Greatest Hits Volume 3

Supremes Greatest Hits Volume 3

This collection of late-era hits by Diana Ross and The Supremes was released in December of 1969, likely in an effort to benefit from the busy holiday shopping season.  The group’s previous collection Greatest Hits (considered Volumes 1 and 2, as it spanned two albums) had hit store shelves in August, 1967 and eventually topped the Billboard 200 for five straight weeks late that year; on the R&B album chart, it remained at the top for an astonishing twelve weeks, dominating sales over October, November, and December. Although Volume 3 didn’t come close to equalling that success, only peaking at #31 on the Billboard 200, it contained some huge hits, including the #1 singles “Love Child” and “Someday We’ll Be Together” and the #2 “Reflections.”  The fact that a single group could fill three albums with its successes (and some fan favorite b-sides) remains a remarkable achievement nearly fifty years later.

Supremes Greatest Hits Volume 3 Rear LP

Looking back, what’s really interesting about Greatest Hits Volume 3 is what isn’t included.  Unlike 1967’s Greatest Hits, this is not a glossy package; there are no rapturous liner notes here, nor are the graphics given any real attention.  There are also some holes in the tracklist; although Motown decided to include “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone” and “The Happening” — both of which had already appeared on the previous double-LP collection — a pair of hits with The Temptations was left off.  A few lackluster singles were also given spots here, even though there are far superior b-sides which are more favorably looked upon by critics and fans.  Clearly, everyone involved with Diana Ross and The Supremes was far more focused on the future, which included launching Ross as a solo star and smoothly transitioning Jean Terrell into the group’s lead role; still, had Motown been a little more creative when assembling this disc, it could have ended up a far more exciting collection and worthier successor to the previous blockbuster Greatest Hits release.

Here’s a single-disc tracklist that I’d consider a better choice for Greatest Hits Volume 3, made up of hits and b-sides which I think represent a better sampling of the work released by Diana Ross and The Supremes (and includes more actual vocals by all three Supremes):

1.  Reflections (#2 pop)
2.  Going Down For The Third Time (b-side to “Reflections”)
3.  In And Out Of Love (#9 pop)
4.  Then (from Reflections)
5.  Love Child (#1 pop)
6.  He’s My Sunny Boy (b-side to “Someday We’ll Be Together”)
7.  I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (with The Temptations, #2 pop)
8.  I’m Livin’ In Shame (#10 pop)
9.  I’ll Try Something New (with The Temptations, #8 R&B)
10. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (Mary lead, from “The Hollywood Palace”)
11.  The Beginning Of The End (b-side to “The Composer”)
12.  Someday We’ll Be Together (#1 pop)

Now, it’s your turn.  Please leave your own Greatest Hits Volume 3 choices (if you feel it could be improved) in the comments section!


About Paul

Album-by-album, track-by-track, a look at the entire Diana Ross discography...
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37 Responses to Greatest Hits Volume 3

  1. Paul says:

    Additionally, had Motown wanted to try for another two-disc collection to include all of the group’s final singles, here’s a tracklist I think would have constituted a solid Volumes 3 and 4:
    1. Reflections (#2 pop)
    2. Going Down For The Third Time (B-side to “Reflections”)
    3. In And Out Of Love (#9 pop)
    4. Forever Came Today (#28 pop)
    5. Then (from Reflections)
    6. Some Things You Never Get Used To (#30 pop)
    7. Love Child (#1 pop)
    8. Will This Be The Day (B-side to “Love Child”)
    9. He’s My Sunny Boy (B-side to “Someday We’ll Be Together”)
    10. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (with The Temptations, #2 pop)
    11. The Impossible Dream (with The Temptations, from the #1 TCB Soundtrack)
    12. I’m Living In Shame (#10 pop)
    13. I’ll Try Something New (with The Temptations, #8 R&B)
    14. The Composer (#27 pop)
    15. No Matter What Sign You Are (#31 pop)
    16. The Young Folks (#69 pop)
    17. The Weight (with The Temptations, #46 pop)
    18. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (Mary lead, from “The Hollywood Palace”)
    19. The Beginning Of The End (B-side to “The Composer”)
    20. Someday We’ll Be Together (#1 pop)

