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Let Yourself Go: The ’70s Albums, Vol. 2 (1974-1977) The Final Sessions

The Supremes

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Album Review

From a commercial perspective, the era covered on Let Yourself Go: The ‘70s Albums, Vol. 2, Hip-O Select's follow-up to This Is the Story: The ‘70s Albums, Vol. 1, does not represent the Supremes' most successful phase. The group’s ‘60s and early-‘70s albums routinely reached the Top Ten of Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. None of the three albums central to this set — The Supremes (1975), High Energy (1976), and Mary, Scherrie and Susaye (1976) — saw the Top 20. Five 1975-1977 singles charted, with only “I’m Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking” likely to be recalled by casual radio listeners. During these years, the Supremes were more popular on dancefloors; three singles peaked in the Top Ten of the disco chart, and some album cuts — the white-hot “Come into My Life” especially — deserved more attention. While none of the three albums is a lost classic, the same can be said for all of them, and they are given a predictably lavish overhaul by Hip-O Select. The package, containing dozens of stunning photos and extensive liner notes, devotes a disc to each album, with over two hours of previously unreleased and rare material divided between the discs. Among the most notable rarities: “Bend a Little” (a would-be disco single so stellar that it must have been shelved due to some form of label politics), the discarded Russ Terrana mix of the High Energy album (which packs a little more rhythmic punch and reverb than the released version), and alternate versions of several songs featuring leads from different members. Naturally, this is aimed at fanatics, who should be overjoyed to have these unfairly disregarded recordings handled with such care.

Biography

Formed: 1961 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

The most successful American performers of the 1960s, the Supremes for a time rivaled even the Beatles in terms of red-hot commercial appeal, reeling off five number one singles in a row at one point. Critical revisionism has tended to undervalue the Supremes' accomplishments, categorizing their work as more lightweight than the best soul stars (or even the best Motown stars), and viewing them as a tool for Berry Gordy's crossover aspirations. There's no question that there was about as much pop...
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Let Yourself Go: The ’70s Albums, Vol. 2 (1974-1977) The Final Sessions, The Supremes
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