THE SUPREMES – “LOVE CHILD!”

Photo Credit: Bing

The year was 1968 and The Supremes had the Billboard lit!  The songwriters kept writing and the Supremes kept belting them out.  This is one of my favorite songs of theirs. These songs bring back so many memories, although I was only 5 years old when this song was released, it was the same then as it is today. This great music was still being played on the record players in many households, the radio stations were still playing it and It still lives on and is played on radio stations today.  The music of yester-year is my way of escaping to a place where times were a little more simple, although it still had it’s flaws!

“Love Child is a 1968 song released by the Motown label for Diana Ross & the Supremes. The second single and title track from their album Love Child, it became the Supremes’ 11th (and penultimate) number-one single in the United States. Their 1969 song, “I’m Living In Shame,” is a sequel to their 1968 hit, “Love Child.” And was also inspired by the 1959 movie, “Imitation of Life,” starring Lana Turner, Juanita Moore, Sandra Dee and Susan Kohner.

The record took just three weeks to reach the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, which it then topped for two weeks, November 30—December 7, 1968, before being dethroned by an even bigger Motown single, Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”. “Love Child” also performed well on the soul chart — where it spent three weeks at number two (stuck behind Johnnie Taylor’s “Who’s Making Love”) — and paved new ground for a major pop hit with its then-controversial subject matter of illegitimacy It is also the single that finally knocked the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” off the top spot in the United States after its nine-week run. The Supremes debuted the dynamic and intense song on the season premiere of the CBS variety program The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, September 29, 1968.  In Billboard’s special 2015 chart of the Top 40 Biggest Girl Groups of All Time on the Billboard Hot 100, “Love Child” ranked highest among the Supremes’ six entries.

Recording – 

In 1967, Diana Ross & the Supremes dropped Florence Ballard, acquired new member Cindy Birdsong and added Ross’ name to the billing. Following this string of changes, the Supremes had mixed success on the pop charts. “Reflections” peaked at number 2 on the Billboard pop charts and “In and out of Love” peaked at 9, but the group’s next two singles did not make the pop top twenty.

This prompted Motown label chief Berry Gordy to hold a special meeting in a room at the Pontchartrain Hotel in Detroit, which was attended by a team of writers and producers at the label, including R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards, and Henry Cosby. The group, who named themselves The Clan, set to work on a hit single for Diana Ross & the Supremes. Instead of composing another love-based song, the team decided to craft a tune about a woman who is asking her boyfriend not to pressure her into sleeping with him, for fear they would conceive a “love child.” The woman, portrayed on the record by Diana Ross, is herself a love child, and, besides not having a father at home, had to endure wearing rags to school and growing up in an “old, cold, run-down tenement slum.” The background vocals echo this sentiment, asking the boyfriend to please “wait/wait won’t you wait now/hold on/wait/just a little bit longer.”

As was nearly always the case on singles released under the “Diana Ross & the Supremes” name, Supremes members Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong do not perform on the record; Motown session singers The Andantes performed the background vocals. All lead vocals were by Diana Ross, who would leave the group in a year for a solo career.

Reaction and response – 

The public responded immediately to “Love Child” when it was released as a single on September 30, 1968, rising to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the third biggest selling Supremes’ single behind “Baby Love” and “Someday We’ll Be Together.” The feat was repeated in Canada, where it also reached number one in the RPM 100 national singles chart. In the UK singles chart, the song peaked at number 15, and number three in Australia. “Love Child” became the title track of Diana Ross & the Supremes’ Love Child album, released on November 13, 1968.

 

Love Child – Song Lyrics

You think that I don’t feel love,
What I feel for you is real love.
In other’s eyes I see reflected a hurt, scorned, rejected.
Love Child, never meant to be,
Love Child, born in poverty,
Love Child, never meant to be,
Love Child, take a look at me.
I started my life in an old, cold, rundown tenement slum.
My father left, he never even married Mom.
I shared the guilt my mama knew,
So afraid that others knew I had no name.
This love we’re contemplating, is worth the pain of waiting.
We’ll only end up hating the child we may be creating.
Love Child, never meant to be,
Love Child, by society,
Love Child, never meant to be,
Love Child, diff’rent from the rest.
Hold on, Whoa.
I started school in a worn, torn, dress that somebody threw out.
I knew…

Source: LyricFind

 

Video Credit: YouTube 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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