Diana Ross and The Supremes – Greatest Hits

This is it!  This is where it all began.  This is the first record I remember exploding from Kiki and Granddad’s speakers and coursing through me.  Sadly, and nothing degenerative, I do not have very many memories before the age of 7 (which is crazy considering how much we have done in your first 6 years to think you may remember very little!)  Ohhhh, but I remember removing the couch cushions and violently jumping around with your uncles when this record would come on.  A shared passion apparently, as you are a fervent ball of kinetic energy who routinely uses our couches as your indoor gymnasium.  Strong little bugger you are too.  One of the beautiful powers of music is how it makes our bodies react to what we’re hearing.  Music can place a memory, a smell, and colors (those were some ugly early 80’s couches we were jumping on!).  It can make us pensive, emotional, and/or exultant.  This record is a time machine for me, a joyous one.

1964. The Civil Rights Act passes outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin.  The British Invasion has arrived…Beatle Mania has begun.  However, Detroit Motown was not yielding just yet to the sounds of the Fab Four.  From 1964-69, the Supremes had 12 number one hits.  This record was made in 1967 so not all of those are incorporated, but the album does possess their 6 consecutive Billboard 100 #1’s with “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Back in My Arms Again,” and “I Hear a Symphony.”  The legacy of Diana Ross and the Supremes is pretty simple, love and heartbreak.  However, it’s a timeless simplicity we all can identify with.  Motown Records typically shied away from “Issue” tracks and records at this time though would change their tune shortly.  

The track selection on this compilation is exceptional and intentional.  Each side begins with a track that jumps off the record and keeps you hanging on (First track, side four).  I vividly recall being so confused with the pun “Stop! In the name of love,” a bellwether track for me.  It really is the first time I can remember feeling in touch with an emotion inside myself designed for something outside myself.  This wasn’t about law and order…but birds and bees. 

Mom would be tinkering around the house.  Dad reading the paper or his West Law journals in the foyer.  I can’t wait to see what your earliest musical memory is.  If I had to choose one for you, it would be Veruca Salt’s “Volcano Girls.”  You have loved that one for a long time.  It’s a cracker!

Favorite Tracks: “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “I Hear A Symphony,” “Back In My Arms Again,” “When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes” You Can’t Hurry Love” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”

Pressing: Original Pressing. Motown Records.  MS2-663.  Liner includes portraits and “autographs” of all 3 ladies.  Amazingly, this record has been in our family for over 50 years.