ARTIST: The Supremes
TITLE: The 70’s Anthology
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 40: Up the Ladder to the Roof (#10 US, #5 R&B, #6 UK), Everybody’s Got the Right to Love (#21 US, #11 R&B), Stoned Love (#7 US, #1 R&B, #3 UK), River Deep – Mountain High (#14 US, #7 R&B, #11 UK), Nathan Jones (#16 US, #8 R&B, #5 UK), You Gotta Have Love in Your Heart (#55 US, #41 R&B, #25 UK), Floy Joy (#16 US, #5 R&B, #9 UK), Automatically Sunshine (#37 US, #21 R&B, #10 UK), Your Wonderful, Sweet Sweet Love (#59 US, #22 R&B), Bad Weather (#87 US, #74 R&B, #37 UK), I’m Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walkjing (#40 US, #25 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They covered a lot of hits by other artists.
LINEUP: Jean Terrell, Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong. Lynda Laurence and Susaye Greene replaced Birdsong at times. Scherrie Payne replaced Terrell as lead in October 1973.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Even without Diana Ross, the Supremes churn out hits for a few years with Jean Terrell as lead, until their sound (and the traditional Motown production methods) fall out of favor.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: From 1970 through 1972, the Supremes were dependable hit makers, thanks to Terrell’s lead, a more democratic group dynamic, and some great songs and production. There were some stumbles, as a planned album already recorded and mixed was shelved. (Tracks of that album are featured here, and fanatics can easily find the rest on another compilation.)
However, the group felt that Motown was neglecting them after a while in promotion and songs, and they probably were right as there was upheaval in that company during the time. They threatened to leave Motown in 1973, but discovered the label owned the name. It wasn’t until 1975 that more Supremes records came out, but only lasted a couple of years.
These tracks aren’t as iconic as the Ross-led 60’s output, but they’re a darn fine representation of 70’s soul and feature more adventurous vocals and shared leads. The material isn’t always the best, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by these songs.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Birdsong left due to pregnancy, replaced by Laurence, who got Stevie Wonder to give them “Bad Weather”, which surprisingly stiffed.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B+: A great overview from a forgotten era of a Motown favorite.