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  1. #1

    River deep, mountain high

    In 1970, The Supremes and the Four Tops released a version of RDMH. Produced by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, the single was one of several recordings that paired the two Motown groups. The Supremes and Four Tops cover, included on the 1970 LP The Magnificent 7, peaked at No. 7 on the soul chart and No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971, making it the highest-charting version of the song in the United States. Their version also peaked No. 11 on the UK Singles Chart.

  2. #2
    not to slight our dearly departed Tina who was an amazing singer and talent. but i do prefer the Sup/Top version of the song. Tiina's is certainly much more traditional r&b, has a rougher sound. A&S glossed this up to a pop firestorm to support the voices of Levi and Jean. also the choral effect of the backing singers [[which i'm pretty sure includes more than just the sups and tops), elevates the whole thing

    but still. hats off to an amazing and glorious diva, Miss Tina

  3. #3
    I see that Ms Ross on twitter has tweeted her sadness and condolences

  4. #4

  5. #5
    I have to say Tina & Phil Spector's version was the real masterpiece and it is just ridiculous that this version was not a hit in the US.

    But the 70s Supremes & Tops did a fine version.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I have to say Tina & Phil Spector's version was the real masterpiece and it is just ridiculous that this version was not a hit in the US.

    But the 70s Supremes & Tops did a fine version.
    I agree. Tina also did a great version of the Vandellas' A LOVE LIKE YOURS.

  7. #7
    Have to agree with Levi - for me nothing touches Tina on "River Deep, Mountain High". A masterpiece through and through - charted twice in the UK - number 3 in 1966 and number 39 in 1969. The Supremes and Four Tops version isn't great by comparison but still reached a respectable number 11 in the UK.

  8. #8
    what Sup or DR song would you have liked Tina to have done a version of?

    a few off the top of my mind would be:

    Once in the Morning from the JW album
    Bad Weather
    How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone
    Baby Baby from Right On
    Thank Him For Today from New Ways But Love Stays
    The Boss
    Save Me from Mary Wilson's unreleased tracks
    Green River from Mary Wilson's unreleased tracks


    and for good measure I'm including Martha Reeves' Wild Night and Storm in My Soul.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    what Sup or DR song would you have liked Tina to have done a version of?

    a few off the top of my mind would be:

    Once in the Morning from the JW album
    Bad Weather
    How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone
    Baby Baby from Right On
    Thank Him For Today from New Ways But Love Stays
    The Boss
    Save Me from Mary Wilson's unreleased tracks
    Green River from Mary Wilson's unreleased tracks


    and for good measure I'm including Martha Reeves' Wild Night and Storm in My Soul.
    Change of Heart [by the composers of What's Love Got To do With It]
    Fool For Your Love
    I Ain't Been Licked

  10. #10
    Her passing is an enormous news event

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I see that Ms Ross on twitter has tweeted her sadness and condolences


    Upon seeing the news that the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll passed away in her home outside of Zurich, Switzerland, at age 83 on Wednesday, May 24, the "I'm Coming Out" singer described feeling "Shocked" and "Saddened" in a statement shared to Twitter.

    Ross also included a sweet photo of the two posing on a red carpet, writing, "Sending condolences to Tina Turner’s family and loved ones."

    Last edited by milven; 05-25-2023 at 12:31 AM.

  12. #12
    100%
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I have to say Tina & Phil Spector's version was the real masterpiece and it is just ridiculous that this version was not a hit in the US.

    But the 70s Supremes & Tops did a fine version.
    100% agree with you on both points. Celine Dion also did a fine version many years later, but it is Ike and Tina's version that is head and shoulders above all the others in my opinion.
    5

  13. #13
    I am a huge Tina fan...but I like Jean/Levi's version better...the 45 version...however, if I may....I find the middle part gets very muddy and manic...
    Perhaps my favorite version is Deep Purple's 1968 one...
    btw...Ike & Tina also covered Grapevine and Son of A Preacher Man on the I&TT IN PERSON '68 LP... great versions of both cuts....and they absolutely scorched Hank Ballards Annie Had A Baby on the double Live In Europe/The World of LP from '71....the Ikettes covered Someday We'll Be Together really great on the [[G)old and New LP...Come See About Me is also on it...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs Tears View Post
    I have to say Tina & Phil Spector's version was the real masterpiece and it is just ridiculous that this version was not a hit in the US.

