Reflections (The Supremes song)
|Single by Diana Ross & the Supremes|
|from the album Reflections|
|B-side||"Going Down for the Third Time"|
|Released||July 24, 1967 (U.S.)|
|Format||Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)|
|Recorded||Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A);
March 2 and May 9, 1967
|Length||2:50 (original release)
|Diana Ross & the Supremes singles chronology|
"Reflections" is a 1967 song recorded by The Supremes for the Motown label. It was the first Supremes record released under the new billing, Diana Ross & the Supremes, and is among their last hit singles to be written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland (H–D–H).
The song is also among the final singles to feature Florence Ballard, who recorded vocals for this song during one of her last studio sessions before she was fired on July 1. It peaked in the top five on the United States and United Kingdom pop music charts in September 1967.
This single, released at the height of the Summer of Love of 1967 and the Vietnam War, was the first Supremes' release to delve into psychedelic pop; H–D–H's production of the song, influenced by the psychedelic rock sounds of bands such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys, represented a shift in Motown's pop sound during the latter half of the 1960s. One of the last released 45s with Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson collaboratively singing background, the psychedelic influence is apparent in the song's arrangement, which featured relatively early use of synthesizers on a popular record.
Release and reception
"Reflections" peaked during the late summer and early fall of 1967. Making the highest debut on US Billboard pop chart the week of August 6, the song reached #2 the week ending September 9, 1967. Verging on being the group's 11th American number-one single, "Reflections" stalled at the penultimate position for two weeks behind Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe," which Diana Ross rerecorded as a solo for the Reflections album. The single also peaked concurrently in the UK at #5.
The first nationally televised performance to feature Ballard's replacement, Cindy Birdsong, as a member of The Supremes on American television, now billed "Diana Ross & the Supremes," was on the ABC variety program The Hollywood Palace, airing Tuesday, September 26, 1967. The group performed the song, as well as their previous hit The Happening, on The Tennessee Ernie Ford television special on December 3, 1967.
- Lead vocals by Diana Ross
- Background vocals by Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson
- Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
- 7" single (24 July 1967) (North America/United Kingdom)
- "Reflections" – 2:50
- "Going Down for the Third Time" – 2:30
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||2|
|U.S. Billboard R&B Singles Chart||4|
|U.S. Cash Box Pop Singles Chart||2|
|Dutch Singles Chart||3|
|UK Singles Chart||5|
|U.S. Cash Box Year End Chart||21|
The song has been covered by many artists, among them Luther Vandross, Evelyn Thomas, Michael McDonald, Jackson Five and The Temptations. A cover by The Sweet was featured on their debut album Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be. Leo Sayer recorded a version of the song that appears on his album Endless Flight. Jimmy Barnes also covered the song for his 1991 album Soul Deep. Nicole Appleton's cover of the song in 2000 appears on the soundtrack of the movie Honest.
- Wilson, Mary (1988). Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme. 204: Random House Value Publishing. p. 292. ISBN 978-0-8154-1000-3.
- "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (Nielsen Company) 79 (36): 22. 1967. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- [Zeth] (17 August 2007). "Reflections: Motown in 1967". PopMatters. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- Bronson, Fred (2003). Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits. 229: Billboard Books. p. 980. ISBN 978-0-8230-7677-2.
- Feldman, Christopher (2000). Billboard Book of Number 2 Singles. 94: Billboard Books. p. 288. ISBN 0-8230-7695-4.
- Host: Sammy Davis, Jr. (26 September 1967). "Sammy Davis Jr./Diana Ross & the Supremes". The Hollywood Palace. Season 5. Episode 4. ABC. KABC. http://www.tv.com/host-sammy-davis-jr.---diana-ross-and-supremes/episode/157572/summary.html.