When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

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"When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes"
Single by The Supremes
from the album Where Did Our Love Go
B-side "Standing at the Crossroads of Love"
Released October 31, 1963
Format 7" single
Recorded Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A); October 1, 1963
Genre R&B, pop
Length 3:06
Label Motown
M 1051
Writer(s) Holland–Dozier–Holland
Producer(s) Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland
The Supremes singles chronology
"A Breathtaking Guy"
(1963)
"When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes"
(1963)
"Run, Run, Run"
(1964)
Where Did Our Love Go track listing

"When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" is a song written by Holland–Dozier–Holland and recorded in 1963 by Motown singing group The Supremes. It is notable as the Supremes' first Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 recording, following seven previous singles between January 1961 and September 1963 which failed to enter the Top 40. The single is also notable as the first Supremes single written and produced by Holland–Dozier–Holland, who had previously created hits for Martha and the Vandellas and Mary Wells.

Overview[edit]

Recording[edit]

By 1963, the Supremes were struggling to find a pop hit. Until then, the Supremes was a regional R&B favorite, with their most successful single being "A Breathtaking Guy", which peaked at number 75 on the Hot 100. The group's competitors inside Motown included The Marvelettes, Motown's first successful female group, but also with Martha and the Vandellas, whose early hits included "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" and "Quicksand".

Struggling to find producers who could give the Supremes a successful hit after both he and Smokey Robinson had failed, Motown CEO Berry Gordy decided to have the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, who would end up being the dominant songwriting and producing team of Motown, produce a song for the Supremes. "Lovelight" would eventually be released after Gordy's Quality Control Department approved of the song.

Reception[edit]

Released in on October 31, 1963, "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" was the Supremes' first Top 40 pop hit since signing with Motown in 1961. Eventually reaching number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100[1] and number 2 on the Cash Box R&B chart, Gordy decided to have Holland-Dozier-Holland on board as the group's sole producers from then on. It also nearly made the Top 10 in Australia. After the unsuccessful rush-release of the Phil Spector-inspired "Run, Run, Run", the Supremes would eventually eclipse their female peers after releasing "Where Did Our Love Go" in the summer of 1964.

Personnel[edit]

Chart history[edit]

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 23
U.S. Cash Box Pop Singles Chart 20
U.S. Cash Box R&B Singles 2

Cover Versions[edit]

Dusty Springfield included the song on her 1964 debut album A Girl Called Dusty.

The Zombies did a version in 1965 (available on Live At The BBC, released 2003)

The Seattle-based electro-pop band Brite Futures released a cover of this song on their 2012 posthumous album "When The Lights Go Out".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 614. 

External links[edit]