  2. Michael says:

    I like your track list, but mine would be a2 Disc Compilation…
    Disc 1:
    1. Reflections
    2. In & Out Of Love
    3. Then (From Reflections)
    4. Forever Came Today
    5. I’m Gonna Make You Love me (W/ The Temptations)
    6. I’ll Try Something New (W/ The Temptations)
    7. The Impossible Dream (W/ The Temptations)
    8. All I Know About You
    9. I’m The Greatest Star

    Disc 2:
    1. Love Child
    2. Keep An Eye (from Love Child)
    3. Some Things You Never Get Used To
    4. No Matter What Sign You Are
    5. The Composer
    6. I’m Livin’ In Shame
    7. Does Your Mama Know About Me
    8. Discover Me (And You’ll Discover Love)
    9. Someday We’ll Be Together

    • Paul says:

      Love this — you and I are definitely on the same page when it comes to the strongest late-60s performances — “I’m The Greatest Star” and “Does Your Mama Know About Me” are both among the best Supremes recordings ever.

  3. Jimi LaLumia says:

    I of course bought this upon release and even though I was a teenager I recognized a ‘slap together’ job the moment I saw the album cover which looked like a high school art project (B-minus, at best..) we could feel the air going out of the balloon hot on the heels of “Composer” and “Sign You Are’.. oh well…memories are made of this.. the bottom line was all about HER!! what’s next for her?? and what will The Supremes become? I remember it all vividlly

  4. will branca says:

    Hello Paul just found your blog and absolutely love it ! Have been a lifelong fan of Diana Ross since 1970 when I got my first Ross lp at 4 years old which was everything is everything I know its not her best album but will always have a special place in my heart my parents were big motown fans and had a lot of compilation eight track tapes and thats how I fell in love with Diana at such an early age. I’m not great at typing on this phone but at had to reach out to let you know that I think your blog is amazing and have enjoyed reading your reviews and comments as well as other fans keep up the great work all!

    • Paul says:

      Hey Will! Thank you so much — I’m thrilled you’ve found this little “project” and that you are enjoying it. Look forward to reading your comments!!

  5. david wilson says:

    Another excellent critique Paul. Always fascinating to hear your opinion on Diana’s work. Your suggested track list puzzles me- if it were to be labelled “Greatest Hits Vol 3” you have cut so many of those hits including 2 no1 singles and the underappreciated classic “Forever Came Today” (I believe it’s also Lamont Dozier’s favourite recording?). I would suggest a double album comprising all tracks included in the original release and another disc comprised of 12 classic album tracks, a few live recordings and several with the Temps that would really showcase the true versatility of the group. Possibly a medley from TCB and or Live at the Talk of the Town? It’s amazing how the Supremes had matured both musically and in presentation in just over 4 short years- a far more polished and sophisticated group. The fact that they had more than enough material for 3 Greatest hits packages is phenomenal. It really rankles me that the group do not get the recognition they deserve with regard to their contribution to and influence upon pop/r&B culture. I suppose that’s what happens when music journalists tend to be a bunch of middle class white guys steeped in a narrow rock background.

    • Paul says:

      Hey David — I took off “Love Is Here…” and “The Happening” because they were already included on the previous Greatest Hits 2-disc collection released in 1967. I supposed Motown decided to include them again on Volume 3 to “up” the hit quotient, but it always irks me that the tracklists overlap…especially since they decided to leave off the hits with The Temptations, which definitely deserved a place on this collection. As for “Forever Came Today” — as I wrote in my review of the REFLECTIONS LP, I consider it a very weak recording and single. I know I’m in the minority with that one, but to me it’s a stylistic mess and contains a fairly weak performance by Miss Ross — when I read how much the songwriters love the recording, I just don’t hear what they’re hearing! Personally, I think “Some Things You Never Get Used To” was a huge improvement over “Forever Came Today” — although neither were hits.

      I, of course, am in total agreement that The Supremes never get their due as trailblazing artists — it’s the reason I started this project. I hope, in some small way, I can contribute to a re-evaluation of Diana Ross and The Supremes and the legacy of music they created.

  6. Eddie Scott says:

    I like your revised track-listing for “Greatest Hits Vol. 3”. Indeed; the hits with The Temptations should have been included instead of the tracks that already appeared on the first “Greatest Hits”. One change I would make is calling this collection “Greatest Hits Vol.2” (and not calling the first collection ‘Vol. 1’ and ‘Vol. 2’ simply because it was a two record set). The fact that “GH3” performed poorly on the charts compared to the first “GH” set speaks volumes.

