Love Child (song)

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"Love Child"
Single by Diana Ross & the Supremes
from the album Love Child
B-side "Will This Be the Day"
Released September 30, 1968
Format Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
Recorded Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A); September 17, September 19, and September 20, 1968
Genre Pop, psychedelic soul
Length 3:03 (original release)
3:14 (remastered)
Label Motown
M 1135
Writer(s) R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards
Producer(s) The Clan
(R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards, Henry Cosby)
Diana Ross & the Supremes singles chronology
"Some Things You Never Get Used To"
(1968)
"Love Child"
(1968)
"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (with The Temptations)
(1968)
Love Child track listing
Music sample
Alternative cover

"Love Child" is a 1968 song released by the Motown label for Diana Ross & the Supremes. The first single and title track from their album Love Child, it became the Supremes' 11th number-one single in the United States.

The song became the number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart for two weeks, from November 30, 1968 through December 14, 1968[1][2] and reached number two on the soul chart for three weeks. "Love Child" is notable for its then-controversial subject matter of illegitimacy.[3] It is also notable for knocking the Beatles' "Hey Jude" off the top spot in the United States. The Supremes debuted the song on the season premiere of the CBS variety program The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, September 29, 1968.[4][5]

History[edit]

Recording[edit]

In 1967, Diana Ross & the Supremes, having dropped Florence Ballard, acquired new member Cindy Birdsong, added Ross' name to the billing. Following this string of changes, the Supremes had mixed success on the pop charts. "Reflections" peaked at number 2 on the Billboard pop charts and "In and out of Love" peaked at 9, but the group's next two singles did not make the pop top twenty.

This prompted Motown label chief Berry Gordy to hold a special meeting in a room at the Pontchartrain Hotel in Detroit, which was attended by a team of writers and producers at the label, including R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards, and Henry Cosby. The group, who named themselves The Clan, set to work on a hit single for Diana Ross & the Supremes. Instead of composing another love-based song, the team decided to craft a tune about a woman who is asking her boyfriend not to pressure her into sleeping with him, for fear they would conceive a "love child." The woman, portrayed on the record by Diana Ross, is herself a love child, and, besides not having a father at home, had to endure wearing rags to school and growing up in an "old, cold, run-down tenement slum." The background vocals echo this sentiment, asking the boyfriend to please "wait/wait won't you wait now/hold on/wait/just a little bit longer."

As was nearly always the case on records released under the "Diana Ross & the Supremes" name, Supremes members Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong do not perform on the record; Motown session singers The Andantes performed the background vocals. All lead vocals were by Diana Ross, who would leave the group in a year for a solo career.

Reaction and response[edit]

The public responded immediately to "Love Child" when it was released as a single on September 30, 1968, rising to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the third biggest selling Supremes' single behind Baby Love and Someday We'll Be Together. The feat was repeated in Canada, where it also reached number one in the RPM 100 national singles chart.[6] In the UK singles chart, the song peaked at number 15, and number three in Australia. "Love Child" became the title track of Diana Ross & the Supremes' Love Child album, released on November 13, 1968.

Personnel[edit]

Chart history[edit]

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard R&B Singles Chart 2
U.S. Cash Box Pop Singles Chart 1
Canadian RPM 100 1
UK Singles Chart 15
Australian Singles Chart 3
MegaCharts 19

Year-End Charts[edit]

Chart (1969) Position
U.S. Cash Box Year End Chart 30

Track listing[edit]

  • 7" single (30 September 1968) (North America/United Kingdom)
  1. "Love Child" – 2:59
  2. "Will This Be the Day" – 2:50
  • 7" single (1968) (Netherlands)
  1. "Love Child" – 2:59
  2. "Misery Makes Its Home in My Heart " – 2:52

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Sweet Sensation and peaked at #13 in May 1990 on the Billboard Hot 100[7] and later by the rock group Broadzilla. It was also covered by Jamie Dean, La Toya Jackson, and sampled by her sister Janet in her 1994 single "You Want This." It was also covered by Booker T. & The MG's on their album "The Booker T. Set". In 2013, the song was covered by Wade "Unique" Adams (Alex Newell), Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz), and Marley Rose (Melissa Benoist) for the Glee Christmas episode "Previously Unaired Christmas" and album Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 4.

Use in Popular Culture[edit]

In 1992 World Industries released a Skateboard Video entitled Love Child. The Soundtrack for the video consisted entirely of music from the late 60's era (Unusual for a Skateboard Video) and the Featured Segment with Daewon Song was set to Love Child and after that One Bad Apple by the Jackson 5. To this day Love Child is considered one of the best Skateboard Videos ever made.[8]

In 2010 Daewon Song recreated the first part of his Love Child run Trick for Trick for a DVS Shoes Promotional Video.[9]

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
"Hey Jude" by The Beatles
US Billboard Hot 100 number one single
November 30, 1968 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye
Preceded by
"Abraham, Martin and John" by Dion
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
December 12, 1968 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell