Tag Archives: You Can’t Hurry Love

Singers: The Supremes

They were originally called the no-hit Supremes around Motown because their songs couldn't make the charts. Then came Where Did Our Love Go, and that was that. Uploaded by zoilus.com.

Okay, this fact shocked me: The Supremes are America’s most successful vocal group. Not the Beach Boys. Not the Temptations. This “girl group” that was  initially called the “no-hit Supremes” around Motown (Great American Things, August 9, 2010), because none of their first eight singles cracked the Top 40.

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Seeing his group struggling, Berry Gordy made an executive decision. No more sharing the lead vocals, Diana Ross would now be the primary singer. Shortly after that, “Where Did Our Love Go” became the first of twelve Supremes’ songs to make it to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Here’s a list of all their songs to make the Top 10, with their chart peak:

“Where Did Our Love Go” (1) · “Baby Love” (1) · “Come See About Me” (1) · “Stop! In the Name of Love” (1) · “Back in My Arms Again” (1) · “I Hear a Symphony” (1) · “My World is Empty Without You” (5) · “Love is Like an Itching in My Heart” (9) · “You Can’t Hurry Love” (1) · “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (1) · “Love is Here and Now You’re Gone” (1) · “The Happening” (1) · “Reflections” (2) · “In and Out of Love” (9) · “Love Child” (1) · “I’m Livin’ in Shame” (10) · “Someday We’ll Be Together” (1) · “Up the Ladder to the Roof” (10) · “Stoned Love” (7)

The history of the Supremes is filled with drama. (See Dreamgirls, loosely based on the group.) There are romances, and alcohol abuse, and rampant ego stroking. Diana Ross eventually left the group to go solo, but that didn’t really affect the group as much as when the songwriting/producing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland (Great American Things, November 15, 2009) left Motown in a contract dispute.

Still, the Supremes’ legacy is a lasting one of great pop/soul music. They’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and three of their songs have been added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.