Archive for April 26th, 2012
The name of the Copacabana conjures up many memories: maybe of Lola’s love triangle with Tony and Rico, maybe of Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz trying to get their husbands there in the very first episode of I Love Lucy to air. The famous New York nightspot opened in 1940 on East 60th Street, playing host to the biggest and brightest names in entertainment and becoming synonymous with sophistication and glamour. It made headlines when it ended its “no blacks” policy, playing host to acclaimed gigs by Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Jr. and Sam Cooke. So it was no surprise that when Berry Gordy wished his top girl group, The Supremes, to cross over to a more “mainstream” (read: white) audience, he got Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson booked into The Copacabana. The August 1965 engagement was such a success that it led to stands there by Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. It also yielded the only full live album issued by the classic Supremes trio line-up, and the November release of The Supremes at the Copa scored a respectable No. 11 placement on the Billboard pop chart and fared even better (No. 6) on the R&B survey despite its supper-club repertoire.
Though the original album has briefly appeared on CD before, Hip-o Select is pulling out all the stops for its return to CD, with a 2-disc expanded edition due on May 11 from the label and May 29 at general retail. Disc One of At The Copa: Expanded Edition kicks off with the remastered original 15-track stereo album. The repertoire is eclectic, from Motown hits (“Back in My Arms Again,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love”) and showtunes (“Put On a Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie, “Make Someone Happy” from Do Re Mi, “Somewhere” from West Side Story) to current hit covers (“The Boy From Ipanema”) and even a medley of songs made famous by past Copa headliner Sam Cooke. However, Supremes aficionados know that this album used lead vocals overdubbed by Diana Ross in the studio. The expanded edition follows the original album with ten previously unreleased original mono reference mixes, with Ross’ original live lead vocals.
But that’s not all. There’s much, much more vault material on Disc Two! Just hit the jump, and you’ll find that information plus a full track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »