As big as The Beatles!
The Supremes are America’s most successful vocal group with 12 number-one singles. At their peak, The Supremes were as popular as The Beatles.
Most of their songs were written by Holland-Dozier-Holland, Motown’s main songwriting team. But it wasn’t an instant success for Diana Ross and her friends Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson.
During the first few years at Motown, nothing they released would chart. This made the other acts in Motown refer to them as the “No-hit Supremes’.
Berry Gordy was convinced The Supremes had something special, he just had to get it right, so in 1965 he named Diana the lead singer. Up until then, they had all taken turns, with each singer offering something different.
In 1967, he even renamed them The Supremes with Diana Ross, only to change his mind again to Diana Ross & The Supremes, six months later.
Clearly putting Diana first, the tensions in the band rose along with their chart success.
During The Supremes’ most successful years, they released hit tunes like Where Did Our Love Go, Baby Love, Stop! In the Name of Love, You Can’t Hurry Love, and You Keep Me Hangin’ On.
They also recorded many Beatles songs, Christmas classics, and covers of Sam Cooke and other artists on Motown.
In 1970, Diana Ross left the band to pursue an extremely successful solo career.
The Supremes continued, now with a completely new lineup. It didn’t have any substantial success and wasn’t backed much by the Motown label. Berry was now busy with Diana’s new direction and relocation from Detroit to Los Angeles.
The Supremes tunes | Related pages
| C | C7/Bb | A7 | Dm |
Baby love, my baby love, I need you, oh how I need you.
| Dm | C | F | C |
But all you do is treat me bad, break my heart and leave me sad.
You Can’t Hurry Love
| Bb | Bb | Eb Bb | Bb |
I need love, love, to ease my mind.
| Dm Gm7 | Gm7 | Eb F | F |
I need to find, find, someone to call mine, but mama said.