    • Paul says:

      Eddie — it is weird that Motown decided to throw a “Volume 3” on this album, even though it had never ever referred to the first set as two volumes before. I wonder why that decision was made, and where it came from.

      • Eddie Scott says:

        I think Jimi’s reply hit the nail on the head, the “Vol. 3” title was to add importance (and publicity) to Diana’s upcoming solo career.

  7. Jimi LaLumia says:

    a Vol.3 thrown on to the titlle added ‘weight’ to the ‘majesty’ (well deserved) and success of the group’s career with Ross at the helm…another psychological embed to add to the importance of her forthcoming solo launch..good publicity, good promo, just not so good packaging

  8. I think I’ll be the dissenter of the crew, I had a 20 Golden Greats collection that I played to death which had this line up of tracks (bar ‘The Composer’) as the latter half of the record. It’s a playlist I recreated and re-examining the line up again I’m more than happy with this original set of songs. One of the things that gets lost is the punch this track list has if you begin to add performances from records like ‘Sings & Performs Funny Girl’ or B-Sides, then it’s an anthology (which is fine) but couldn’t be classified as a ‘Greatest Hits package? When played in unity with the original Greatest Hits release & the latter day Supremes (At Their Best) you have the perfect time capsule of what made The Supremes, in all their incarnations across those 17 years so great! (as is the premise of ‘The Supremes – Gold’ CD release). 🙂

  9. Eddie Scott says:

    Here’s my dream track list for this set-
    Diana Ross & the Supremes – “Supremacy (Greatest Hits Vol. 2)”
    Side One-
    1. Reflections
    2. Going Down For The Third Time
    3. In And Out Of Love
    4. Forever Came Today
    5. Some Things You Never Get Used To
    6. Love Child
    Side Two-
    1. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (with The Temptations)
    2. I’m Livin’ In Shame
    3. The Composer
    4. I’ll Try Something New (with The Temptations)
    5. No Matter What Sign You Are
    6. Someday We’ll Be Together
    While there are many other tracks (from B-sides and LP cuts) that could be included in a comp. from this period, I chose to stick to the 12 tracks that Motown traditionally offered on albums at this time. Also adding the title “Supremacy” helps to set it off from the other “Greatest Hits” collections (and I prefer to call it ‘Vol. 2’ since the first ‘Supremes Greatest Hits’ from 1967 while a 2 record set was not called ‘Vol. 1’ & ‘Vol. 2’ at the time).

    • David h says:

      With regards to the duets….the duets were not used because they would have to split royalties with the Temptations. Which is the case with any duet, even if only one song the royalties for the entire album must be split between artist

      • david wilson says:

        Really? That IS an interesting point regarding royalties! Never knew that was the case.

      • Eddie Scott says:

        And with regards to the duets; they were later included on both The Supremes & The Temptations editions of the “Anthology” series in the ’70s (and continue to be featured on the box sets for both groups). I’m sure Motown could’ve worked on something concerning royalties in order to make “GH-3” a better collection.

      • Paul says:

        This is surprising, since the Supremes and Tempts were signed to the same label. Duets can get tricky when artists are signed to two different labels (as with Diana and Brandy on “Love Is All That Matters) — but I wouldn’t think there’d be much of an issue with artists on the same label, especially since according to Maey Wilson, Motown deducted costs (i.e. studio time, etc.) before paying the artists. In any case, splitting royalties probably wouldn’t have mattered much, since the LP didn’t sell that well!!

  10. david h says:

    agreed,Eddie, but the entire collection seems thrown together, even the artwork is cheap. I think since Someday was #1 at the time ,they were depending on the song to carry this collection as (at the time) it became the Supremes biggest selling single and the first to reach the three million mark ,although Baby Love would eventually out sell Someday well Be Together by 4.5 million.

