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    I always enjoy reading how a particular song came to fruition. The perceived drug connotations certainly hurt sales, with the Merv Griffin show being just one example.
    Berry Gordy’s apparent disdain for any songs promoting peace and social awareness is rather baffling. Especially when considering the time frame these songs were released.
    I’m guessing the mega success of Marvin’s “What Going On” [[which he hated) finally changed his viewpoint.

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    I think you’re right Ollie. To be fair, I have seen Gordy since admit to being very wrong about "What's Going On", and praise it very highly.

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    Good stuff!

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    Does anyone know if there were any social/political message tracks that Berry did like and wanted to release?

    Did he like Diana's "Reach Out And Touch [Somebody's Hand]?"…? I'd say its message is relatively uncontroversial
    Last edited by TomatoTom123; 04-22-2022 at 04:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Does anyone know if there were any social/political message tracks that Berry did like and wanted to release?

    Did he like Diana's "Reach Out And Touch [Somebody's Hand]?"…? I'd say its message is relatively uncontroversial
    I am not sure that Gordy ever wanted to get involved in social statement music. As for Reach Out and Touch, Miss Ross has stated that Gordy didn't want to release it because it was slow, it was a waltz and not what he thought should have been her initial release. It went to #20. The Supremes second release was the similar type of slower message song Everybody's Got The Right To Love but there is no info on whether or not Gordy thought they also shouldn't release a waltz sounding message song, it went to #21. I don't see how he could have missed on how great Stoned Love was. Very interesting read in the article.

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    i don't know if the "drug" connection with SL really hurt sales. the song was a HUGE hit and sold a massive amount of records. one of the biggest selling singles by the group - regardless of lineup. it's up there with Love Child, You Can't Hurry love, etc.

    what might have hurt it more was the lower tv exposure it got and if that somehow hindered it's long term endurance. all of us here probably love the song. but despite it's massive sales, it's not part of the general public collective conscience of the group like Reflections, Stop, You Keep me Hanging on, etc.

    as for the Berry issue, my guess here is that Berry wanted to continue to focus on a very specific formula, and frankly a formula that had proved insanely profitable and accurate. keep a song simple, with easy to relate to lyrics that any and everyone can understand. earlier he didn't want to be considered "black" music because most whites wouldn't have wanted to buy it. so maybe a "peace and hippie" song would alienate the more conservative white buyers that weren't into all of that.

    SL speaks to the concepts of peace, faith in god, a higher ideal for mankind. that is a more abstract concept that something straightforward like "my boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble" lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i don't know if the "drug" connection with SL really hurt sales. the song was a HUGE hit and sold a massive amount of records. one of the biggest selling singles by the group - regardless of lineup. it's up there with Love Child, You Can't Hurry love, etc.

    what might have hurt it more was the lower tv exposure it got and if that somehow hindered it's long term endurance. all of us here probably love the song. but despite it's massive sales, it's not part of the general public collective conscience of the group like Reflections, Stop, You Keep me Hanging on, etc.

    as for the Berry issue, my guess here is that Berry wanted to continue to focus on a very specific formula, and frankly a formula that had proved insanely profitable and accurate. keep a song simple, with easy to relate to lyrics that any and everyone can understand. earlier he didn't want to be considered "black" music because most whites wouldn't have wanted to buy it. so maybe a "peace and hippie" song would alienate the more conservative white buyers that weren't into all of that.

    SL speaks to the concepts of peace, faith in god, a higher ideal for mankind. that is a more abstract concept that something straightforward like "my boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble" lol
    It's that bl**dy "D" that someone added to the song's title, eh?

    Shows what a single flippant thought can do.

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    If only they had saved the "d" from "Stoned Love" for "Floy Joy". "Stone Love" and "Floyd Joy" are much for compelling titles, IMO. Who knows if it would have helped/hurt sales for either.

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    This one's been around the block many times before as well. BUT - it did bring a random memory of me loving the record and my not-square mom saying 'I don't know - it just makes me think of a bunch of drug addicts laying around'. So .... yes, I agree with the theory that the "d" was a roadblock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    This one's been around the block many times before as well. BUT - it did bring a random memory of me loving the record and my not-square mom saying 'I don't know - it just makes me think of a bunch of drug addicts laying around'. So .... yes, I agree with the theory that the "d" was a roadblock.
    You continue to infer on this and other threads that the topic being discussed bores you, having been around the block many times. If that’s how you feel why comment at all. Leave others who find enjoyment in further discussion to it. I’m sure we’ll survive.

