The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb

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The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb
Studio album by The Supremes
Released November 1972
Recorded March–June 1972
Genre Rock, soul, pop
Label Motown
M 756L
Producer Jimmy Webb, Sherlie Matthews, Deke Richards
The Supremes chronology
Floy Joy
(1972)
The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb
(1972)
The Supremes Live! In Japan
(1973)
Singles from The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb
  1. "I Guess I'll Miss the Man"
    Released: September 15, 1972

The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb is the twenty-sixth studio album released by The Supremes on the Motown label in 1972. It was the only Supremes LP produced (and chiefly written) by a non-Motown artist, successful songwriter and producer Jimmy Webb, and was the last album to feature early-1970's Supremes lead singer Jean Terrell. Only one single from the album was released in the United States, the ballad "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" from the musical Pippin. Other non-Webb tracks included Joni Mitchell's, "All I Want", Harry Nilsson's "Paradise" and covers of hits by Bobby Lewis and Mina, respectively "Tossin' and Turnin'" and "La voce del silenzio". The album sold over 100,000 copies in the USA.[1]

Overview[edit]

Besides being Jean Terrell's final Supremes album, The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb was the first of only two Supremes' LPs to include vocals from member Lynda Laurence, the other being the live album In Japan!. Laurence had replaced Cindy Birdsong earlier in 1972, and joined original Supreme Mary Wilson and Terrell for these sessions just prior to her official inclusion into the group.

The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb marked a departure from the Motown Sound that the Supremes had relied upon over the past decade, and moved the group out of its pop/R&B genre and into a rock/pop style masterminded by Webb. The result was an album that had a different sound than what both the public and the Supremes themselves were accustomed. On many of the tracks, Webb overdubbed additional background vocals by The Blossoms, in addition to the voices of Wilson and Laurence. Terrell sings lead on all of the tracks on the LP, except "I Keep It Hid", which features Wilson on lead vocals, and she dueted with Webb on "Once in the Morning".

The only US single from the album, the opening track "I Guess I'll Miss the Man", was not actually part of the Jimmy Webb project. Instead, it was a Stephen Schwartz song from the Motown-financed Broadway production of Pippin, handled by songwriters-producers Deke Richards and Sherlie Matthews. Although once released, the song and the album failed to generate radio play and sales in the United States, it produced two singles abroad: "Cheap Lovin'" in Italy and "Tossin' and Turnin'" in the United Kingdom, both released in 1973. Besides being Jean Terrell's favorite album as a Supreme, The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb became a cult favorite.

With In Japan! distributed only in Europe and Japan, Supremes' admirers elsewhere had to wait three years for a new album. After the Jimmy Webb project, the group released the single "Bad Weather", a funky song written and produced by Stevie Wonder, who had also recorded "Soft Days" with the trio for a future album. "Bad Weather" was a hit in disco floors and received extensive radio play in Europe, but had little promotion in the US. Disheartened, Jean Terrell left the group, Lynda Laurence followed when she became pregnant, and Mary Wilson had to assemble a new line-up.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Jimmy Webb, except "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" (Sherlie Matthews and Deke Richards).

Side one[edit]

  1. "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" (Stephen Schwartz)
  2. "5:30 Plane" (Jimmy Webb)
  3. "Tossin' and Turnin'" (Bobby Lewis, Malou Rene)
  4. "When Can Brown Begin?" (Webb)
  5. "Beyond Myself" (Webb)
  6. "La voce del silenzio" (Elio Isola)

Side two[edit]

  1. "All I Want" (Joni Mitchell)
  2. "Once in the Morning" (Webb)
  3. "I Keep It Hid" (Webb)
  4. "Paradise" (Harry Nilsson)
  5. "Cheap Lovin'" (Webb)

Personnel[edit]

Chart history[edit]

Chart Peak position
U.S. Billboard 200 129
U.S. Billboard R&B Albums Chart 27

References[edit]