    But the 70s Supremes & Tops did a fine version.
    I Agree! The only reason Ike & Tina's original version of "River Deep-Mountain High" flopped in the US is because Soul Music radio didn't play the song [perhaps because it was too different from previous Ike & Tina records]. Since it didn't go into the top ten on the Soul charts, the pop radio stations didn't play it either. Anyway, the song was a big hit in England where they only have Pop radio there. And yes, The Supremes & Four Tops did a great take on the song [and since they had years of crossover success, both Pop & Soul stations played the song in The States and they would enjoy a big hit with "RD-MH"].

  15. #15
    Nothing will ever compare to Miss Tina Turners version of River Deep
    Mountain High. May your spirit soar dear lady. You will always be the true Queen of Rock and Roll. Thank you Miss Turner. With respect and love and gratitude. Roberta

  16. #16
    I'm not a Tina Turner fan. I do love a few things she's done over her career, with and without Ike, but I think the only album of hers that I own is Private Dancer, and then I have some misc cuts scatter throughout my music collection. She's just never been for me what she is to a lot of others. However, she feels like family. My grandfather knew her and Ike very well. I remember my mom buying the "What's Love Got To Do With It" 45 and playing it like crazy. I don't remember life without Tina Turner's presence somehow and her death has hit me in the heart.

    That being said, I prefer the Supremes/Tops version of "River Deep". I'm not a big fan of it, but I do like it. I don't like Tina's version at all. It just doesn't do anything for me.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I Agree! The only reason Ike & Tina's original version of "River Deep-Mountain High" flopped in the US is because Soul Music radio didn't play the song [perhaps because it was too different from previous Ike & Tina records]. Since it didn't go into the top ten on the Soul charts, the pop radio stations didn't play it either. Anyway, the song was a big hit in England where they only have Pop radio there. And yes, The Supremes & Four Tops did a great take on the song [and since they had years of crossover success, both Pop & Soul stations played the song in The States and they would enjoy a big hit with "RD-MH"].
    Originally Posted by Levi Stubbs TearsI have to say Tina & Phil Spector's version was the real masterpiece and it is just ridiculous that this version was not a hit in the US.


    But the 70s Supremes & Tops did a fine version.
    I now think the original RDMH is the best version, but I think it was either too ahead of its time or, ironically, Phil Spector's "wall-of-sound" production was already outdated by 1966. It was nothing like the soul or pop records of that time, sounding too complex, overwrought, bombastic. I think A Love Like Yours from the same album would have been a better single and bigger pop/soul hit. I prefer it to Martha's original.

    I do like the Magnificent 7 version. It was more accessible to a pop/soul audience and I was glad it was a big hit for them.

  18. #18
    Just listened to Tina's version of River Deep Mountain High. First time in years. Never cared much for it and still don't. I find the production suffocating on it. Supremes/4 Tops version has a big sound too, but it breathes.

  19. #19
    I honestly crave hearing this once in awhile.



    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadinglove21 View Post
    Just listened to Tina's version of River Deep Mountain High. First time in years. Never cared much for it and still don't. I find the production suffocating on it. Supremes/4 Tops version has a big sound too, but it breathes.

    Interesting the way you hear it as suffocating. Never occurred to me to hear it that way. I hear as exhilarating , exalting. Kind of like a shouting of one's love from the the mountain tops which is kind of the opposite of suffocating.

    Tina is harsh and urgent , the sweeter back up is working overtime to keep up, both taking it to the max.

    Love the cold ending but actually wish it would go on and build even higher for another round .....lol
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 05-27-2023 at 02:01 PM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I honestly crave hearing this once in awhile.






    Interesting the way you hear it as suffocating. Never occurred to me to hear it that way. I hear as exhilarating , exalting. Kind of like a shouting of one's love from the the mountain tops which is kind of the opposite of suffocating.

    Tina is harsh and urgent , the sweeter back up is working overtime to keep up, both taking it to the max.

