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  1. #1
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    Reflections lp - their first "bomb" after hitting it big

    prior to reflections, the main studio albums of WDOLG, More Hits, Symphony, A Go Go and HDH all went top 10 on the pop chart. and often even higher on r&b. [[i'm purposely not including the specialty albums). Plus the group just had a massive Greatest Hits set.

    so Reflections album comes out in late March 68 and only goes to #18. and was on the charts only 28 weeks. here's what others did:

    WDOLG #2 89 weeks
    More Hits #6 37 weeks
    Symphony #8 37 weeks
    A Go Go #1 52 weeks
    HDH #6 29 weeks

    the album had 2 top 10 singles, plus quite a few well know covers. so what went wrong?

    what should they have done differently?

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    I think the main reason, perhaps the only legit reason, for the "failure" is that, while it contained two top 10 hit singles, one certainly categorized as a major hit, both singles had come and gone "long" before the album was released. Had "Forever" been a hit, it probably would've spurred interest in the new album, but since it was flopping too, DRATS just wasn't a fan priority. And truth is, except for their work with the Tempts, DRATS would never be an album artist again.

    I guess I can think of one more possible reason the album may not have resonated with the public: the album scene was changing. Although Reflections has a number of covers on it, the public was growing more interested in albums with mostly, or all, new material.

    The loss of HDH and Florence, and the elevation of Diana Ross to top billing all had their individual effects on the group, but even these cannot explain why DRATS' non duet albums never attained the heights of the Flo era albums.

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    Let's face it, if not for "Reflections", "Love Child", "Someday" and "Gonna Make You Love Me", the DRATS era would've been a pop music bust.

  4. #4
    Now I like 'Reflections', in fact I have a CD copy that I got sent from the US about 20 years ago. Times were changing, music was changing, the original fans had grown up and had moved on to other music. The transition from the #60's to '70's was a very difficult time for many groups. Plus as has been said, the departure of Flo, HDH, name change etc did have an adverse effect. I think that Diana should have left before the name change at the same time as Flo. All it did was prolong the inevitable! Mary would have had a choice to regroup or strike out on her own! Just a thought.

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    The Reflections lp was not a failure; while it did not chart as well as the previous studio sets it did good sales and turned a profit.

    I think what hurt the lp was the name change and the fact that Gordy flooded the market with Supremes. Their catalog of current lps was immense in 1968.

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    yeah i didn't mean it really was a failure. just relative to the chart rankings of the previous albums. my point was to show how drastically their album chart performances changed.

    LC did a bit better but only marginally. it went to 14 and was on the charts for 21 weeks.
    Join was a huge hit - #2 and on for 32 weeks.

    And yes they flooded the market but this was hardly the first time

    Between Aug 64 and Aug 65 you had - WDOLG, reissue of Meet, Liverpool, CWP, Sam Cooke and More Hits

    Between Jan 68 and Dec 68 you had - Reflections, TOTT, FG, Love Child, Join, TCB

    So 6 and 6. of course in 68 you still had older albums selling like Greatest Hits, A Go Go, etc.

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    Flo being replaced, HDH no longer writing their songs and the name change certainly hurt them but let's face it by 1968 the Supremes were getting kinda stale and corny. Everyone acts like the ship went down in the early 70s but I think it started in '68.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Flo being replaced, HDH no longer writing their songs and the name change certainly hurt them but let's face it by 1968 the Supremes were getting kinda stale and corny. Everyone acts like the ship went down in the early 70s but I think it started in '68.
    that's a valid point which is interesting since Reflections [[the song) was so innovative - exploring bits of psychedelic soul.

    IMO the album is unfinished. had HDH stayed, perhaps some of the tracks would have polished up more. and they might have invested time and resources into expanded on the amazing sound they forged with Reflections. as it was Deke did I'm Gonna Make It and also did Am I Asking Too Much [[which could have been included). I've heard rumors that others might have helped finish up Forever Came Today.

    so out of the various things recorded, you have these san fran/psych/soul songs like:

    Reflections
    i can't make it along
    I'm gonna make it
    Forever came today
    am i asking too much
    bah bah bah

    you have the sunshine/LA/southern California pop:

    In and out of love
    up up and away
    going all the way to true true love
    a little breeze
    what the world needs now
    stay in my lonely arms

    light pop/r&b from smokey & others

    Then
    Misery makes it
    treat me nice john henry
    can't shake it loose
    a little breeze
    when it's to the top
    honey bee

    motown covers

    heaven must have sent you
    love makes me do foolish

    plus tons of leftover A Go Go stuff

  9. #9
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    As I recall at the time the Reflections lp was issued, these lps were still current:

    WDOLG
    Copa
    A Go Go
    Sing HDH
    Sing R&H
    Greatest Hits
    Meet

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    yeah i wouldn't be surprised if Copa was still in circulation. it was on the charts for over a year and it would have been the only Live option for the group too.

