving grace of the album for me are the vocals. Once again, as they would do for the specialty albums during the Flo era, the group's harmonies were front and center. I don't ever see the Liverpool album as becoming a favorite of mine. I give the basic idea an A, but a D for execution. The girls get an A for vocals.

    But it does have some standout moments. My favorite is probably "Because". What's your favorite? Is this an album that's a favorite of yours? Any special memory attached to it? Is it perfect as is? What would you change?


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    This is actually the one I listen to the most out of the 3 concept albums. Never listen to CWP simply because I don't like the songs and it has nothing to do the execution of the album. Bit of Liverpool always sounds, to me, as if the girls are just having a good time recording the album and the screaming at the end of I saw him standing there, which I think is an outtake. Guess thats why I love it. Don't really like House of the rising sun and would have replaced it with one of the outtakes from Lost and Found.

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    A few of the tracks are okay, but because of the LA musicians, it sounded way too white for my taste. Like you said, it would have been much better had the Funk Brothers given it a touch of Motown class. My favorite tracks are "Because" and Motown's own "You've Really Got A Hold On Me". Gotta admit, the album has a great cover photo. The girls look sharp in their green garb and pumps!

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    I can remember being really excited when I finally found a copy of this album in a used record store and for $.99. A real steal!

    That said, it isn't a favorite of mine. If I do play it, it is either I'm having a Supremes marathon or I'll just play the songs I particularly enjoy. But I do like the girls' vocals on it. I really like THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, BECAUSE, YOU CAN'T DO THAT and my absolute fave, DO YOU LOVE ME.

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    I don't hate it. I like You Can't Do That, You've Really Got A Hold On Me & House Of The Rising Sun. I love the cover.

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    This album always leaves me feeling 'cold.' The sound quality which was typical of most of the British music of that time is so abrasive and sounds like it's coming from a 2 car garage with a cement floor and walls...the sound is bouncing off of so many surfaces. The ladies sound fine; however, the instrumentation and the overall production value doesn't do it for me.
    Last edited by jobucats; 10-19-2021 at 04:23 PM.

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    Diana never ever sounded weak ,. But the harmonies were on point, What ever you sound weak but we still love you

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    this was the longest charting of the concept albums. it apparently must have sold exceedingly well

    it was released, of course, in the midst of Beatle mania and then this wild phenomenon of The Supremes. so it's like a perfect storm. kids probably saved their allowances up like mad to buy this. or begged for it for a gift or something. and the young teens might not have been as critical as us fans

    i think the harmonies are strong here and there really is just pure joy and fun coming from the girls. they do really sound like they're the best of friends, three sisters in song. having a ball in the studio, having to order in food cuz they're so wrapped up with recording and singing they just forget to eat [[or something along those lines that some Motown PR person would drop into press releases lol)

    I do occasionally listen to the lp for fun. it's one that could easily be on in the background while vacuuming or something. i would never really consider playing it for a non-fan as you do need to take it with a grain of salt.

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    in one of the Motown books [[i think Hershey's Nowhere To Run To) the author identifies what it is probably the biggest issue here. and Ran also brings it up.

    the british acts handled their covers of US R&B tunes with an almost reverence. even if they were taking the song in a new musical direction, you still got the sense that they just had such immense appreciation for the genre and the original tunes.

    here you don't get 1 bit of reverence. it's obviously another Motown cash-in. enjoyable but just imagine if they'd put some effort and work into it. what it COULD have been. like what they did with the R&H set

  10. #10
    I was disappointed when I first bought this album but grew to like it more over time. That is due to the sound of utter fun and joy heard here that others have talked about. In an odd way, it's probably the one album that has a weirdly cohesive sound across the board. Not so much because of the music as it is the way the Supremes are all in this together, together, together. Esprit de corps!

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    Interesting that the Supremes would perform "Eight Days a Week" on at least one occasion, yet it wasn't included on LIVERPOOL. Does anyone know if they ever cut that track?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Interesting that the Supremes would perform "Eight Days a Week" on at least one occasion, yet it wasn't included on LIVERPOOL. Does anyone know if they ever cut that track?
    A BIT OF LIVERPOOL was released in October of 1964, a few months before The Beatles released EIGHT DAYS A WEEK.