    Love the cold ending but actually wish it would go on and build even higher for another round .....lol
    yeah suffocating is an interesting choice of words. i can definitely understand. the track on the Tina version just doesn't have the separation that the Sup one does. both frankly have a wall of sound but the Sup version has more nuance and texture. the strings swirl more, the backing vocals resonate more, the bass rocks along more. because you can more clearly make out the different elements, the feeling is huge and big but not overwhelming. the Tina version is just so much stuff mixed so much together that it's more muddy and since there's SO much of it, it's smothering

  21. #21
    Spector's grand productions....they are big...some are exciting...but they all had to be mixed way down....I like Ike and Tina's live version on the LIVE IN EUROPE- The World of I & T Turner LP the best of theirs...she's got a few live versions from her solo years, and they did re-do it for a studio LP in the 70's too...maybe it was the Nutbush LP??? I had a few of the studio LPS, but they weren't my favs...the single '68 In Person LP and the 2 USA double live LP's are great...the Carnegie Hall one is exceptional...the World of one sounds like some of it was studio recordings with canned applause...the LP version of Stand By Me has a great fuzz tone guitar which isn't on some of the CD's using the same vocal...the Live versions of Let Me Touch Your Mind and Chopper are wonderful...so are Annie Had A Baby and Don't Fight It ..they just powerfully gallop like a I&T song should!

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Spector's grand productions....they are big...some are exciting...but they all had to be mixed way down....I like Ike and Tina's live version on the LIVE IN EUROPE- The World of I & T Turner LP the best of theirs...she's got a few live versions from her solo years, and they did re-do it for a studio LP in the 70's too...maybe it was the Nutbush LP??? I had a few of the studio LPS, but they weren't my favs...the single '68 In Person LP and the 2 USA double live LP's are great...the Carnegie Hall one is exceptional...the World of one sounds like some of it was studio recordings with canned applause...the LP version of Stand By Me has a great fuzz tone guitar which isn't on some of the CD's using the same vocal...the Live versions of Let Me Touch Your Mind and Chopper are wonderful...so are Annie Had A Baby and Don't Fight It ..they just powerfully gallop like a I&T song should!
    The United Artists album WHAT YOU HEAR IS WHAT YOU GET is my absolute favorite live Ike and Tina lp. I don't think it can be improved upon.

    The live Warner Bros. / Loma albums and the Kent/Modern live albums are great as well. I wish there was video of those years.

  23. #23
    do you have Live in Europe...and In Person [[San Francisco '68)? they are both pretty good...I have the WB/Loma 2 on 1 CD...nice, but they peaked a bit later...there is a LIVE IN PARIS that is basically the same as WYHIWYG...I like our US version much better...and the version of Preacher Man on Paris is nowhere near as good as the '68 SF one...Ike recorded so many shows, and re cut things many times in the studio...without detailed notes its hard to know which recordings you are getting...he cross licensed them for short periods all the time....I like the TINA IN EUROPE solo 2 CD set too...although at times the arrangements are a bit too close to the studio versions to make a major difference...

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    do you have Live in Europe...and In Person [[San Francisco '68)? they are both pretty good...I have the WB/Loma 2 on 1 CD...nice, but they peaked a bit later...there is a LIVE IN PARIS that is basically the same as WYHIWYG...I like our US version much better...and the version of Preacher Man on Paris is nowhere near as good as the '68 SF one...Ike recorded so many shows, and re cut things many times in the studio...without detailed notes its hard to know which recordings you are getting...he cross licensed them for short periods all the time....I like the TINA IN EUROPE solo 2 CD set too...although at times the arrangements are a bit too close to the studio versions to make a major difference...
    Yes, I have the IN PERSON album, as well as the LIVE IN PARIS set. I was surprised to find the latter in a used record store as I didn't know it existed. It was similar to the Carnegie Hall but not as good IMO.

    I like Tina's LIVE IN EUROPE as well, although when it was released, I was disappointed that many of the performances were taken from her 1985 and 1986 HBO specials as opposed to being totally new live recordings. But on the plus side, the cd version had some performances that weren't on the vinyl.

    When Tina started hitting big in the 80s, Bart Mills wrote one of those quickie paperbacks on her. But it had a great section devoted to her recordings with Ike and a discography as well. It was a big help to me when I started collecting their recordings.
    Last edited by reese; 05-27-2023 at 06:33 PM.

  25. #25
    Based on Tina’s mesmerizing voice alone , Her original version of this song is so much better than the Supremes/Tops version. Compared to the rawness of her delivery, the Supremes/Tops version is cheesy. No matter what the charts say. This song belongs to Tina.

