The Happening (song)
|Single by The Supremes|
|from the album Greatest Hits|
|B-side||"All I Know About You"|
|Released||March 20, 1967|
|Recorded||March 2, 1967|
|Studio||Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A)|
|Length||2:52 (original release)|
|Producer(s)||Brian Holland |
|The Supremes singles chronology|
|1991 European reissue cover|
"The Happening" is a 1967 song recorded by Motown artists The Supremes. The song served as the theme song of the 1967 Columbia Pictures film The Happening, and was released as a single by Motown at the time of the film's release that spring. While the movie flopped, the song peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in May, becoming The Supremes' tenth number-one single in the United States, peaking in the top 10 on the UK Pop Chart at number six, and in the top 5 in the Australian Pop Chart and in the Dutch Pop Chart.
Produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, and written by Holland–Dozier–Holland and Frank De Vol (The Happening's musical director), "The Happening" was the final single issued by The Supremes under that name. Between the release of "The Happening" and the next Supremes single, "Reflections," the group's billing changed to Diana Ross & the Supremes, and Florence Ballard was replaced with Cindy Birdsong of Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles.
It was widely believed the instrumental track was recorded in Los Angeles using members of the Wrecking Crew, particularly drummer Hal Blaine; however, Motown session logs indicate both the track used in the film recorded in February 1967 and the single version recorded in March 1967 were cut in Detroit using the Funk Brothers.
Ballard's final of the 17 appearances The Supremes made on the hit CBS variety television program The Ed Sullivan Show was on an episode where she performed this song live from Expo 67 in Montréal on Sunday, May 7, 1967, going to number-one the same week.
The selection's lyrics do not specify exactly what "the happening" is, although the implication is the singer has been abandoned in a love relationship. The singer says she was "sure, I felt secure" and "I was riding high on top of the world." But something happens that is negative and it leaves the individual narrating the selection in worse shape, than before it "just happened."
The event brings the singer back to reality, seeing "life for what it is. It's not a dream, it's not all bliss." The lyrics also warn that what happened to her, "it" can happen to you. Despite the negative experience, "The Happening" is sung in a happy, upbeat style.
- Lead vocals by Diana Ross
- Background vocals by Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson
- Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
- James Jamerson – bass
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- List of cover versions of "The Happening" at SecondHandSongs.com