Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)

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"Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)"
Diana ross 44 (2).jpg
Single by Diana Ross
from the album Diana Ross
B-side"Dark Side Of The World"
ReleasedApril 1970
Recorded1969
GenreSoul
Length2:59
LabelMotown
M 1165
Songwriter(s)Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson
Producer(s)Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson
Diana Ross singles chronology
"Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)"
(1970)
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
(1970)

"Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" is the debut solo single of singer Diana Ross, released in April 1970 as the first single from her solo self-titled debut 1970 album by Motown Records.

Ross, having just left The Supremes after a decade of serving as that group's lead singer, went through a difficult situation trying to piece a solo album together. With Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson writing and producing for her, and Paul Riser arranging,[1] Ross recorded "Reach Out and Touch", which carried a heavy gospel influence, and was one of the few songs the singer recorded to express her social conscience, previously experimented with Supremes singles such as "Love Child" and "I'm Livin' in Shame".[2]

"Reach Out and Touch" peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100,[3] number 10 on the Cash Box Top 100,[4] and number 7 on the R&B charts with 500,000 copies sold. It was also a hit in the United Kingdom, making number 33 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1970. While the song's initial success fell short of expectations, "Reach Out and Touch" became one of Ross' most popular and notable songs. During her concert performances of the song, Ross often had the whole crowd turn to their neighbors, and "reach out and touch" their hands.

In 1970, the same year that Ross released "Reach Out and Touch" as her first solo single, the song was also covered by the group that she had just left at the start of that year, The Supremes (now fronted by Jean Terrell, along with other members Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong). The Supremes' version was a duet with fellow Motown Records artists The Four Tops on the two group's joint album The Magnificent Seven released by Motown toward the end of 1970. In one of her autobiographies, Mary Wilson mentioned that some fans at the post-Ross Supremes concerts used to call out requesting that The Supremes would sing this record live, as some fans erroneously recalled that it had been The Supremes' version, and not Ross's, that had charted as a hit Billboard single in early 1970.

She also performed this song as the finale for the Nobel Peace Prize Concert held in Oslo, Norway, in 2008.

Personnel[edit]

Chart history[edit]

Chart (1970) Peak
position
Canada RPM Top Singles[5] 23
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[6] 13
UK Singles (OCC)[7] 33
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 20
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[9] 7
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[10] 18
US Cash Box Top 100[11] 10

In popular culture[edit]

This song is one of the six most common used in the grand finale medley of the Woolworths Carols in the Domain concerts in Australia since 1982/83.[citation needed]

The Supremes & The Four Tops version[edit]

Chart (1970) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[12] 56

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Diana Ross' Greatest Hits - Motown LP M-869P1, 1976
  2. ^ Motown 7" single M-1165, 1970
  3. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  4. ^ "Top 100 1970-05-30". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  6. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Diana Ross" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  7. ^ "Diana Ross: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  8. ^ "Diana Ross Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  9. ^ "Diana Ross Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  10. ^ "Diana Ross Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  11. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, May 30, 1970". Archived from the original on June 8, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  12. ^ "Every AMR Top 100 Single in 1970". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 31 December 2020.

External links[edit]