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    Out of curiosity, what albums were released around the same time as Reflections?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    Out of curiosity, what albums were released around the same time as Reflections?
    Greatest Hits was released in August of 1967 and immediately preceded Reflections. I imagine GH was still selling strongly when Reflections was released in March of 1968. The next LP releases were in August 1968 — Talk Of The Town and Funny Girl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
    Greatest Hits was released in August of 1967 and immediately preceded Reflections. I imagine GH was still selling strongly when Reflections was released in March of 1968. The next LP releases were in August 1968 — Talk Of The Town and Funny Girl.
    I should have been more clear--what other albums by other top acts, or up and coming acts, were released around the same timeframe as Reflections and competing with that album on the album charts?

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    One possibility might be, in all of the cases where an LP did well, the LP had been released within 4 months of the lead single.

    In the case of REFLECTIONS, the LP was released almost a YEAR after the lead single.

    ALL TIME FRAMES ARE APPROXIMATE.

    But I do wonder if it did have an adverse effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Let's face it, if not for "Reflections", "Love Child", "Someday" and "Gonna Make You Love Me", the DRATS era would've been a pop music bust.
    The DR&TS era was 2 1/2 years and in that time they had three platinum singles, a smash that went to number two and another soft top 10. Most groups would kill for that.

    They certainly slipped a lot, however to put it into perspective, only The Tempts were more prolific at Motown during that time frame, With albums as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    I should have been more clear--what other albums by other top acts, or up and coming acts, were released around the same timeframe as Reflections and competing with that album on the album charts?
    Supremes greatest hits was still in the top 10. Aretha was selling albums like crazy, Valley of the dolls was big. The Tempts hit 13 with Mellow Mood. and Smokey was Top 20 with GH package. Sgt Pepper’s, and the new Magical Mystery Tour were huge.
    Last edited by TheMotownManiac; 05-11-2022 at 07:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    One possibility might be, in all of the cases where an LP did well, the LP had been released within 4 months of the lead single.

    In the case of REFLECTIONS, the LP was released almost a YEAR after the lead single.

    ALL TIME FRAMES ARE APPROXIMATE.

    But I do wonder if it did have an adverse effect.
    it was eight months after the single but I agree with you I think that had a big affect. A lot of people were over the song. Often in situations like that, one of the newer singles also sparks interest to get people to look at the album and then they see that there’s that another prior huge hit that they like and they buy the album. Reflections did not have that luxury. Not a lot of people are going to pick it up on the strength of the other two singles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    The Reflections lp was not a failure; while it did not chart as well as the previous studio sets it did good sales and turned a profit.

    I think what hurt the lp was the name change and the fact that Gordy flooded the market with Supremes. Their catalog of current lps was immense in 1968.
    The market wasn’t flooded with Supremes product at all. They only had one album on the chart. The fact that their catalog was still in print would not be a factor on a brand-new album release. If you look at every act in the top 50, I assure you most of their catalog were still in print. Anyway, greatest hits was the great equalizer with the Supremes catalog. After that their previous studio albums really dropped off.

    I don’t believe the name change had any effect whatsoever other than perhaps negligible. Most of the general public who were buying Supremes albums didn’t care enough one way or another what the billing was like to make them not want to buy an album that they otherwise wanted to buy. If there had been a decent selection of songs, that’s all that would have mattered.

    The main change didn’t seem to have any effect whatsoever on Greatest Hits which was Motown‘s biggest selling album until songs in the key of life. The name change means a lot to us Supremes nut cases. One of my absolute very dearest friends, 55 years later, is still carping because they used the name change on greatest hits when none of the singles on there were issued under the new name. And even he bought the album. [[He also is still crabbing about the fact that diana ross got separate dealing with her own title card in the opening credits for TCB.) They were still selling out arenas after the name change and huge college campuses. It wasn’t like Republicans today who won’t let their kids watch Snow White anymore, all the scintilla of the Fanbase would buy any music they wanted to hear regardless of billing.

