The Supremes

The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland

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Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland were one of the most successful songwriting and production teams of the '60s and '70s; they were staff songwriters at Motown Records who also worked with acts in the studio, and were the brains behind some of the label's biggest hits, including classics by the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, and Martha & the Vandellas. Diana Ross & the Supremes were not only one of Motown's biggest acts of the '60s, they were personal favorites of label chief Berry Gordy, so it's no surprise that Holland-Dozier-Holland were often recruited to write and produce material for Motown's flagship act, and just as the title says, The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland features the label's biggest female artists singing a dozen tunes written and produced by their best behind-the-scenes talent. However, this wasn't a "best-of" collection, but a 1967 set dominated by fresh recordings, which means some of the Supremes' most popular recordings of H-D-H compositions don't make the cut, including "Baby Love," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "Where Did Our Love Go," and "My World Is Empty Without You." The album also features the Supremes putting their stamp on H-D-H tunes that were hits for the Four Tops ("It's the Same Old Song") and Martha & the Vandellas ("Love Is Like a Heat Wave"), and while there's nothing wrong with these recordings, they don't quite have the same fire as the originals (Ross' relatively cool approach was always part of her calling card). With a dozen great songs performed by a fine vocal group backed by an outstanding studio band, there's no way The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland could not be a good album, but it isn't quite as great as it could have been, despite a handful of excellent tracks.

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