What an amazing find! You could have knocked me over with a feather when this record started playing. Where was the awful Motown bright, gritty, distorted sound I’d been suffering through all my life? Certainly not on this copy.
The Tubey Magical richness is off the charts on this side one, with a healthy but not quiet equal dose on side two (hence the grade). As everyone knows by now (everyone who comes to our site at least), not every copy has the magic. Having access to a big pile of pressings is the only way to figure out just how much magic the grooves can contain.
This side one is proof that the grooves can indeed contain huge amounts of richness, sweetness, smoothness, naturalness and, above all, Tubey Magic.
Listen to how tight and note-like the string bass is on the second track of side one. What a sound!
Side two had exceptional energy and presence, Super Hot all the way.
The Lady Is a Tramp
This Can’t Be Love
Where or When
My Funny Valentine
My Heart Stood Still
Falling in Love With Love
Dancing on the Ceiling
The mix of traditional and modern arrangements also lends to the ageless quality of the music. The album is bookended by the lavishly orchestrated “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “Blue Moon”; however, the whole of pop music is explored in between.
The intimate jazz leanings of “My Funny Valentine” and “Thou Swell” foreshadow the role Ross would play in Lady Sings the Blues.
There are also a few instances of the fusion between the hip-shakin’ Motor City R&B magic that had become synonymous with Motown and the songwriting craftsmanship of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.
The up-tempo “My Heart Stood Still” and “This Can’t Be Love” mirror the funky and contemporary rhythms of “You Keep Me Hanging On.”
The perky “Mountain Greenery” has a bossa nova influence, with the trio’s cherubic and spry vocals gently peppering the melody.
These recordings also marked a historical milestone for the Supremes. Not only would this project be the last time the trio would receive group credit — as all future releases involving Ross would give her top billing — but sadly, these also turned out to be the final studio recordings made by the original lineup.