    I think the departure of HDH had everything to do with it - too many boring covers. The previous album, HDH, had some very very iffy tracks on it. That limp dick arrangement for heat wave, for example, says that Motown didn’t give a damn and after a couple questionable tracks on A Go Go, I think the fans were thinking twice before they made such a big investment. Also I’m sure that some people were scared off by Rogers and Hart not realizing the kind of material it was.

    i’m sure that the departure of Florence Ballard had an effect on everything. I was her number one fan and didn’t bail on the group. I know some people did.

    i’m very glad you mentioned that the album was successful and turned a profit. Motown continued to put out albums on groups that did not chart like the Marvelettes and Martha common or charted poorly like the Supremes for Topps duets. He didn’t cost them a lot to put an album out as most of the expanse was built against the group.

    I also think the cover art could’ve been improved. The actual concept of all the photographs I think works very well, but I think they could have used a reflective silver paper or a lot more color around the photographs. There’s just too much white paper for an album concept design during the summer of love.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    As I recall at the time the Reflections lp was issued, these lps were still current:

    WDOLG
    Copa
    A Go Go
    Sing HDH
    Sing R&H
    Greatest Hits
    Meet
    Things has changed...no Expanded Edition for years now.

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    what are thoughts on the idea of Forever Came Today being the f/u to Reflections? and issue the lp at that time?

    half of the album contain tracks that were part of this "psychedelic soul" sound. new and interesting. Reflections was such a hot song and such a new sound for the group. maybe In and Out was just too sunshine and bouncy. Forever at least seemed to build on the sound of Reflections, regardless of the strength of the song as a single. and actually maybe following Reflections would have helped it.

    and if the lp was released shortly after, you could have had 2 singles and the album all working together

  21. #21
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    What is f/u?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    The market wasn’t flooded with Supremes product at all. They only had one album on the chart. The fact that their catalog was still in print would not be a factor on a brand-new album release. If you look at every act in the top 50, I assure you most of their catalog were still in print. Anyway, greatest hits was the great equalizer with the Supremes catalog. After that their previous studio albums really dropped off.

    I don’t believe the name change had any effect whatsoever other than perhaps negligible. Most of the general public who were buying Supremes albums didn’t care enough one way or another what the billing was like to make them not want to buy an album that they otherwise wanted to buy. If there had been a decent selection of songs, that’s all that would have mattered.

    The main change didn’t seem to have any effect whatsoever on Greatest Hits which was Motown‘s biggest selling album until songs in the key of life. The name change means a lot to us Supremes nut cases. One of my absolute very dearest friends, 55 years later, is still carping because they used the name change on greatest hits when none of the singles on there were issued under the new name. And even he bought the album. [[He also is still crabbing about the fact that diana ross got separate dealing with her own title card in the opening credits for TCB.) They were still selling out arenas after the name change and huge college campuses. It wasn’t like Republicans today who won’t let their kids watch Snow White anymore, all the scintilla of the Fanbase would buy any music they wanted to hear regardless of billing.

    I think the departure of HDH had everything to do with it - too many boring covers. The previous album, HDH, had some very very iffy tracks on it. That limp dick arrangement for heat wave, for example, says that Motown didn’t give a damn and after a couple questionable tracks on A Go Go, I think the fans were thinking twice before they made such a big investment. Also I’m sure that some people were scared off by Rogers and Hart not realizing the kind of material it was.

    i’m sure that the departure of Florence Ballard had an effect on everything. I was her number one fan and didn’t bail on the group. I know some people did.

    i’m very glad you mentioned that the album was successful and turned a profit. Motown continued to put out albums on groups that did not chart like the Marvelettes and Martha common or charted poorly like the Supremes for Topps duets. He didn’t cost them a lot to put an album out as most of the expanse was built against the group.

    I also think the cover art could’ve been improved. The actual concept of all the photographs I think works very well, but I think they could have used a reflective silver paper or a lot more color around the photographs. There’s just too much white paper for an album concept design during the summer of love.
    Good post!

