15 Oct

The Supremes – It’s Time to Breakdown

So i've been home alone for a few days which has meant i've been able to have music on in the house without annoying my wife and child. They are pretty understanding about my obsession with music but, well, it must get annoying and so i try to limit it somewhat.

The upshot of all this is that i have been listening to some old playslists, one of them a Motown playlist and i'm going to grab a freebie today and select something form that: The Supremes – It's time to Breakdown

Now i love Motown, and it's hard to believe that in its day and age it was seen as somewhat trashy kiddies pop music. It amazes me that in this day and age everysingle element of their production house still stands up against everything that has come after it, and the reason behind all of this for me is two things – great simple songs, and outstanding melodies.

I could have picked any number of tracks from my play list but this track interests me. Most people associate The Supremes with Diana Ross, and rightly so, but so many people forget that after Ross left they had a less successful chart period with Jean Terrell as the lead singer. it may have been less succesful, and less known but for me it threw up some of their strongest most heart wrenching work.

"It's time to breakdown" I think is a great example of this, written by Ellean Hendley and Frank Wilson (who also produced it and the album it's taken form New Ways but love stays). Terrell takes center stage and delivers a fantastic vocal performance that really drive the song, but underlying the whole track si the big soraing strings, complex arrangement and beautiful brass section that was so prevalent in the later Motown work.

As is so often the case Hip Hop picked up on it and DJ premier sampled it for Gangstarr's "JFK 2 LAX" which is a cracking tune in it's own right.


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