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    I’m not really sure the mistaken drug connection really hurt the song. There were a lot of songs from this time that had drug references such as “Light My Fire,” “Cloud Nine,” “White Rabbit,” “I Wanna Take You Higher,” etc. and none of those songs were affected chart or sales wise. Youth were the overwhelming demographic buying records and I don’t think seeing “Stoned” on the label would have turned them away. If anything I would imagine it would be more intriguing to see “Stoned Love” and it being a Supremes record.

    What’s interesting is that the song stalled at number 7 on Billboard, yet it sold like a number 1 hit record. In just about every major market across the country and other trades like Cashbox and Record World, the song did better chart wise. I saw in some markets the song was in the top 3 or number 1. In Philadelphia, the song remained in the top 10 for over two months - outlasting many other songs that went top 10 around it. I just don’t understand how the song wasn’t reflected that way on Billboard. If it was in the top 5 in nearly all major market, why wasn’t it in the top 5 on Billboard?

    Chart discrepancies fascinate me. The one puzzling chart position was “Some Things You Never Get Used To.” On Billboard’s R&B chart, it stopped at #43 - a surprisingly low chart for the girls since they tended to do better on the R&B charts. Yet, on Record World’s R&B chart, the song went to #16! Why was there a 27 chart position difference between the two? It makes no sense to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    I’m not really sure the mistaken drug connection really hurt the song. There were a lot of songs from this time that had drug references such as “Light My Fire,” “Cloud Nine,” “White Rabbit,” “I Wanna Take You Higher,” etc. and none of those songs were affected chart or sales wise. Youth were the overwhelming demographic buying records and I don’t think seeing “Stoned” on the label would have turned them away. If anything I would imagine it would be more intriguing to see “Stoned Love” and it being a Supremes record.

    What’s interesting is that the song stalled at number 7 on Billboard, yet it sold like a number 1 hit record. In just about every major market across the country and other trades like Cashbox and Record World, the song did better chart wise. I saw in some markets the song was in the top 3 or number 1. In Philadelphia, the song remained in the top 10 for over two months - outlasting many other songs that went top 10 around it. I just don’t understand how the song wasn’t reflected that way on Billboard. If it was in the top 5 in nearly all major market, why wasn’t it in the top 5 on Billboard?

    Chart discrepancies fascinate me. The one puzzling chart position was “Some Things You Never Get Used To.” On Billboard’s R&B chart, it stopped at #43 - a surprisingly low chart for the girls since they tended to do better on the R&B charts. Yet, on Record World’s R&B chart, the song went to #16! Why was there a 27 chart position difference between the two? It makes no sense to me.
    Interesting info brad. I agree, it’s all rather baffling.

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    I am not sure if any of these stories are 100% truth - The Temptations were putting out "Cloud Nine" in 1969 and "Psychedelic Shack" in 1970. Also, lets not forget "Take A Stroll through your Mind" which was included on the Psychedelic's album. So, all the arguing about Stoned Love is a bit baffling to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    I’m not really sure the mistaken drug connection really hurt the song. There were a lot of songs from this time that had drug references such as “Light My Fire,” “Cloud Nine,” “White Rabbit,” “I Wanna Take You Higher,” etc. and none of those songs were affected chart or sales wise. Youth were the overwhelming demographic buying records and I don’t think seeing “Stoned” on the label would have turned them away. If anything I would imagine it would be more intriguing to see “Stoned Love” and it being a Supremes record.

    What’s interesting is that the song stalled at number 7 on Billboard, yet it sold like a number 1 hit record. In just about every major market across the country and other trades like Cashbox and Record World, the song did better chart wise. I saw in some markets the song was in the top 3 or number 1. In Philadelphia, the song remained in the top 10 for over two months - outlasting many other songs that went top 10 around it. I just don’t understand how the song wasn’t reflected that way on Billboard. If it was in the top 5 in nearly all major market, why wasn’t it in the top 5 on Billboard?

    Chart discrepancies fascinate me. The one puzzling chart position was “Some Things You Never Get Used To.” On Billboard’s R&B chart, it stopped at #43 - a surprisingly low chart for the girls since they tended to do better on the R&B charts. Yet, on Record World’s R&B chart, the song went to #16! Why was there a 27 chart position difference between the two? It makes no sense to me.
    cool info Brad - i'm a chart geek too and did an excel with all of the releases by the girls and DR through 1980. only did Billboard pop chart for singles and albums. mostly i was curious to see about the climbs up and then the descents. i noted the release date, the date it entered the charts and the date it peaked. with SL, it's completely obvious that River Deep interrupted it's progress. but of course that doesn't explain why Billboard differs from Cashbox and the other.

    for the Scherrie years, i did track the Disco charts

    I remember you also mentioned once that Auto Sun did extremely well in certain markets. and George mentions in his appendix notes in Randy's book about some songs with inconsistent regional performances impacting national charting. That also definitely seems to be the case with Driving Wheel and Let Yourself Go. Whereas IGLMHDTW was a disco top hit in every market, with next songs, different cities and clubs were focusing on different tracks. sometimes it was just Wheel. or just LYG. sometimes it was LYG and Wheel or LYG and Don't wanna be tied down. or other combos of the dance tracks. clearly the promotional team wasn't coordinating with the djs or trying to focus them on one song.