    I like the Reflections album. The problem is that most of the songs, even the Motown originals, border on adult contemporary and easy listening. I referenced my Billboard Chart Books, there were a wide range of albums on the chart at this time. This album did as well as other easy-listening albums during this period. However, not a good showing for the top female group of the era competing with current albums by Dionne and Aretha. Albums by Andy Williams, Bobby Goldsboro and Glen Campbell even did a bit better than Reflections.

    I can't imagine most teens who were buying The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, The Monkees, Doors etc., choosing this album based on the one big hit, Reflections. The mediocre charting songs, FCT and IAOOL, along with the covers on Side 2, probably dissuaded casual buyers.

    Two songs that shouldn’t have been there are What The World Needs Now Is Love and Love [Makes Me Do Foolish Things], songs from ‘65 and ‘66. I think the Symphony album was successful because 3 of the covers were recent hits that teens loved: Yesterday, Unchained Melody and Lovers’ Concerto. I think those off-set the standards on that album.

    Songs from ‘67 and early ‘68 would have been better options. If a Love Theme was intended then there were recent hits such as Never My Love, To Sir with Love, Your Precious Love and All You Need Is Love. Other recent hits like How Can I Be Sure, Groovin’, The Letter, I Say A Little Prayer, Chain Of Fools and The Beat Goes On might have been more appealing to buyers.

    In my suburban working class community neither Florence's departure nor the name change was of much interest beyond die-hard fans or eliciting a passing comment. Love Child and Someday demonstrated that with the right song the group, whatever its name, could hit the mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    What is f/u?
    lol "follow up" and not...

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnjeb View Post
    Good post!

    I like the Reflections album. The problem is that most of the songs, even the Motown originals, border on adult contemporary and easy listening. I referenced my Billboard Chart Books, there were a wide range of albums on the chart at this time. This album did as well as other easy-listening albums during this period. However, not a good showing for the top female group of the era competing with current albums by Dionne and Aretha. Albums by Andy Williams, Bobby Goldsboro and Glen Campbell even did a bit better than Reflections.

    I can't imagine most teens who were buying The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, The Monkees, Doors etc., choosing this album based on the one big hit, Reflections. The mediocre charting songs, FCT and IAOOL, along with the covers on Side 2, probably dissuaded casual buyers.

    Two songs that shouldn’t have been there are What The World Needs Now Is Love and Love [Makes Me Do Foolish Things], songs from ‘65 and ‘66. I think the Symphony album was successful because 3 of the covers were recent hits that teens loved: Yesterday, Unchained Melody and Lovers’ Concerto. I think those off-set the standards on that album.

    Songs from ‘67 and early ‘68 would have been better options. If a Love Theme was intended then there were recent hits such as Never My Love, To Sir with Love, Your Precious Love and All You Need Is Love. Other recent hits like How Can I Be Sure, Groovin’, The Letter, I Say A Little Prayer, Chain Of Fools and The Beat Goes On might have been more appealing to buyers.

    In my suburban working class community neither Florence's departure nor the name change was of much interest beyond die-hard fans or eliciting a passing comment. Love Child and Someday demonstrated that with the right song the group, whatever its name, could hit the mark.
    i agree that Flo's departure and the name change were relatively insignificant. some have said that some of the djs and programmers were put off by the name change. but let's face it - had the group been producing amazing music, they wouldn't have given two shits. these djs probably weren't inclined to be major supporters of Berry's cross-over vision and conquering Vegas and tv specials and all.

    although probably not known to the general public, or at least not really understood, the departure of HDH might have been the biggest hurdle. they had handled so much of the Sups music that there just wasn't much else of quality sitting around. and their abrupt departure left people scrambling. Sing HDH had been release in early 67 and motown was able to obviously milk the GH package for massive sales but a new studio album was needed [[and not a specialty album like Broadway 2 Hollywood or Disney).

    it is fun to speculate if HDH had run their course anyway. even if they had stayed, at some point, the bloom would have faded. could HDH have helped keep DRATS relevant to the college kids in spite of the group becoming even more showbiz?

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    Nothing went wrong this is a great Ross album I love it so much her voice is Impeccable

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    The DR&TS era was 2 1/2 years and in that time they had three platinum singles, a smash that went to number two and another soft top 10. Most groups would kill for that.