    By the time the Supremes performed it on SHINDIG!, it was the Beatles' current single in the US [I think] so that's probably why they performed it there. By the time the girls did it on HULLABALOO, it was another #1 hit.
    Last edited by reese; 10-19-2021 at 10:49 PM.

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    My favorite song from this colection is "Hard Days Night" Love the harmonies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    A BIT OF LIVERPOOL was released in October of 1964, a few months before The Beatles released EIGHT DAYS A WEEK.

    By the time the Supremes performed it on SHINDIG!, it was the Beatles' current single in the US [I think] so that's probably why they performed it there. By the time the girls did it on HULLABALOO, it was another #1 hit.
    Makes sense! Thank you!

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    Interesting that EDAW was #1 for 2 weeks in 1965, to be displaced at the top by Stop! for 2 weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TYK1986 View Post
    This is actually the one I listen to the most out of the 3 concept albums. Never listen to CWP simply because I don't like the songs and it has nothing to do the execution of the album. Bit of Liverpool always sounds, to me, as if the girls are just having a good time recording the album and the screaming at the end of I saw him standing there, which I think is an outtake. Guess thats why I love it. Don't really like House of the rising sun and would have replaced it with one of the outtakes from Lost and Found.
    They do sound like they're having a ball. At the time of the sessions they had already scored a #1 and I can imagine them riding high on life with that. After all of the work they had been putting in since they were 14/15, it had to be a joyful experience to finally be rewarded for the dedication and hard work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    A few of the tracks are okay, but because of the LA musicians, it sounded way too white for my taste. Like you said, it would have been much better had the Funk Brothers given it a touch of Motown class. My favorite tracks are "Because" and Motown's own "You've Really Got A Hold On Me". Gotta admit, the album has a great cover photo. The girls look sharp in their green garb and pumps!
    It is a nice cover.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I can remember being really excited when I finally found a copy of this album in a used record store and for $.99. A real steal!

    That said, it isn't a favorite of mine. If I do play it, it is either I'm having a Supremes marathon or I'll just play the songs I particularly enjoy. But I do like the girls' vocals on it. I really like THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, BECAUSE, YOU CAN'T DO THAT and my absolute fave, DO YOU LOVE ME.
    I love all of those except "Do You Love Me". "House" was a missed Flo opportunity, but as is it is a very nice version. "You Can't Do That", oh man how I love Diana's lead on it. For the longest time I didn't bother with the song, but one day it was playing and Diana's voice hit me. It's one of the few songs on the album I make it a point to play.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    This album always leaves me feeling 'cold.' The sound quality which was typical of most of the British music of that time is so abrasive and sounds like it's coming from a 2 car garage with a cement floor and walls...the sound is bouncing off of so many surfaces. The ladies sound fine; however, the instrumentation and the overall production value doesn't do it for me.
    Yes! I always think of the band as playing in a garage.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    in one of the Motown books [[i think Hershey's Nowhere To Run To) the author identifies what it is probably the biggest issue here. and Ran also brings it up.

    the british acts handled their covers of US R&B tunes with an almost reverence. even if they were taking the song in a new musical direction, you still got the sense that they just had such immense appreciation for the genre and the original tunes.

    here you don't get 1 bit of reverence. it's obviously another Motown cash-in. enjoyable but just imagine if they'd put some effort and work into it. what it COULD have been. like what they did with the R&H set
    Yeah, the idea is on point, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. It's strange to me that the Funks were so great as a unit, and they were versatile, yet there was this decision to go with outside musicians for some of the specialty projects. I realize that "outsourcing" was going to be inevitable because there was only so much time that the Funks could devote to playing. I mean the guys had to eat, sleep and do other things too. Plus wasn't there a rule about time with the musicians? Some kind of union thing or something? Anyway, like I said, I get the outsourcing to a point, but you're freakin Motown. People have coined the phrase "Motown Sound". Artists everywhere are salivating at the chance to record at Hitsville with this unique set of musicians, and you outsource the entire project [[Liverpool and We Remember) to other musicians? Nuts.