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    "Stoned Love" as the big hit that it was, might have been quite a bigger hit if it's title were: "One Love".
    Here's how it would change the song "I'll tell you that I ain't got no other..." Now, inject "One Love" for the title verse of "Stoned One". Takes the song to a whole new level.
    Always loved the song's slow build to uplifting tempo.
    Last edited by TNSUN; 04-25-2022 at 09:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    cool info Brad - i'm a chart geek too and did an excel with all of the releases by the girls and DR through 1980. only did Billboard pop chart for singles and albums. mostly i was curious to see about the climbs up and then the descents. i noted the release date, the date it entered the charts and the date it peaked. with SL, it's completely obvious that River Deep interrupted it's progress. but of course that doesn't explain why Billboard differs from Cashbox and the other.

    for the Scherrie years, i did track the Disco charts

    I remember you also mentioned once that Auto Sun did extremely well in certain markets. and George mentions in his appendix notes in Randy's book about some songs with inconsistent regional performances impacting national charting. That also definitely seems to be the case with Driving Wheel and Let Yourself Go. Whereas IGLMHDTW was a disco top hit in every market, with next songs, different cities and clubs were focusing on different tracks. sometimes it was just Wheel. or just LYG. sometimes it was LYG and Wheel or LYG and Don't wanna be tied down. or other combos of the dance tracks. clearly the promotional team wasn't coordinating with the djs or trying to focus them on one song.
    I don't know if it was because Jean was from Chicago, but the 70s Supremes did extremely well in the Chicago region. I want to say it was "Automatically Sunshine" that went to #3 or #2 in Chicago. The other singles performed better there too than nationally. I have a whole excel of regional chartings and it's incredible to see how in some markets a song like "I'm Livin' In Shame" only climbed to #24 like it did in Denver, yet in Memphis it went to #2! Some of their biggest hits didn't even chart in some markets!

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    Brad - was chicago as strong of a city for the Diana era songs?

    i think chicago's love for the girls carried on after jean left. in the disco charts, Billboard seems to have started mostly just tracking NYC clubs and occasionally some listings of Audience Responses in cities like Boston, DC, SFO, etc.

    For Sup 75, the only chart activity i've found was Billboards Melody Song Shops. and that's where HMM went #1. but they also went to #1 at Melody with This Is Why and one week HMM and Where Do I Go were co-listed as #1 for melody. all of this chart activity was in summer 75 through oct.

    then in spring 76, Walking hits the charts. and it literally explodes all over the disco scene. it's now also showing up in other NYC record stores like Colony. and it's going top 10 and sometimes #1 in the regional "Audience Response in Clubs" in LA, SFO and more. Chicago isn't showing up in the regional listings just yet though.

    on 9/4/76 Billboard started to do a National Top 30 Disco listing along with regional city listings. It not longer breaks out the various NYC clubs and stores. that's all rolled up now. This change is just in time for the MS&S releases and this is where you see things seeming to be much more haphazard. Wheel starts to get a lot of national attention but things start to splinter. in some markets LYG is getting action or other tracks from the lp. and sometimes songs are co-listed but it could be different songs in different markets. just seems like there wasn't a clear focus

    But Chicago comes through. Wheel is listed for a couple weeks by itself but only going to #12. then it colists with LYG and goes into the top 10. LYG continues to stay in the top 10 by itself for weeks. it peaks at #5 and overall the MS&S songs are charted in chicago for 16 weeks

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    I'll have to look again to see how Diana did in Chicago. I want to say she did just as well, but I can't recall off hand. I guess I was more surprised at how high the Jean era singles charted.

    The one surprising city were the girls actually underperformed chart wise was their hometown - Detroit - on both CKLW Windsor & Detroit radio

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    I'll have to look again to see how Diana did in Chicago. I want to say she did just as well, but I can't recall off hand. I guess I was more surprised at how high the Jean era singles charted.

