COMING IN JUNE: The Summer of the (70s) Supremes

I guess the cat’s out of the bag (since I accidentally hit “Publish” instead of “Save” on my latest post) that THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT is about to dive in to a new series.  Starting June 1st, we’ll be going in-depth on every album released by the 1970s Supremes.  I can’t promise an “intimate look at the new Supremes,” as was announced on this Jet cover from 1971, but I hope to inspire some discussion about this fascinating and often-overlooked period of the group’s career.

I’ve been researching the 70s Supremes for quite some time, intending to write about the group’s output between 1970 (Right On) and 1976 (Mary, Scherrie & Susaye) in some fashion, but have always hesitated making it an “official” part of THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT.  After all, Miss Ross had nothing to do with those albums, and the original intention here was to focus solely on her lengthy recording career.  There’s also, in my opinion, far too much negative discussion surrounding the differences between Diana’s solo career and that of the Supremes post-Ross; many view the two discographies as competing entities, comparing everything from chart statistics to singing styles.  I’ve always been concerned that reviewing and researching latter-day Supremes albums would dredge up more of that kind of debate, something I’m not interested in.

But recent comments from readers (you guys know who you are!) have convinced me that this is the right place for an in-depth look at the 70s Supremes.  It’s a logical continuation of my writing about the 60s Supremes, and I don’t think it’s fair to ignore an entire section of the group’s discography.  As Motown legend Louvain Demps of The Andantes recently told me during our interview, “They can never erase history.”  Diana Ross herself has acknowledged the contributions of the 70s Supremes in keeping the group’s legacy alive, and I think it’s appropriate to analyze how the trio’s music changed and evolved in the wake of its famous lead singer’s departure.

So, look out for my review of Right On (1970) on June 1st, and please join in the discussion.  As always, I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say…in the words of our favorite ladies, “Together we can make such sweet music.”

 

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About Paul

Album-by-album, track-by-track, a look at the entire Diana Ross discography...
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26 Responses to COMING IN JUNE: The Summer of the (70s) Supremes

  1. As far as I’m concerned, go for it! I really know very little about the 70’s albums and I can’t wait for you to help introduce me to them!

  2. kdawg says:

    I THINK YOU CAN SKIP THAT “AFTER DIANA “..SUPREMES STUFF. .THIS IS “THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT” …RIGHT? AND GIVE OUR REGARDS TO MS. WILSON. …LOL

    • Paul says:

      If Diana records something new, I’ll write about it. But as of now, I’ve covered everything she’s done. Gotta have something else to write about.

  3. peter says:

    LOVE YOU!!! I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOREVER! as you know! XOXOX And your writing style has never been better!

    • Paul says:

      So excited about this…I think I’m ready to jump in and finally do this. Thanks for giving me a nudge 🙂 I have done a lot of research and it’s just been sitting on my computer for months!

  4. Alex says:

    I was a fan in the 60s and then continued to be a fan of both Diana Ross, and The Supremes (minus Ross), and have always loved the music that came from both, so I’m looking forward to reading more in depth analysis of The Supremes!! Thank you!

  5. Don Bigger says:

    Paul….GREAT WORK AS ALWAYS! Your work on the DR Project is always superb! And now, letting us know about the 70’s Supremes project….YOU CANNOT LOSE!!! I have known Mary Wilson for quite a few years and truly appreciate her gifted talent with The Supremes as well as her solo career. And to be able to explore the 70’s Supremes history, will just be a compliment to the work you’ve done already. Keep up the great work!!
    Thanks, Don

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Don — this is awesome to hear. I also respect Mary Wilson so much — her voice is such a part of my life, and the lives of all Supremes fans. I look forward to studying her progression as a vocalist through the 1970s — she certainly got a chance to shine and offered up some incredible performances. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and please give my best to Ms. Wilson!

  6. david h says:

    personally I am a fan of the supremes and of Diana Ross. it is part of the story and the history of Motown .
    the ladies did some great stuff in the 70s. all of them.
    I loved Touch lp. great tracks and vocals followed by New Ways.
    cant wait.
    thanks ,looking forward to this

    • Paul says:

      I feel the same way, David — so excited — can’t wait to hear your thoughts. I’m really falling in love with all this music all over again.

  7. Marcus says:

    Hi Paul. I wasn’t aware that you had reviewed and posted on all of Diana Ross’ albums. That is an exhaustive accomplishment. My congratulations. I have a lot of reading to do. I always wanted to be a part of this Diana Ross Project, to enter my thoughts, but I got sick and was in and out of the hospital for a few years. I guess I’m too late to make any interesting comments. I’m just now catching up. Love the posts and your way of writing. Very distinctive and intelligent, not to mention entertaining.
    I think its a good idea to review the “new” Supremes albums of the 1970s. I feel they are related if not in style or music, but by group members, and talent, and the shared record label. If not here on this website, then where would you post these? I don’t know that much about the ’70s Supremes. I have about four or five of their albums, I enjoyed some of the music, disliked a little bit. But love having these in my collection as well. I play them from time to time. Like I do my “16 Greatest Hits From Motown” volumes one through 10 in vinyl form. Thanks again for all of this….time to start reading…Marcus

  8. Paul, you haven’t posted everything Diana has done recently – what about her trips to Bristol Farms? 🙂 Just kidding – Actually, even though this is the Diana Ross Project, I am also looking forward to learning more about the 70s Supremes – as I only know a few of their songs.

