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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Beaverhausen Videodrome: The Supremes

It's not hard to discern why Diana Ross became a solo star once you watch the Universal video, The Supremes: Reflections. The Definitive Performances 1964-1969. It's quite a trip through the Sixties with the iconic girl group. Yet it's Diana who gave best face, including a Marilyn smile, wide eyes despite all her heavy mascara, and superior shimmying.

Not that Flo and Mary are shabby but, in reviewing this video, they were certainly unable to compete with Miss Ross whether by accident or by Motown's design.

The quality on most of these rare tracks is excellent, witness their performing "Where Did Our Love Go?" on The Steve Allen Show, "Baby Love" on Shivaree or "Stop in the Name of Love" on It's What's Happening, Baby. You can see the fashion sensibility change throughout the decade from demure to mod to fabulously bugle-beaded diva gowns.

Such a joy to see The Supremes on classic tv shows like The Mike Douglas Show (an early flub on the opening lyrics by Diana on "I Hear a Symphony" just adds to the charm), Ed Sullivan (in color with Mary and Flo working those tambourines while Diana works a single chandelier earring on "You Can't Hurry Love" and, then, the Afro and shoeless version of "Love Child," reflecting the social changes of that era, set against a cartoon tenement), Hollywood Palace (glittering pantsuits!), The Tennessee Ernie Ford Special and The Andy Williams Show! There's also a video of the girls singing "The Happening" and "In and Out of Love" live in Stockholm. Don't think you can catch all this on YouTube, either, because you can't.

The promo video for "You Keep Me Holding On" has a Hard Day's Night quality to it with a great, playfulness with Flo captured asserting herself. The Supremes' overall style, choreography and vocals are still incomparable. But it's beautifully captured on this video collection, with Bonus Tracks and Extras.

Got my copy at Rainbows & Triangles in Chelsea, NYC. The dvd, originally released in 2006, is also available on Amazon.com. Go for it! You'll be happy that you did.

Below, The Supremes, "Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart." (Not on dvd.)













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