    The one surprising city were the girls actually underperformed chart wise was their hometown - Detroit - on both CKLW Windsor & Detroit radio
    haha same things with the disco charts! Detroit was surprisingly void of anything Supremes. nothing. nada

    maybe there was some bitterness to Gordy leaving. it was no longer the hometown label

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    haha same things with the disco charts! Detroit was surprisingly void of anything Supremes. nothing. nada

    maybe there was some bitterness to Gordy leaving. it was no longer the hometown label
    This wasn't just 70s Supremes, but 60s Supremes too. They only scored 6 number one hits in Detroit. With the 70s Supremes, the fact that "Stoned Love" was the only 70s single that went top 20 is hard to believe. "Up The Ladder" barely made it into the top 30. Very strange for a hometown to react so poorly to the hometown girls.

    As for Chicago, here's what I have from WCFL's top 40 chart surveys:
    The Supremes
    Up The Ladder To The Roof - #3
    Everybody's Got The Right To Love - #40 <---the only single that underperformed
    Stoned Love - #3
    River Deep Mountain High - #11
    Nathan Jones - #3
    Floy Joy - #2
    Automatically Sunshine - #6

    Diana Ross
    Reach Out And Touch [[Somebody's Hand) - #15
    Ain't No Mountain High Enough - #2
    Remember Me - #4
    Reach Out, I'll Be There - #9

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    But by then only 1/3 was still hometown .....and maybe that factored in on how Detroit perceived them ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNSUN View Post
    "Stoned Love" as the big hit that it was, might have been quite a bigger hit if it's title were: "One Love".
    Here's how it would change the song "I'll tell you that I ain't got no other..." Now, inject "One Love" for the title verse of "Stoned One". Takes the song to a whole new level.
    Always loved the song's slow build to uplifting tempo.
    I like your thinking!
    Yes some lyric finessing might've prevented the drug interpretation.
    however i think One Love might have made it sound too generic. 'Stone Love' gave it an intriguing aura. Reflecting on it, I think its the best word for the times, and I ain't got no other ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thornton View Post
    If only they had saved the "d" from "Stoned Love" for "Floy Joy". "Stone Love" and "Floyd Joy" are much for compelling titles, IMO. Who knows if it would have helped/hurt sales for either.
    Hilarious ! At the printers: Hey ain't it supposed to be FLOYD JOY?
    Other: After that STONED LOVE fiasco, I ain't putting no 'd's on nothin'!!

    hee haw
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 04-26-2022 at 01:17 AM.

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    Had the song been around, “Green Grass Vapours” by the wonderful Angie Stone would have been the perfect followup to “Stoned Love”.

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    i think there was some intent on the usage of Stoned. maybe to give the girls some hipness and seem less square.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim aka jtigre99 View Post
    I am not sure that Gordy ever wanted to get involved in social statement music. As for Reach Out and Touch, Miss Ross has stated that Gordy didn't want to release it because it was slow, it was a waltz and not what he thought should have been her initial release. It went to #20. The Supremes second release was the similar type of slower message song Everybody's Got The Right To Love but there is no info on whether or not Gordy thought they also shouldn't release a waltz sounding message song, it went to #21. I don't see how he could have missed on how great Stoned Love was. Very interesting read in the article.
    Thanks jim, interesting stuff. To me, it’s clear how great "What's Going On", "Reach Out", and "Stoned Love" are, but that’s just me.

    I wonder, did Berry ‘hate’ these songs purely because they were political? This is why I'm trying to think of a social/political message track that he actually liked. And it’s why I'm surprised that Diana's solo debut was a message track that he hated!!!!! [I know he didn’t have the deciding say in what was released, but this one was a big deal!]

    I do know he wrote "Does Your Mama Know About Me", which is about the social stigma of interracial relationships, although the lyrics aren't actually that specific [leaving it up to interpretation].
    Last edited by TomatoTom123; 04-26-2022 at 08:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i don't know if the "drug" connection with SL really hurt sales. the song was a HUGE hit and sold a massive amount of records. one of the biggest selling singles by the group - regardless of lineup. it's up there with Love Child, You Can't Hurry love, etc.

    what might have hurt it more was the lower tv exposure it got and if that somehow hindered it's long term endurance. all of us here probably love the song. but despite it's massive sales, it's not part of the general public collective conscience of the group like Reflections, Stop, You Keep me Hanging on, etc.

    as for the Berry issue, my guess here is that Berry wanted to continue to focus on a very specific formula, and frankly a formula that had proved insanely profitable and accurate. keep a song simple, with easy to relate to lyrics that any and everyone can understand. earlier he didn't want to be considered "black" music because most whites wouldn't have wanted to buy it. so maybe a "peace and hippie" song would alienate the more conservative white buyers that weren't into all of that.

    SL speaks to the concepts of peace, faith in god, a higher ideal for mankind. that is a more abstract concept that something straightforward like "my boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble" lol
    Very true sup! Lol

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