  26. #26
    Suffocating .....cheesy .... interesting takes !!



    I'm not sure I prefer one over the other, Tina's maybe .... but no real desire to try to choose !!

    The lyrics were perfect for the split male- female delivery, Jean about her rag doll and Levi about a puppy.....except it seems he should've made the lyrics about his own puppy ....the way Jean;s were relating about her own rag doll. Nit picky.


    Long version:

    Last edited by Boogiedown; 05-29-2023 at 03:44 PM.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    Based on Tina’s mesmerizing voice alone , Her original version of this song is so much better than the Supremes/Tops version. Compared to the rawness of her delivery, the Supremes/Tops version is cheesy. No matter what the charts say. This song belongs to Tina.
    Agree 100%

  28. #28
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    I have heard the song a hundred times, and I still have no idea what it is about. That is the songs weakness, the gist of the song takes careful listen which I never cared to give it.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Circa 1824 View Post
    I have heard the song a hundred times, and I still have no idea what it is about. That is the songs weakness, the gist of the song takes careful listen which I never cared to give it.
    while it's using a bit more artistic imagery, it's just a basic love song

    in the verses, the singer is likening her dedication, love and bond to childhood images like a puppy that's devoted to it's owner, a girl's love for her baby doll

    the chorus focuses on more nature themes. the forces that make a deep river flow or the forces that built majestic and huge, high mountains are equivalent to the forces that make this girl love this guy

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    while it's using a bit more artistic imagery, it's just a basic love song

    in the verses, the singer is likening her dedication, love and bond to childhood images like a puppy that's devoted to it's owner, a girl's love for her baby doll

    the chorus focuses on more nature themes. the forces that make a deep river flow or the forces that built majestic and huge, high mountains are equivalent to the forces that make this girl love this guy
    I think it has to do with the simple purity of love, something that's inert in us even as a youngster. Simple yet oh so powerful ... the purpose of life , which gets stronger with the passing of time .... like a river gets deep, and a mountain high.


    '
    'Tina' gets chanted toward the end.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I think it has to do with the simple purity of love, something that's inert in us even as a youngster. Simple yet oh so powerful ... the purpose of life , which gets stronger with the passing of time .... like a river gets deep, and a mountain high.


    '
    'Tina' gets chanted toward the end.
    that's an interesting take on it. see i just take it more as a direct love song. just with a bit more artsy lyric.

    whereas a song like Love It Came To Me This Time from the Sups' Touch album is more about the simple purity IMO

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    that's an interesting take on it. see i just take it more as a direct love song. just with a bit more artsy lyric.

    whereas a song like Love It Came To Me This Time from the Sups' Touch album is more about the simple purity IMO
    oh my what a lovely lovely song.


    I got worried when it sped up a couple of minutes in , but thankfully it re-slowed down. a bit of JUST MY IMAGINATION in its feel..... internal ... from the mind


    Thanks!!

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    oh my what a lovely lovely song.


    I got worried when it sped up a couple of minutes in , but thankfully it re-slowed down. a bit of JUST MY IMAGINATION in its feel..... internal ... from the mind


    Thanks!!
    I always thought Love It Came To Me This Time was one of the very best Supremes songs ever; I don’t suppose it was commercial enough for release as a single.

    My memory is that Rolling Stone said it was the best cut on the Touch album.

    Back to River Deep

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    I always thought Love It Came To Me This Time was one of the very best Supremes songs ever; I don’t suppose it was commercial enough for release as a single.

    My memory is that Rolling Stone said it was the best cut on the Touch album.

    Back to River Deep
    Yesterday this song came to me on the perfect day for it . As I listened again for maybe the fourth time it surprisingly hit me in the perfect way and it caused spontaneous tears to escape as I gazed out my back door. Maybe tears of gratitude for what was happening in my life.

    Anyways it was quite wonderful to know music could still unexpectedly grab at me like that, that an unfamiliar song could reach me so personally and be so powerful.

    Only problem is now I'm hesitant to listen to it again. I doubt it'll ever have that kind of impact on me again. It was just meant for that one occurrence .