    They certainly slipped a lot, however to put it into perspective, only The Tempts were more prolific at Motown during that time frame, With albums as well.
    Yes, they had those. But my point was that if it hadn't been for those four singles I mentioned, and along with the two "low" charting top 10s, the DRATS period would have been a bust, and the point stands. What the Supremes did during the Flo era was unprecedented. In comparison, had DRATS not scored a #1 or another top 10, it would have been a failure.

    The truth is that we often look at the 70s Supremes as a "bust". But song for song, they often scored better than any other female group of the 70s. Certainly countless female groups of the era would've killed to put up the kind of numbers that the 70s Supremes did. That fact doesn't take away the issue of the 70s Supremes ultimately performing below what should have been expected. Like DRATS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    it is fun to speculate if HDH had run their course anyway. even if they had stayed, at some point, the bloom would have faded. could HDH have helped keep DRATS relevant to the college kids in spite of the group becoming even more showbiz?
    This is a hard one. "In And Out Of Love" went top 10 and but then "Forever Came Today" stalled at #28. Looking at the Four Tops, "I'm A Different World" didn't even go top 40, but this was after HDH left Motown and these releases may not have been what HDH would have wanted as singles. Between their departure at the end of 1967 and then returning in late 1969 with Hot Wax/Invictus recordings, we don't know what their material would have sounded like had they continued. They were still clearly writing hits as "Give Me Just A Little More Time" and "Band Of Gold" went #3 and a few others did moderately well in the top 20/40, but they were focused on running their label rather than devoting all their energy to songwriting and producing. Had HDH stayed, I don't think they would have continued with the steamrolling of number ones like they had previously done in 1964-66 but it likely would have been a slowing simmer with hits in the top 5, 10 and 20 - definitely would have been better than what actually happened.
    Last edited by bradsupremes; 05-11-2022 at 12:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    what are thoughts on the idea of Forever Came Today being the f/u to Reflections? and issue the lp at that time?

    half of the album contain tracks that were part of this "psychedelic soul" sound. new and interesting. Reflections was such a hot song and such a new sound for the group. maybe In and Out was just too sunshine and bouncy. Forever at least seemed to build on the sound of Reflections, regardless of the strength of the song as a single. and actually maybe following Reflections would have helped it.

    and if the lp was released shortly after, you could have had 2 singles and the album all working together
    IMO, replacing the Funk Bros on "In and Out" with LA musicians was the wrong move. I can't wait to hear the original track cut in Detroit, if we ever get the Reflections EE. The song itself- the lyrics, the lead, the backing vocals- are worthy of a hit, but that track is lacking the oomph of current Motown. Even if HDH were going for that sunshine pop type of sound, there was a way to do that and keep the song Motown. Why Motown would ever attempt to abandon their sound for another sound when all those other sound makers would kill to sound like Motown, will always be a mystery.

    While I love "Forever", I just don't think it had the right ingredients to be a huge hit, regardless of when it was released. It's a superb album track, maybe even a B side that could have gotten some chart action. But I don't think it had the right groove to blare out of a radio at a listener in quite the same way as the Supremes' previous singles, including "In and Out of Love". Perhaps a different mix would've helped, but I don't know how much. Certainly the backing vocals needed to be recut or brought up in the mix as they are halfway indecipherable.

    Honestly, post "Reflections", I don't think I hear anything cut prior to the release of the album, whether on the album or shelved, that could guarantee their continued hit streak. There are songs cut by other artists during this same period that might have needed to be handed to the Supremes in order to keep things going in the right direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    lol "follow up" and not...
    Aha!!
    hee haw!!!


    Thinking about it:

    Titling the album REFLECTIONS gives it a nostalgic tinge ...a built in subliminal "passe"-ness about the music ,
    or that's a good title for a greatest hits package.

    FOREVER CAME TODAY has a certain zing to it ....evokes eternal optimism!!

    That would be a good LP title for them as they move forward and to project that they here to stay ...

    those two titles are almost exact opposites i
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 05-11-2022 at 12:57 PM.

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    My guess is that the relatively low chart success was, as others have said, due to: changing public taste, overabundance of Supremes albums, and maybe a less-than-stellar lp cover. There may have been 3-5 bitter Bettys who had their panties in a twist over Diana's name on the cover, but it's illogical to think this would have had any effect on lp sales - would anyone sane buy an album that featured one lead singer on every cut & his/her picture on the cover but not buy the same album because the lead singer's name was featured on the cover? Additionally the fact that the lp was released about 8 months after it's lead single surely did no favors towards attracting potential buyers!
    Last edited by PeaceNHarmony; 05-11-2022 at 01:19 PM.

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    Cover art might have had a small impact as well. If you look at all of the previous releases, one cohesive or predominant picture is the focal point of the cover. You KNOW you are buying a Supremes record. With REFLECTIONS, the multiple pictures get lost in the overall design. The font of the title also isn't as crisp and deliberate.

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    interesting how the cover reads as:


    Diana Ross and The SUPREMES

    and not the opposite


    or even equally.

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    see i love the Reflections cover. the collage provided endless hours of looking at the pics, comparing, etc. and i'm not necessarily exaggerating on the "endless hours" lolol i would sit and listen to the records and just stare at the pics on the sleeve, like WDOLG. almost like absorbing them

    i do like the idea someone suggested of a more metallic background behind the collage. something "reflective". I will admit the BACK cover of the lp is less than stellar. obviously they were working to establish Diana more so it's only her pic and all [[supposedly) her quotes. of course us diehard fans would have preferred each girl with a pic and maybe each girl providing a quote. but we all know...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    This is a hard one. "In And Out Of Love" went top 10 and but then "Forever Came Today" stalled at #28. Looking at the Four Tops, "I'm A Different World" didn't even go top 40, but this was after HDH left Motown and these releases may not have been what HDH would have wanted as singles. Between their departure at the end of 1967 and then returning in late 1969 with Hot Wax/Invictus recordings, we don't know what their material would have sounded like had they continued. They were still clearly writing hits as "Give Me Just A Little More Time" and "Band Of Gold" went #3 and a few others did moderately well in the top 20/40, but they were focused on running their label rather than devoting all their energy to songwriting and producing. Had HDH stayed, I don't think they would have continued with the steamrolling of number ones like they had previously done in 1964-66 but it likely would have been a slowing simmer with hits in the top 5, 10 and 20 - definitely would have been better than what actually happened.
    IMO the hits HDH finally cranked out on Invictus and HW were more about generating some tried and true songs that would generate immediate cash. they had to get some money into the label so they basically mimicked and did quick updates to their sup/tops style and it worked. and you're point is spot on that now they had to manage a label, not just be creative and develop a "sound"

    i think if they had stayed at motown, they would have eventually started to separate. there would still be HDH stuff but they would probably be more in charge of production and trying to develop new talent. so it might be Eddie and lamont partnering with a new 3rd guy. or Brian and someone working on tunes.

    Clearly the sound would have had to change as public tastes and interests changed. I think that's why i'm so impressed with the basic concepts and sounds in the Reflections single and LP. I see it as HDH exploring the various "California" sounds as that had begun to emerge on one of the key new "sounds" in the US to rival the british and motown. I also agree with Ran that IAOOL should have been done in Detroit with the Funks. it would have helped with the "motown meets LA/Sunshine pop" idea

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i think if they had stayed at motown, they would have eventually started to separate. there would still be HDH stuff but they would probably be more in charge of production and trying to develop new talent. so it might be Eddie and lamont partnering with a new 3rd guy. or Brian and someone working on tunes.
    They stayed a unit until 1973 so I think they would have continued that if they stayed with Motown. Even as early 1963, Eddie was writing with other songwriters especially Norman Whitfield. I have to remind myself that it's Eddie who wrote the lyrics for "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," "Too Many Fish In The Sea" and "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep." Brian did a bit of work with others as well although that was concentrated before HDH became a unit. He did write "I Can't Give Back The Love I Feel For You" with Ashford & Simpson just before his departure. They may have mixed things up a bit on a few occasions, but would have continued being the team they were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    They stayed a unit until 1973 so I think they would have continued that if they stayed with Motown. Even as early 1963, Eddie was writing with other songwriters especially Norman Whitfield. I have to remind myself that it's Eddie who wrote the lyrics for "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," "Too Many Fish In The Sea" and "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep." Brian did a bit of work with others as well although that was concentrated before HDH became a unit. He did write "I Can't Give Back The Love I Feel For You" with Ashford & Simpson just before his departure. They may have mixed things up a bit on a few occasions, but would have continued being the team they were.
    what all was their complaint with motown? was it purely financial or were they wanting more leadership within the organization itself? while we know money was a huge aspect of their departure, i thought they were wanting their own label within the Motown framework or more leadership over the writing/recording/producing.