    • Paul says:

      LOL. I’m excited. I’ve already written a few of the posts (in rough form, anyway) and it’s really been fascinating to discover a lot of these songs for the first time. A lot of this work really complements what Diana was doing; for example, Ashford & Simpson handle four tracks on the Supremes/Four Tops album THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, and there are similarities to their work on Diana’s solo debut (the group even cover “Reach Out And Touch” — weird to hear Mary and Cindy on that one!).

      • Excited to read these new posts!! And check out IMDBPro – Diana and Smokey are listed as attached (as actors) to a new feature film project – distributed by Smith/Global called “Hopeful Soul.” Hope it’s legit!

  9. benjaminblue says:

    Coincidentally, I have been immersed in The ’70s Supremes’ releases over the past week or so, burning CDs integrating their recorded output with outtakes and television/concert appearances from compilations and from YouTube. There are but two of their albums on which I like all the tracks; thus, I eliminated a few cuts from my CDs. Right now, for instance, I am finishing up my set of Supremes/Four Tops releases, and at this stage I find that many of the previously unreleased duets are preferable to some of the ill-advised or tired songs on the initial sets. There are also two albums where I am struggling to identify tracks that seem essential or up to expectations. It will be interesting to see if you like the same material I do. Too, it may cause me to reconsider a few of my choices once your weighted analyses are online.

    • David h says:

      Paul. Going out on ledge here.
      right on
      My top 3
      Up the ladder to the roof
      But I love you more
      Loving country.
      Just wanted to compare your top 3

  10. Vicken says:

    Fantastic news! I only really got into the 70’s Supremes properly a few years ago when the Anthology came out. i then bought both Motown/UMG box sets which are superb. I really love Scherrie Payne’s voice on the disco stuff! hehe… Looking forward to your reviews.

    As a PS. please can you carry on reviewing the Diana/Supremes expanded editions as and when they appear. I always love reading your take on these new editions… Looking forward to your review of the stunning A Go Go expanded CDs!

  11. david h says:

    New Ways Love stays
    fav tracks/ stoned love/ time to break down /shine on me.
    Touch
    here comes the sunrise/Nathan jones /love it came to me this time
    Floy Joy
    now the bitter / A heart like mine / automatically sunshine/(close call on this lp)
    jimmy Webb
    when can brown begin /silent voices /I Keep It Hid
    sorry I had to do this to compare.

  12. pnyc1969 says:

    I knew you’d do it, Paul! I’m glad to be one of the “nudgers!” Have no concern about the fan rivalries. I’m guessing your writing will have quite the opposite effect and bring a new perspective to the great work both Diana and her former partners, with their new lead singer, were doing during the exciting decade of the 1970s. You just may lay rest to the ridiculous idea that loyalty to the group’s legacy means inveighing against Diana or preference for Diana’s groundbreaking breadth of talent demands dismissing the group. And yes, this is the place for these reviews. Perhaps you might change the placement or graphic to distinguish them from the others but this is their rightful–right on–home! Also, thanks for mentioning that Diana herself, particularly during the Return to Love promotions, voiced admiration for the latter-day Supremes and graciously stated that she was one of ten ladies who sang in the group, rather than a singular point of reference. This, also, may provide a richer and fuller context for understanding Diana and the Supremes. I’m very much looking forward to reading your reviews. My respect and admiration to you always, best from Peter.

  13. david h says:

    did you know Diana liked both Up The Ladder to The Roof and Stoned Love.FYI

    • Paul says:

      Didn’t know — but not surprised! Both songs were performed during the RETURN TO LOVE tour when I saw it in Florida. Lynda sang “Up The Ladder” and Scherrie did “Stoned Love” — they were awesome!

      • Don Bigger says:

        Hey Paul….how was the “Return To Love” show??? Bought GREAT tickets for the show scheduled at what was then the Boston Garden and then a few weeks before the show, the rest of the tour was cancelled!!! Bummer… We have tickets to see Diana at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut on July 31st. I know you’re seeing her too from your post. Wish you were seeing the show at Foxwoods….because I’m wearing the same DIANA ROSS TSHIRT that you are!!!!! Bet we’ll both be handsome😎😎 Hope you’re doing well…..Don

      • Paul says:

        Hey Don. The show was amazing — really one of the best Diana shows I’ve seen. She, Scherrie, and Lynda were in fine voice and the crowd loved the show. It was really remarkable to hear full versions of so many songs that Diana otherwise wouldn’t have performed — I remember “Forever Came Today” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There” specifically being highlights. Scherrie and Lynda each got a solo, and Diana did a set of her solo hits, too. I am so thankful I got to see the show — like I said, the crowd loved it, so I was surprised when the tour was cancelled. Can’t wait to hear how her Foxwoods show is!!

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