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Yesterday this song came to me on the perfect day for it . As I listened again for maybe the fourth time it surprisingly hit me in the perfect way and it caused spontaneous tears to escape as I gazed out my back door. Maybe tears of gratitude for what was happening in my life.

    Anyways it was quite wonderful to know music could still unexpectedly grab at me like that, that an unfamiliar song could reach me so personally and be so powerful.

    Only problem is now I'm hesitant to listen to it again. I doubt it'll ever have that kind of impact on me again. It was just meant for that one occurrence .
    Music has such an emotional effect on us all. There are certain songs that effect me that way, though none as yet by the Supremes.
    “Love It Came To Me” happens to be my favourite song from the album, with its wistful and melancholy vibe.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Yesterday this song came to me on the perfect day for it . As I listened again for maybe the fourth time it surprisingly hit me in the perfect way and it caused spontaneous tears to escape as I gazed out my back door. Maybe tears of gratitude for what was happening in my life.

    Anyways it was quite wonderful to know music could still unexpectedly grab at me like that, that an unfamiliar song could reach me so personally and be so powerful.

    Only problem is now I'm hesitant to listen to it again. I doubt it'll ever have that kind of impact on me again. It was just meant for that one occurrence .
    That’s wonderful to hear

    It’s a gem of a song

  37. #37
    "my life was caught in the wind...like a leaf...up in a breeze...then down again...spinning"...quite a few times...then the thankfulness for the peaceful serene times.. and for God's grace...Jean Terrell can make me FEEL IT...

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    "my life was caught in the wind...like a leaf...up in a breeze...then down again...spinning"...quite a few times...then the thankfulness for the peaceful serene times.. and for God's grace...Jean Terrell can make me FEEL IT...
    exactly. this is just a magical song. agree that it would have been challenging to release as a 45. but would have been wonderful to include on stage or even on tv.

  39. #39
    I think Tina's version was by far my favorite, but you all are right when you say the Supremes' version was more direct, more of a pop record. The vocal by Jean is way ahead of the background in the mix.That translates to a record that sounded good on AM radio. Tina was basically part of the orchestration on hers, which I found exciting, personally, but on AM radio I'm sure it sounded like a hot mess.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyC View Post
    I think Tina's version was by far my favorite, but you all are right when you say the Supremes' version was more direct, more of a pop record. The vocal by Jean is way ahead of the background in the mix.That translates to a record that sounded good on AM radio. Tina was basically part of the orchestration on hers, which I found exciting, personally, but on AM radio I'm sure it sounded like a hot mess.
    i think that's an excellent summary of the two. the original is a classic but it doesn't have the commerciality. Spector was being an artist with it.

    whereas the Sup/Top duet is just perfect pop. Jean and Levi are a duet pairing for the ages and the whole production is just sensational.

    my only complaint with the duet is the awkwardly edited single release

  41. #41
    Thanks, Sup. If you want to read all about the fiasco that was the recording session for River Deep by Spector and Tina, you really should read Darlene Love's memoirs. The whole session was a disaster. Tina was drowning in the Wall of Sound. nobody liked it when it was done. Phil had forgotten simplicity in a song arrangement--something he knew very well for a song like Be My Baby. Sometimes less is more. Look at those early Supremes hits, Diana is hardly fighting the instrumentation because it was usually spare--and even when Mary and Florence joined her, they were complimenting her, not fighting to be heard.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    yeah suffocating is an interesting choice of words. i can definitely understand. the track on the Tina version just doesn't have the separation that the Sup one does. both frankly have a wall of sound but the Sup version has more nuance and texture. the strings swirl more, the backing vocals resonate more, the bass rocks along more. because you can more clearly make out the different elements, the feeling is huge and big but not overwhelming. the Tina version is just so much stuff mixed so much together that it's more muddy and since there's SO much of it, it's smothering
    that is exactly the way I feel...but the middle of the Supremes / Tops version gets out of control too...it sounds like the instruments and the singers are trying to drown each other out....
    Motowns arrangement was def. brighter...you can hear the violins and the horns...I like the single mix better...the LP version [[Like Ladder & Nathan Jones) sounds compressed...
    Spector is considered a genius..he did make some wonderful music...but why hire a orchestral crowd if you are going to have to mix everything way down? of course not everything can be out on top at the same time...so 5 violins couldnt get the job done instead of like 20?

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