Introducing Back Tracks, a new feature where we take an upcoming release and introduce you to some of the other reissued works from the same group. Today, we start with The Supremes, whose first album, 1962’s Meet The Supremes, is scheduled for reissue by Hip-O Select on May 18 (credit where it’s due to MusicTAP for the date). The trio is much loved by Motown fans and staff alike. As such, Hip-O Select has dug lots of their treasures from the vault.
Hit the jump to take a look at nine Supremes sets from the fabled Motown vaults.
Merry Christmas/20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection (1999/2003)
The Supremes’ 1965 holiday record (which may have been the first group-specific holiday LP on the label) was reissued twice in the Universal Music Group era. Both times, it had the same four bonus tracks – versions of “Silent Night” and “The Christmas Song”; an original, “Just a Lonely Christmas” (all three would be released on Motown holiday compilations throughout the years) and a new vault track, “Noel.”
The Supremes Sing Rodgers and Hart: The Complete Recordings (2002)
The girls put some of the best Rodgers/Hart collaborations – “My Funny Valentine,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “Blue Moon” and the rest – to disc in 1967. This compilation added fourteen tracks, including some from a 1987 expansion of the record and an unreleased live cut recorded at the Copacabana.
The ’70s Anthology (2002)
The 1970s may not be looked at as the best time for The Supremes – Diana Ross had already embarked on a solo career – but this compilation took the best of those years (“Stoned Love,” “Floy Joy”) and added 16 unreleased tracks and mixes.
Where Did Our Love Go: 40th Anniversary Edition (2004)
This was the year The Supremes saw the door blow off from their vaults: no less than three sets by the group were released by UMe/Hip-O Select in ’04. Among the biggest: an expansion of their breakthrough LP, presented in both stereo and mono and augmented by 19 unreleased masters and an eight-song live set.
There’s a Place for Us: The Unreleased LP + Much More (2004)
If getting an expanded version of The Supremes’ first hit record in 2004 wasn’t enough, that same year saw the release of a legendary “lost” record as well. Intended for a 1965 release, this showtunes-and-standards set was finally released nearly four decades later, with another 14 unreleased cuts.
The Supremes in Japan! (2004)
Released for the first time in America along similar sets by The Temptations and The Jackson 5, this disc is a neatly-packaged collectible, but all those hollow-mixed live Japanese records released by Hip-O Select aren’t for those looking for Motown’s answer to Cheap Trick At Budokan.
This is the Story: The ’70s Albums Vol. 1 (1970-1973 – The Jean Terrell Years) (2006)
Another trip back to the ’70s Supremes well, this triple disc set combines five studio LPs – Right On (1970), New Ways But Love Stays (1970), Touch (1971), Floy Joy (1972) and The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb (1972) – and adds 13 tracks meant for an aborted album, 1971’s Promises Kept. (Note: five other tracks meant for the album appear on The ’70s Anthology – luckily there’s no overlap here!)
Let the Music Play: Supreme Rarities (1960-1969) (2008)
Following similar sets for Martha and The Vandellas and The Four Tops, this double-disc set compiles a great deal of rare,alternate and unreleased tunes – including alternate vocal takes of some of the biggest hits and a few surprising covers (from “Over the Rainbow” to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”) – and sets a high standard in rarities sets.
Magnificent: The Complete Studio Duets (2009)
The Jean Terrell-led Supremes of the 1970s teamed up with The Four Tops for three wild duet LPs – The Magnificent Seven (1970), Return of the Magnificent Seven (1971) and Dynamite! (1971) – and this double disc set combines them all and throws in another album’s worth of unreleased duet sessions.