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    I like the "Reflections" album but it's definitely a transitional piece. I can see why lovers of the Sups before they became DRATS don't like it that much. It's much more already getting to the late 60s/"sophisticated soul" sound that much of Motown gravitated towards.

    Also, if you think of the group in 2 different phases [[3 if you count the Jean/Scherrie years), all the LPs before the first Greatest Hits package have much in common, as do all the LPs after the GH piece. It's almost like two different groups really, at least to me the sound changed that much.

    But "Reflections" has a lot of great vocals on it. I like all three singles. I also like the way they cover "Love [[Makes Me Do Foolish Things)" and the absurdly titled "Bah Bah Bah" [[by Brenda Holloway as writer!) and I think Ross does a good job with "Ode to Billie Joe" [[although I like Martha's version better). Overall, it's my favorite DRATS album after "Love Child."

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    what all was their complaint with motown? was it purely financial or were they wanting more leadership within the organization itself? while we know money was a huge aspect of their departure, i thought they were wanting their own label within the Motown framework or more leadership over the writing/recording/producing.
    H-D-H's complaints with the company were two fold; they wanted more money and they wanted their own label within Motown. When Gordy did not give them those things, that's when they decided leave Motown to start up their own company Invictus/Hot Wax.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    see i love the Reflections cover. the collage provided endless hours of looking at the pics, comparing, etc. and i'm not necessarily exaggerating on the "endless hours" lolol i would sit and listen to the records and just stare at the pics on the sleeve, like WDOLG. almost like absorbing them

    i do like the idea someone suggested of a more metallic background behind the collage. something "reflective". I will admit the BACK cover of the lp is less than stellar. obviously they were working to establish Diana more so it's only her pic and all [[supposedly) her quotes. of course us diehard fans would have preferred each girl with a pic and maybe each girl providing a quote. but we all know...
    Well, what do I know Glad you like the cover and I can see your point - to me it's more of a back-cover look, and a little Pickwick-records re-release looking than a great Motown cover. I will stand by my thought, though, and perhaps more clearly state that the cover was not ... rack-tractive? I know what I'm thinking but not putting it greatly into words.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Well, what do I know Glad you like the cover and I can see your point - to me it's more of a back-cover look, and a little Pickwick-records re-release looking than a great Motown cover. I will stand by my thought, though, and perhaps more clearly state that the cover was not ... rack-tractive? I know what I'm thinking but not putting it greatly into words.
    here's a cool idea! what if they had used a photo or something for a 3D Hologram look?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    here's a cool idea! what if they had used a photo or something for a 3D Hologram look?
    Yes! That coulda/woulda worked! But the more I think about it, with the many good ideas here I still come back to the release date. If the lp had been on the racks during the single's chart run I can't help but think that lp buyers may have thought 'yeah, great song & the Supremes always produce a quality product' & picked the lp up, and some single buyers may have thought along the same lines. I like your idea! Perhaps you can design for the expanded release?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yes, they had those. But my point was that if it hadn't been for those four singles I mentioned, and along with the two "low" charting top 10s, the DRATS period would have been a bust, and the point stands. What the Supremes did during the Flo era was unprecedented. In comparison, had DRATS not scored a #1 or another top 10, it would have been a failure.

    The truth is that we often look at the 70s Supremes as a "bust". But song for song, they often scored better than any other female group of the 70s. Certainly countless female groups of the era would've killed to put up the kind of numbers that the 70s Supremes did. That fact doesn't take away the issue of the 70s Supremes ultimately performing below what should have been expected. Like DRATS.
    you’re absolutely right, if you take away the hits you have a failure. And it’s a shame that they had such a tough act to follow with the original group because it’s never been bettered: 10 number ones +2 more top tens in less than three years…… only the Beatles have done that to this very day. It was a great time to be a Supremes fan.

    as far as the 70s Supremes go, if they were a new group beginning with up the latter, they would be totally forgotten today. They needed that big hit that they never got, and it certainly was not their fault. The 3° made a career off of one number one record and a smash club hit. They were out drying the Supremes at the Copa with no hits at all yet. The Honey Cone, With their number Want Ads, and the tepid, rumored gold follow up Stick Up made a name for themselves. I imagine more people remember One monkey don’t stop no show, than they do Nathan Jones or Floy Joy. Considering that Motown had a dearth of material, I think they did very well, but the fact is, outside of die hard die Hards, there was very little interest in the group as a group.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with this that came out in 1974, But this record was a game changer and it didn’t even chart. That’s what they needed, a big hit and a total makeover. They had the talent, but they didn’t have a fresh sound, like below: A fresh sound, the perfect vocal for radio and a full-blown production. If they had had the distribution this would’ve been a top-five or number one record.

