Got The Fever

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Supremes

I heard, for the one-millionth time (and believe me the LAST), “Baby Love”. It’s not that the song is a bad song – far from it, but I’m just so over hearing one chosen song played repeatedly, ad-nauseum, that falsely comes to represent a great group/band/artist. I wrote awhile back about how radio stations play the so-called ‘100 Greatest of Rock And Roll’ and how they absolutely pound into our heads the one, or two, songs from bands that have put out perhaps a dozen or so albums – as if that one song sums up neatly what the band was all about! It is so frustrating!

My other gripe would be that, to the casual listener who tunes into the same old so-called ‘Top 100’, they tend to not be able to remember the multiple other hits by the very same band - hits that would be atmospheres more refreshing to hear once again! Why can’t we heat up with “When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes”, or “I Hear A Symphony”, or "Love Child" (my personal favorite), “River Deep, Mountain High” or “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”, or “The Happening”?

Sadder to me than radio stations neglecting to play the deeper, wider catalog, is the fact that you’ll never again hear the lesser known hits - or, the more obscure songs - by The Supremes that have been lost to the abyss.

Like these two.

Stoned Love
Often confused as a reference to drugs, it was actually written as a term for unconditional love – I’m guessing as in ‘written in stone’. This was the first single the Supremes released that did not include Diana Ross, but featured the Jazz/R&B singer Jean Terrell on lead vocals. This did make it to the top ten, and you can hear why – thanks in large part to the contributions of The Funk Brothers! This sounds essentially as if it could have been Diana Ross and The Supremes and I wonder in hindsight if that’s a part of why Jean was recruited. Matter of fact, I wonder if the public at large really knew or really cared given that the song was a big hit? No matter, this richly deserves to be heard more often on the radio.

Stoned Love, Mmm..
Oh yeah,
A love for each other will bring fighting to an end
Forgiving one another

Time after time doubt creeps in
But like the sun lights up the sky with a message from above
Oh yeah, I find no other greater symbol of love

Yeah, don't ya hear the wind blowing
Mmmmm … Stoned Love
Oh yeah, I tell ya I ain't got no other

I’m Living In Shame
Sad story about a girl who grew up poor, married rich and never kept in touch with her mother because she was ashamed about the poverty she came from, and in which her mother still lived. Even after she has a baby, she doesn’t bother to tell mom. You can guess the ending – mom dies and girl regrets what she’s done.

But, the divine tangent here is that even after only a few bars, you can tell that it was off of the same album as “Love Child” – the apple didn’t fall far here! That's a great clue that reveals a little something about the writer, the sessions, the album and the time period it was all put together. This is another of the lesser known Top Ten songs that made The Supremes second to only The Beatles as most popular group from the 60’s.

Ah, in a college town
Away from home a new identity I found
Said I was born elite, with maids and servants at my feet

I must have been insane
I lied and said momma died on a weekend trip to Spain
She never got out of the house, never even boarded a train

Married a guy, was living high
I didn't want him to know her
She has a grandson, two years old
That I never even showed her

I'm living in shame
Momma I miss you
I know you're not to blame
Momma I miss you

Lesson learned today? Turn off those diaphanous, banal, miasmic, so-called ‘Top 100’ stations, and begin anew listening to, remembering, and relishing with enthiusasm, the depth of the musical catalog that great bands have to offer. At least listen to the richness that a comprehensive collection of greatest hits can offer!

The Supremes: Stoned Love [120]
The Supremes: I’m Living In Shame [130]
Diana Ross & The Supremes Anthology


  • "I'm Livin' In Shame" is not from the Love Child Album. Look it up on Wikipedia!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 PM  

  • "Stoned Love" was not the first single post-Diana Ross; "Up the Ladder to the Roof" was.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 AM  

  • livin in shame came from the "let the sunshine in" album

    "everybody's got the right to love"
    was the first single to be released following the departure of Miss Ross

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:19 AM  

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