  11. david h says:

    the collection was supposed to be from the years 1967 – 1970 but obviously they could have done better. I like the Young Folks and would have included it as well. also since they were using previously used songs , why not use the alt Motown story version of You Keep Me Hangin On, the unedited version of Reflections, and alt Forever Came Today . I would also use Why Must We Fall In Love from Together, which is I think the best song on that album…..heres my list
    Someday we ‘ll Be Together
    Going Down For the Third time
    Love Child
    The Young Folks
    Forever Came Today
    Somethings You Never get Used To
    in And Out Of Love
    Keep An Eye
    Livin In Shame
    No Matter What sign You Are
    Cant Take My eyes Off You
    Why Must we Fall In Love
    I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
    beginning Of The End Of Love( from box set) this should have never stayed in the vaults!!!
    Bah Bah Bah
    Chains Of love
    Ill Set You Free
    Cant You See It’s Me

  12. david h says:

    p.s. the Greatest Hits 3 album did well over time selling 1 .3 million copies

  13. Michael Coyle says:

    Paul, your efforts continue to amaze. As a fan of Diana’s since 1965(all of age 6 thanks to Mom’s love for the Supremes) it is nice to read objective overviews of Diana’s and the Supremes works, objective reviews of their importance are so Rare. Anyhow, I concur with your overall take on Volume 3 but as mentioned by David it did sell 1.5 million copies. Here is how I would have composed the disc:
    1. Reflections
    2. In and Out of Love
    3. Forever Came Today
    4. I’m Gonna Make It (my favorite late 60’s Supremes album track)
    5. Love Child
    6. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
    7. Keep An Eye (second favorite late 60’s album track)
    8. I’m Livin in Shame
    9. Hey Jude or MacArthur Park(both big hits 1968 for others but great tracks by Diana)
    10. I’ll Try Something New
    11. Someday We’ll Be Together
    Thanks again for your continuing efforts!!!!!!!

    Michael C. (Counting Days till July 31 for Diana’s Cleveland Show will be my FIFTIETH Diana show)

  14. Alexis Bryce says:

    Diana Ross and The Supremes Greatest Hits Volume 3 was thrown together quickly to cash in, one last time (not really the last time!), before Diana would embark on her solo career. By definition (at least in the sixties and seventies), a greatest hits compilation includes all single releases. Not including the million-selling “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” with the Temptations and the top 25 follow-up “I’ll Try Something New” was a huge mistake. By 1969, The Supremes had become victims of their own success. After five years of number one hits, the records just weren’t selling as well, partly due to the over-saturation of their music. Back then, The Supremes recorded two or three albums a year. Now days, artists release one album every two or three years. So the public had grown a little tired of the Supremes; Holland, Dozier and Holland had left Motown AND the musical tastes were a changin’. Hair was huge and Motown should have included in this last greatest hits package, “Good Morning Starshine/Where Do I Go?” that Diana and the girls sang so beautifully while hosting The Hollywood Palace in 1969 (interesting side note: I cut school that day to go to the ABC studios to watch the taping of this episode where Diana and the girls also introduced “Someday We’ll Be Together.” Diana was lip-syncing to the record and needed cue cards. I asked the stage hand for the cue cards and Diana autographed them for me!). Another miss was not releasing “Does Your Mama Know About Me” as a follow up single to “Love Child.” Diana’s voice is exquisite and the message is timeless. Back then it was about interracial dating; today, it could also be about same sex dating. Another lesser-known Motown group (Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers) had originally released the song, but I never heard it played in Los Angeles and it barely dented the charts. Had Motown released Diana’s version, it would have topped the charts! Instead, Motown went back to Smokey, who had never written a hit for the Supremes (although I love “A Breath Taking Guy.”). “The Composer” sounds like it was written during the previous decade when Smokey, himself, was a teenager. By 1969, the girls needed more meaningful, adult lyrics. “Then” or “Misery Makes It’s Home In My Heart” from the Reflections album would have been better releases written by Smokey. My final suggestion for the Greatest Hits Volume 3 is “Will This Be The Day” from the Love Child album that was the B side to the single “Love Child.” Paul, you may be too young to remember, but back in 1968, all we had were juke boxes to hear our music in restaurants, bars, bowling alleys or pizza parlors. We played “Will This Be The Day” almost as much as we did “Love Child’!

  15. Alexis Bryce says:

    Before someone else corrects me, “Will This Be The Day” is from the Let The Sunshine In album! “Let The Music Play” would also have been a nice single/track on the Greatest Hits 3 album.

    • Paul says:

      “Will This Be The Day” is one of the great Diana Ross and The Supremes b-sides — a great Smokey Robinson composition, beautifully produced and performed by Diana, Mary, and Cindy.