    https://youtu.be/kuY0zOVj5-s

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    the album was released at least 6 months to late. remember , they were not going to release a Reflections album and the single was going to be their swan single with the release of the hits album.
    the hits album was massive selling 2 million , and i think 1968 was the supremes best year sales wise with the 2 million sellers and hit albums.
    by march of 1968, Reflections was over and Forever bombed. if FCT hit ,im sure it would have hit top ten.
    i personally would have infused the album with more electronic sounds and made it their Sgt Pepper .
    i also would have included the Happening
    side 2 was kinda weak

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    sorry ,FCT was the first single to not grab me or have that motown sparkle, cool start
    something was missing
    always sounded like a demo to me
    nice diana vocal and lyrics though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    H-D-H's complaints with the company were two fold; they wanted more money and they wanted their own label within Motown. When Gordy did not give them those things, that's when they decided leave Motown to start up their own company Invictus/Hot Wax.
    I wonder what would have happened if Gordy had given into their demands! Interesting…!!!

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    Only in Rossland would Reflections be a failure

    It’s listed here at sales of 750000 -not too shabby

    https://www.greasylake.org/the-circu...a-album-sales/

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    All you have to do is consider the source , it’s an incredible Ross album and the sales are proof by no means a failure

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    I consider the “Reflections” album a reasonably good one that might have been so much better.
    Three songs that definitely don’t belong on the album are “”What The World Needs Now”, “Up Up And Away” and “Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things”. They just don’t match the vibe of the “Reflections” single.
    I would have replaced them with “I Can’t Shake It Loose”, “John Henry” And “The Beginning Of The End Of Love” for a more contemporary sound.
    “I Can’t Shake It Loose” in particular would have made for a more radio friendly single then the rather grandiose “FCT”.

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    Quote Originally Posted by copley View Post
    Now I like 'Reflections', in fact I have a CD copy that I got sent from the US about 20 years ago. Times were changing, music was changing, the original fans had grown up and had moved on to other music. The transition from the #60's to '70's was a very difficult time for many groups. Plus as has been said, the departure of Flo, HDH, name change etc did have an adverse effect. I think that Diana should have left before the name change at the same time as Flo. All it did was prolong the inevitable! Mary would have had a choice to regroup or strike out on her own! Just a thought.
    As much as I loved the group the Supremes, I also believe Diana should have left even earlier than Florence since, apparently to the haters, Diana was the reason for all of the discourse going on in the group. If Mary and Florence were indeed jealous and unhappy with how Diana was being put out front, they should have taken it upon themselves to "fire" her and see just how much more successful they could have become. Although I also liked the album "Reflections", it is a rather abrupt and stale production compared to the previous studio album, Supremes Sing HDH.

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    so here's another question - when did the "decline" with the albums really start? what was their high-water mark?

    WDOLG and More Hits both were exceptional albums. some might argue that More Hits is the ultimate Sup album since it is nearly all new material, great harmonies by the girls, each song is a winner, and all HDH. WDOLG is very very good, although a bit more patchwork but holds together well

    Symphony was a strong attempt to continue bridging the generation gap between teens and parents. well done although not a polished of productions as what HDH would do later on the Broadway to Hollywood. just as it is enjoyable to hear DMF grow and develop, this is a great example of how HDH grew

    A Go Go gets the historic importance of the first lp by girls to go #1. and when reading the song listing, it's easy to see why. but do all of the productions stand up to the "supremes" level? some of the LA tunes just don't have the necessary punch. i wonder how many fans, after buying, sort of felt "hmmm i like but had hoped it would be a bit better"

    HDH - IMO this album further adds to the disappointment felt by fans on A go Go. some superb songs here but some turds too. Always In My Heart is one of the worst things the original group recorded. one fan described it as the "march to the guillotine" song. so this lp is definitely uneven. and didn't match A Go Go sales

    Reflections - and here we are with this patchwork set


    so you could say that Reflections is a continuation of the decline started with A Go Go?

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