Where Did Our Love Go? [Expanded 40th Anniversay Edition]

by: The Supremes

Lovers of Motown's Sound of Young America should be nothing short of ecstatic with the comprehensive double-CD Where Did Our Love Go? [Expanded 40th Anniversary Edition] (2004) from Hip-O Select. The 1964 release is presented in both monaural and stereo mixes on the first disc, while the second contains more than two-dozen previously unearthed masters from the recording sessions for Where Did Our Love Go (1964) and the pièce de résistance, a never before available seven-song vintage live set from the legendary Twenty Grand Club in Motown's own Detroit stomping grounds. Although the Supremes Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Diana Ross had been with Motown for nearly two years, they had yet to score a significant crossover platter. Their debut Meet the Supremes (1962) had made little impact with none of the trio's singles having fared exceedingly better. All of that changed on Where Did Our Love Go. Not only were the ladies finally established as the formidable talents they were, but equally as impressive is that they achieved their initial and sizeable rush of success at the zenith of Beatle mania -- a time when very few American acts were enjoying the same lauds as their contemporaries across the pond. One definite contributing factor to the Supremes change of fortune was being linked up with the team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, who were ultimately responsible for writing and producing the entire effort. Their collaborations netted three consecutive survey-toppers with "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love" and "Come See About Me," as well as the minor chart entries "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" (number 23), "Run, Run, Run" (number 93) and "A Breath Taking Guy" (number 75). An album packed with so much pop power obviously didn't go unnoticed by the young Americans and surprisingly, Europeans, who treated the entire Motown coterie as musical aristocracy when the Supremes made their journey to England in the fall of 1964. Listeners can hear the remarkable stylistic breadth of the vocalists while also spinning some of the best cuts to have ever been relegated as 'leftovers'. Especially interesting is the early version of "Baby Love" and the Burt Bacharach sound-alike "I'm the Exception to the Rule." Admittedly, those suggestions hardly scratch the surface of the treasures from 'The Sessions' portion of Disc Two. The concert tracks are from an August 7-9, 1964 performed at the Twenty Grand Club, and were meant for an unrealized project, simply titled "Live Live Live" (1965). Every precious second of their performance is inspired, but "Your Heart Belongs to Me," "Where Did Our Love Go" as well as the Jule Styne/Bob Merrill-penned pairing "I Am Woman" and the Florence Ballard-led "People" are uniformly exceptional. As the online audio archivists at www.hip-oselect.com have only issued 10,000 copies, those wishing to secure theirs are advised to make haste -- or pay "collectors prices" at Internet auction-type sites. ~ Lindsay Planer

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