  16. John B. says:

    Greatest Hits became Vol 1 & Vol 2 on cassette and 8-track, and were beginning to be sold separately, by the time Vol 3 was released, therefore the designation as Vol 3. The vinyl continued to be sold as one 2-record album while the cassette and 8-track could be purchased as 2 units with 20 tracks total or separately as Vol 1 or 2 with 10 songs each.

    I’ve also heard duets did not appear on GH albums because of the royalties issue as mentioned above. Marvin Gaye had 3 GH albums on vinyl (through 1970) none of which contained any of his duets. He did have one GH with Tammi and another featuring his duets, with Mary, Kim and Tammi (both in 1970). There were similar royalties issue with singles. It was said that royalties for an A-side were shared with writers of the B-side. HDH learned quickly when they had to share royalties from WDOLG with Norman Whitfield for his B-side. It’s said that HDH from that point always made sure they included one of their songs as the B-side. I read Diana helped a friend who needed some money by suggesting a song be written for her. She included it as a B-side on a single.

    Since GH Vol 1 & 2 tracks were all singles (A & B-sides) then Vol 3 should follow suit in keeping with that format. It also just occurred to me that a separate Best Of… album for the duets with The Temptations would have worked nicely to include their singles and some highlights from the TV specials.

    GH Vol 3
    Side 1
    Someday We’ll Be Together
    Love Child
    Going Down For The Third Tine
    In And Out Of Love
    Side 2
    I’m Living In Shame
    Some Things You Never Get Used To
    The Composer
    No Matter What Sign You Are
    Forever Came Today

    Best Of (with Temptations)
    Side 1 (Singles)
    I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
    A Place In The Sun
    I’ll Try Something New
    For Better Or Worse
    The Weight
    Side 2 (LIVE from TCB & GIT)
    The Way You Do The Things You Do (B-side single)
    Rhythm Of Life
    Funky Broadway
    Impossible Dream

    • Paul says:

      That friend you mention is Janie Bradford, the woman who gave Florence Ballard the list of names from which she chose “Supremes” for the group. In a time of need, Bradford sent Diana the song “I Am Me” which she’d written with Freddie Gorman, who wrote “I Want A Guy” for The Supremes. Diana reworked it, recorded it, and placed it on the b-side of “Muscles.” Because “Muscles” was a big seller, Ms. Bradford and Mr. Gorman were paid significant royalties.

      • John B. says:

        Yes, you are correct, although I thought it was Freddie Gorman who was the friend. Maybe it was just his name that stuck with me. I was aware it was I Am Me. I was trying to be brief feeling that my post was getting too long!

      • Paul says:

        I’d love to hear what Bradford/Gorman originally intended “I Am Me” to sound like. Apparently it’s totally different from the arrangement Diana gave it. Personally, I enjoy the tune…but of course, you can read all about that here 🙂

  17. david h says:

    what a turn out Paul, you did it again. nice to see everyones choices and favorites. I may have to make a new playlist. now I have to come up with a new cover art for vol thanks Paul.

  18. Ross Wilson says:

    Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You
    Come Get These Memories
    Ain’t That Good News
    Buttered Popcorn
    Falling In Love With Love

  19. Mary Brewster says:

    Am I the only one thrown for a loop on the title of this release; “Volume 3”? At the time that the 1967 “Greatest Hits” double LP was released, it wasn’t noted that it was two volumes. I wonder if fans, in 1969 when this hit the shelves, started looking for “Volume 2”?

    Compared to the lush 1967 set, this pales in comparison. No gatefold; no exciting pictures or liner notes. Clearly a “rush job” to coattail on the success of “Someday”. Like others have mentioned, the couple of rehashes could have easily been replaced with a Temptations duet or two; maybe a “B side”, or even a track from “Funny Girl”.

    I managed to add this on CD to my collection; unfortunately all it does is collect dust.

    • Paul says:

      Mary — you’re not along — the “Volume 3” seems quite strange today, and it’s obvious this was a rush-release. It’s a shame Motown didn’t invest more energy and money in this collection — that said, they were clearly focused on launching Ross as a solo star and releasing the first Supremes LP with Jean Terrell.

  20. Pingback: At Their Best (1978) | THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT

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