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supremes, the  -  Reflections

8.83 €
  • Format : Vinyl LP

  • New or Used : original used
  • Cover condition : VG+ (?)
  • Media condition : VG+ (?)

  • Label : Motown
  • Pressing : S 665 - US
  • Year : 1968
  • Comment : still in shrink wrap (opened) In July 1967 Berry Gordy announced original memb ... See below

  • Quantity available : 2
Seller's comment :
still in shrink wrap (opened)

In July 1967 Berry Gordy announced original member Florence Ballard had been dismissed from The Supremes. That personnel shake-up barely slowed the group down. Teamed with the songwriting and production team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, their next studio release, 1968's "Reflections" was a somewhat of a haphazard compilation. Introducing Ballard's replaced Cindy Birdsong, the album pulled together a mixture of previously recorded material (the earlier title track 45, 'In and Out of Love') and 'Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things)'), along with new tracks featuring Birdsong. In spite of the difficult background, the result was simultaneously one of The Supremes' best studio albums (well at least side one), as well as being the start of the group's long and painful commercial decline. The other obvious change came in the form Motown's decision to shift the focus from The Supremes being a group entity to being a platform for Diana Ross. Note the album credits - goodbye The Supremes and hello Diana Ross and the Supremes - Ross also got to write the liner notes.. Anyhow, the first half of the album was quite impressive, featuring a number of strong Holland-Dozier-Holland compositions that served to showcase Ross' new found visibility. Even better was Brenda and Patrice Holloway's dark and ominous ballad 'Bah-Bah--Bah'. In contrast, the second side of the album featured a series of throwaway pop tunes. Remakes of hits like Jackie DeShannon's 'What the World Needs Now Is Love', and The Fifth Dimension's 'Up, Up and Away' were little more than filler that most folks only needed too hear once. Even the lone Holland-Dozer-Holland original 'Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things' was forgettable. In fact, with the exception of a cover of Smokey Robinson's 'Misery Makes Its Home In My Heart', side two was almost entirely forgettable and could have passed for a Ross solo album, given the backing vocals were all but lost in the final production mix. The cynic in me wonders if perhaps that was the plan. 

"Reflections" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Reflections (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland) - 2:49    rating: **** stars
The Supremes turn psychedelic ? Well, judging by the goofy introduction and early use of a synthesizer on this one, maybe a little. 'Reflections' was reportedly written as an autobiographical commentary on Holland-Dozier-Holland's rapidly deteriorating relationship with Berry Gordy Jr. and the Motown organization. It was also one of the last tracks recorded by Florence Ballard before she was dismissed from the group. Musically it was an album highlight' a highly commercial, mid-tempo ballad clearly designed to spotlight Ross as leader of the group. Beyond any doubt, Ballard and Mary Wilson were little more than background singers on this one. Motown actually released this as a single before the album came out. YouTube has a bunch of clips showing the trio performing the song (most lip-synching), including this one: :
2.) I'm Gonna Make It (I Will Wait For You) (D. Dean - D. Lussier,) - 2:47    rating: **** stars
The morose title wasn't promising, but ' I'm Gonna Make It (I Will Wait For You)' was actually one of the album's hidden surprises showcasing some nice electric piano, an interesting song structure, some fantastic James Jamerson bass, and a surprisingly restrained Ross lead vocal.  
3.) Forever Came Today (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland,) - 2:59 rating: ** stars
Another track released as a single, 'Forever Came Today' has always struck me as being overdramatic and shrill. The focus was again on Ross with the background singers left to screech along in an ungodly high register. To my ears this one simply didn't sound like a Supremes song. The buying public seemingly agreed given the tunes lukewarm sales. Here's a live performance of the song from The Ed Sullivan Show (you can tell it's live because Ross blows the lyric in one spot and the hand claps are weak and lukewarm):
4.) I Can't Make It Alone (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland) - 2:57 rating: *** stars
Another overly-dramatic ballad, but at least this one had a decent melody (complete with harpsichord). fans rave about the performance. Me, not so much.
5.) In and Out of Love (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland) - 2:39 rating: *** stars
'In and Out of Love' was clearly one of the tunes written with an eye on commercial radio and that may be why this one doesn't do a great deal for me. I know lots of Supremes fans adore this one, but to my ears the tune has always sounded stale, calculated, and almost supper-clubish. YouTube has a clip of the Birdsong-Ross-Wilson line-up performing the tune on The Ed Sullivan Show:  
6.) Bah-Bah--Bah (Brenda Holloway - Patrice Holloway) - 2:58    rating: **** stars
Certainly due in part to the fact it was written by the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, 'Bah-Bah-Bah' sounded radically different from most of the album. Even the title was strange. With a dark and disturbing aura, this was supposedly one of the first tracks Birdsong recorded with the group. It's my choice as the standout performance.

(side 2)
1.) What the World Needs Now Is Love (Burt Bacharach - Hal David) - 2:50 rating: ** stars
Professional, but slightly supper-club-ish, their cover of the Bacharach-David tune didn't stray too far from the Jackie DeShannon hit. Nothing here to recommend it
2.) Up, Up and Away (Jimmy Webb) - 2:30 rating: ** stars
Geez, talk about lowest common denominator cocktail jazz. Makes The Fifth Dimension version sound like a slight of heavy metal. Hideous. 
3.) Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things) - 2:51 (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland,) - 2:51 rating: ** stars
The long Holland-Dozier-Holland original on side two, 'Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things' was a sluggish, slightly '50s-tinged MOOR-ish ballad that was amongst the most forgettable things they've ever written. In case anyone was comparing, The Martha and the Vandellas version was better.
4.) Then - 2:08 (Smokey Robinson - Bobby Rodgers- Warren Moore) - 2:08 rating: ** stars
Could have been a decent soul tune, it the lyrics hadn't been quite as cutesy and the arrangement hadn't been so MOR-ish.
5.) Misery Makes Its Home In My Heart (Smokey Robinson - Warren Moore) - 2:52     rating: **** stars
Nice Latin flavor on this one with Ross turning in one of her better vocals. Interestingly the backing vocals don't sound like The Supremes, making you wonder if it might have been The Andantes. 
6.) Ode To Billie Joe (Bobby Gentry) - 4:30 rating: *** stars
While you weren't going to forget Bobby Gentry's original, the cover was interesting for showcasing one of Ross' most soulful vocals. You were never going to mistake her for a Doris Duke, Ann Peebles or Martha Reeves, but it was still in interesting change of pace. I've never been able to hear the rest of the group on this one, leading me to speculate this was a true Ross solo effort.

- 1967's 'Reflections' b/w 'Going Dow for the Third Time' (Motown catalog number MOT 1111 ) # 2 pop; # 4 R&B
- 1968's 'In and Out of Love' b/w 'I Guess I'll Always Love You' (Motown catalog number MOT 1116) # 9 pop
- 1968's 'Forever Came Today' b/w 'Time Changes Things' (Motown catalog number M1122) # 28 pop

Supported by the three singles and pages of publicity centering on the group's personnel shake-ups, the LP sold well, hitting # 2 on the US pop charts.

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  • Seller since : 01 - 2016
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  • Location : USA
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