|Single by The Supremes|
|from the album Where Did Our Love Go|
|B-side||"Ask Any Girl"|
|Released||September 17, 1964|
|Format||Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)|
|Recorded||Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A);
August 13, 1964
|The Supremes singles chronology|
Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland (H–D–H), the song topped the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States from October 25, 1964 through November 21, 1964, and in the United Kingdom pop singles chart concurrently. Considered one of the most popular songs of the late 20th century, "Baby Love" was ranked #324 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
At the insistence of Berry Gordy hoping for a follow-up chart-topper, H–D–H produced "Baby Love" was produced to sound elementarily like "Where Did Our Love Go;" elements such as Diana Ross's cooing lead vocal and oohing, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson's "baby-baby" backup, the Funk Brothers' instrumental track, and teenager Mike Valvano's footstomping were reincorporated into the single. Further, both Ballard and Wilson had brief solo ad-libs towards the end of the song on the released version (after this release Ross would be the only member to have any solos on the 1960s singles). The group made their debut television performance in the United Kingdom on the popular BBC program Top of the Pops on Thursday, October 15, 1964.
It was also the second of five Supremes songs in a row to go to number-one in the United States, reaching the top spot of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart on October 31, 1964, and staying there for four weeks. The song also reached number-one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks before being dislodged by The Rolling Stones' "Little Red Rooster," and topped the Cash Box magazine's R&B chart. Beginning with "Baby Love," The Supremes became the first Motown act to have more than one American number-one single, and by the end of the decade, would have more number-one singles than any other Motown act (or American pop music group) with 12, a record they continue to hold; Stevie Wonder is currently in second place with ten number-one singles.
"Baby Love" was included on the Supremes' second studio album, Where Did Our Love Go, and was later included on the soundtrack to the 1975 feature film Cooley High. It was nominated for the 1965 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording, losing to Nancy Wilson's "How Glad I Am".
- Lead vocals by Diana Ross
- Background and ad-lib vocals by Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson
- All instruments by the Funk Brothers
- Footstomps by Mike Valvano
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|U.S. Cash Box R&B Singles Chart||1|
|U.S. Cash Box Pop Singles Chart||1|
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|U.S. Cash Box Year End Chart||10|
- In 2000, Erasure recorded a cover of Baby Love that was included in the album Motown Mania and later rerealesed in their EP Moon & the Sky.
- In 2002, British singer Emma Bunton covered the song on Party at the Palace DVD.
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 85–6. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- "RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - The Supremes". Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (Nielsen Company) 76 (44): 18. 1964. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (Nielsen Company) 76 (45): 18. 1964. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (Nielsen Company) 76 (46): 24. 1964. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (Nielsen Company) 76 (47): 22. 1964. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". RollingStone.com. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
- Presenter: Jimmy Savile (15 October 1964). "15th October 1964". Top of the Pops. Season 1. Episode 42. BBC.
- Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits. New York: Billboard Books. p. 159. ISBN 0823076776. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 558.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 169–72. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
"Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
October 31, 1964 (4 weeks)
"Leader of the Pack" by The Shangri-Las
"Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison
|UK number-one single
November 19, 1964 (2 weeks)
"Little Red Rooster" by The Rolling Stones