I Hear a Symphony (album)

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I Hear a Symphony
Studio album by The Supremes
Released February 18, 1966 (1966-02-18)
Recorded 1965
Genre Pop/R&B
Length 33:43
Label Motown
MS 643
Producer Brian Holland
Lamont Dozier
Norman Whitfield
The Supremes chronology
The Supremes at the Copa
Merry Christmas
I Hear a Symphony
The Supremes A' Go-Go
Singles from I Hear a Symphony
  1. "I Hear a Symphony"
    Released: October 6, 1965
  2. "My World Is Empty Without You"
    Released: December 29, 1965
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]

I Hear a Symphony is the eighth studio album released by Motown girl group The Supremes on the Motown label in 1966. According to Motown data the album sold over 1,900,000 copies.[2]

Positioned as a successful attempt to further bridge the gap between traditional pop music, the traditional Motown sound and soul, the album included the title track, The Supremes' sixth number-one single, and the Top Ten single "My World Is Empty Without You". Also included are the group's covers of pop standards such as "With A Song In My Heart", "Without A Song", "Stranger In Paradise", and "Wonderful! Wonderful!". The original plan was to have The Supremes record an entire album of pop standards, to be entitled There's a Place for Us. The album was indeed recorded, but shelved and left unreleased by Motown until 2004. The cover for "I Hear A Symphony" was the cover shot intended originally for "There's A Place For Us." When the C.D. version of that album was at last released in 2004 an alternate shot from that photo session was used.

Also included are originals such as "Everything Is Good About You" and "Any Girl In Love (Knows What I'm Going Through)", and covers of the then-current hits "Yesterday" (originally by The Beatles), "A Lover's Concerto" (sung by The Toys) and "Unchained Melody" (popularized by The Righteous Brothers). "Everything Is Good About You" was yet another B-side that got substantive airplay and became a fan favorite. It was one of the B-sides that would be included on the forthcoming, "The Supremes: Greatest Hits".

The I Hear a Symphony album peaked at number 8 and remained on the Billboard 200 album chart for 55 weeks, on the strength of the title track and the top 5 "My World Is Empty Without You." "I Hear a Symphony" the album showcased a more sophisticated group and proved to be yet another multi-million seller.

They promoted the album with a successful European tour. While in Sweden, they filmed a famous television special that incorporated a good number of the songs on "I Hear a Symphony". The DVD of the special is available under the title, "Greatest Hits (The Supremes)".

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Brian Holland & Lamont Dozier, except for "Yesterday", produced by Norman Whitfield.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Stranger in Paradise" (Alexander Borodin, Robert C. Wright, George Forrest) – 3:03
  2. "Yesterday" (Lennon–McCartney) – 2:28
  3. "I Hear a Symphony" (Holland–Dozier–Holland) – 2:41
  4. "Unchained Melody" (Alex North, Hy Zaret) – 3:47
  5. "With a Song in My Heart" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 2:02
  6. "Without a Song" (Vincent Youmans, Edward Eliscu, Billy Rose) – 2:59

Side two[edit]

  1. "My World Is Empty Without You" (Holland–Dozier–Holland) – 2:33
  2. "A Lover's Concerto" (Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell) – 2:35
  3. "Any Girl in Love (Knows What I'm Going Through)" (Holland–Dozier–Holland) – 2:59
  4. "Wonderful! Wonderful!" (Sherman Edwards, Donald Meyer, Ben Raleigh) – 2:51
  5. "Everything is Good About You" (James Dean, Eddie Holland) – 2:59
  6. "He's All I Got" (Holland–Dozier–Holland, Dean) – 2:46


Singles history[edit]

  • "I Hear a Symphony" b/w "Who Could Ever Doubt My Love" (b-side taken from More Hits by The Supremes) (Motown 1083, October 6, 1965)
  • "My World is Empty Without You" b/w "Everything is Good About You" (Motown 1079, December 29, 1965)

Chart history[edit]


Name Chart (1966) Peak
I Hear a Symphony U.S. Billboard 200 8
U.S. Billboard R&B Albums Chart 1


Name Chart (1965 - 1966) Peak
"I Hear a Symphony" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard R&B Singles 2
UK Singles Chart 39
"My World is Empty Without You" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5
U.S. Billboard R&B Singles 10

Expanded edition[edit]

On September 21, 2012, Universal Music Group released I Hear A Symphony: Expanded Edition, a two-disc limited edition re-release. Disc one contains the digitally remastered original mono and stereo editions of the album. Also on disc one are alternate vocals and extended mixes, and an additional song "All Of A Sudden (My Heart Sings)," recorded for (but not included on) the original album. Disc two features a complete unreleased live show recorded at Detroit's Roostertail in September 1966. One of the high points of the edition is the inclusion of a mix of "My World Is Empty Without You", in which the background vocals by Ballard and Wilson are prominently heard.