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    Does anyone know a timeline of recording dates for LIVERPOOL? Was it truly a rush job? I can't imagine you'd get a quality product if it was recorded over only a few days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Does anyone know a timeline of recording dates for LIVERPOOL? Was it truly a rush job? I can't imagine you'd get a quality product if it was recorded over only a few days.
    The songs were completed over two days in September. The completion dates are most likely when the ladies added their vocals, as the tracks are so "bare minimum" that I would be surprised if there was any last minute instrumentation added. Now when the actual band tracks were recorded, I don't know. But considering that "Where Did Our Love Go" finished it's run at #1 at the end of August, and the WDOLG album was released on the 31st of August, my guess is that the band tracks were probably very likely rushed around the same time in order to get the girls' vocals on the 11th and 12th of September, to be released in October. Motown did not take it's time with this project at all.

    Compare that timeline with the other two albums. C&W tracks originated in late 1962 and early 1963, vocals during the same period, got re-records and other additions in November and December 1964, and the album was released in Feb 65. We Remember obviously didn't begin until after Sam Cooke's death. Vocals most likely recorded in February and March, as that's the completion date for the recordings. The album is released in April. Seems like both Remember and C&W just had a bit more thought put into them.

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    I'm probably in the minority of fans who love this album. Always have since I first heard it as a kid. They just sound like they're having so much fun. And I have to say their version of A Hard Day's Night is better than the Beatles. Also love Because and Can't Buy Me Love. I really love all of the specialty albums from the original group and have a hard time choosing my favorite. The only one from the original group I wasn't too keen on, and it remained unreleased anyway, was the Disney album. I know there's fans that love it but it's pushing it on corniness for me.
    Last edited by floyjoy678; 10-21-2021 at 11:57 AM.

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    As far as the fans are concerned, I can only speak for myself. I love the ballads on the Disney album, but those uptempo tracks are corny to the point of being nearly unlistenable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    The songs were completed over two days in September. The completion dates are most likely when the ladies added their vocals, as the tracks are so "bare minimum" that I would be surprised if there was any last minute instrumentation added. Now when the actual band tracks were recorded, I don't know. But considering that "Where Did Our Love Go" finished it's run at #1 at the end of August, and the WDOLG album was released on the 31st of August, my guess is that the band tracks were probably very likely rushed around the same time in order to get the girls' vocals on the 11th and 12th of September, to be released in October. Motown did not take it's time with this project at all.
    The Supremes were performing at the Brooklyn Fox theater from September 4 to 13. there was 5 to 6 shows a day which probably don't leave much room for recording sessions.

    There are many other possible dates in September for those recording sessions.
    [[http://dianarosssupremes.free.fr/Tim...re%20September)

    I whish we had expanded editions of ABOL, CWP & WRSC to have more information on the timeline - a limited 3 EE CD set would great )

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    Sure can't disagree with you there, Laurent. That 3-disc Expanded Edition CD set would be wonderful! BTW, congrats on a really nice job with those amazing photos!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    As far as the fans are concerned, I can only speak for myself. I love the ballads on the Disney album, but those uptempo tracks are corny to the point of being nearly unlistenable.
    LOL I can understand that. I like "Heigh Ho" and "Whistle" and "Zippity Do Dah" and "Davy Crockett", but I can definitely feel why they wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. I think it's important to remember that this album would've definitely been targeted at children, so "corny" would've been a pre-requisite.

    As for the ballads, I can listen to "Someday My Prince Will Come" like it's one of the hits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    The Supremes were performing at the Brooklyn Fox theater from September 4 to 13. there was 5 to 6 shows a day which probably don't leave much room for recording sessions.

    There are many other possible dates in September for those recording sessions.
    [[http://dianarosssupremes.free.fr/Tim...re%20September)

    I whish we had expanded editions of ABOL, CWP & WRSC to have more information on the timeline - a limited 3 EE CD set would great )
    I hope George and Andy see your suggestion. Maybe Real Gone could do something with this. There's probably very little chance these three albums will get a standalone EE, so combining them would probably the only way to get them. I would love to know more about them. I'm not sure if there are any outtakes to be had from them, but there's apparently some alternate vocals for Remember and of course there's still the yet to be released 1963 versions of some of the c&w stuff. I wonder if the girls' tv performances of "Eight Days a Week" and "You Can't Do That" could be mastered and placed on it.

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