You Keep Me Hangin' On
|"You Keep Me Hangin' On"|
Picture sleeve for US vinyl single
|Single by The Supremes|
|from the album The Supremes Sing Holland–Dozier–Holland|
|B-side||"Remove This Doubt"|
|Released||October 12, 1966(US)|
|Format||7-inch 45 RPM|
|Recorded||June 30 and August 1, 1966|
|Studio||Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A), Detroit, Michigan|
|The Supremes singles chronology|
|The Supremes Sing Holland–Dozier–Holland track listing|
"You Keep Me Hangin' On"
"You Keep Me Hangin' On" is a 1966 song written and composed by Holland–Dozier–Holland. It first became a popular Billboard Hot 100 number one hit for the American Motown group the Supremes in late 1966. The rock band Vanilla Fudge released a cover version the following year, which became a top ten hit. British pop singer Kim Wilde covered "You Keep Me Hangin' On" in 1986, bumping it back to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1987. In the first 32 years of the Billboard Hot 100 rock era, "You Keep Me Hangin' On" became one of only six songs to reach number 1 by two different musical acts. In 1996, country music singer Reba McEntire's version reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Over the years, "You Keep Me Hangin' On" has been covered by various other artists including Sam Harris, Lisa Hartman, Wilson Pickett, Rod Stewart, Colourbox, the Index, Jackie DeShannon, and The Box Tops.
The Supremes original version
"You Keep Me Hangin' On" was originally recorded in 1966 by the Supremes for the Motown label. The single is rooted in proto-funk and rhythm and blues, compared to the Supremes' previous single, "You Can't Hurry Love," which uses the call and response elements akin to gospel. The song's signature guitar part is said to have originated from a Morse code-like radio sound effect, typically used before a news announcement, heard by Lamont Dozier. Dozier collaborated with Brian and Eddie Holland to integrate the idea into a single.
Many elements of the recording, including the guitars, the drums, and Diana Ross's vocals were multitracked, a production technique which was established and popularized concurrently by H-D-H and other premier producers of the 1960s such as Phil Spector (see Wall of Sound) and George Martin. Florence Ballard has a brief solo vocal during the bridge of the song (following Ross' line, "There ain't nothin I can do about it...wo-wo-wo") where she sings the lines "Set me free, why don't cha babe. Get out my life, why don't cha babe." H-D-H recorded the song in eight sessions with The Supremes and session band the Funk Brothers before settling on a version deemed suitable for the final release.
"You Keep Me Hangin' On" was the first single taken from the Supremes' 1967 album The Supremes Sing Holland–Dozier–Holland. The song became the group's eighth number 1 single when it topped the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart for two weeks in the United States from November 13, 1966, through November 27, 1966. It peaked at number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. The Supremes original version was ranked number 339 on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was voted number 43 on Detroit's 100 Greatest Songs, a Detroit Free Press poll in 2016.
- Diana Ross – lead vocals
- Florence Ballard – backing vocals and brief solo at bridge
- Mary Wilson – backing vocals
- The Funk Brothers – instrumental accompaniment
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Vanilla Fudge version
|"You Keep Me Hangin' On"|
|Single by Vanilla Fudge|
|from the album Vanilla Fudge|
|B-side||Take Me For A Little While|
|Format||7-inch 45 RPM|
|Vanilla Fudge singles chronology|
Vanilla Fudge's 1967 psychedelic rock remake of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart a year after the release of the Supremes' recording. While the edited version released on the 45 RPM single was under three minutes long, the album version was 7:20. The recording, done in one take, was Vanilla Fudge's first single.
That was Mark and Timmy. We used to slow songs down and listen to the lyrics and try to emulate what the lyrics were dictating. That one was a hurtin' song; it had a lot of emotion in it. "People Get Ready" was like a Gospel thing. "Eleanor Rigby" was sort of eerie and church-like ... like a horror movie kind of thing. If you listen to "Hangin' On" fast ... by the Supremes, it sounds very happy, but the lyrics aren't happy at all. If you lived through that situation, the lyrics are definitely not happy.
The Vanilla Fudge version appears in the series finale of the television show The Sopranos (2007), at the conclusion of Episode 1 of Season 7 of the show Mad Men (2015), the film War Dogs (2016), the videogame Mafia III (2016), and the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).
- Carmine Appice – drums, vocals
- Tim Bogert – bass, vocals
- Vince Martell – guitar, vocals
- Mark Stein – lead vocals, keyboards
|US Billboard Hot 100||6|
Kim Wilde version
|"You Keep Me Hangin' On"|
Standard artwork (7-inch vinyl single pictured); the North American release uses different colours for the map background and the title design
|Single by Kim Wilde|
|from the album Another Step|
|Released||19 September 1986|
|Recorded||1986 at Westlake Studios Los Angeles CA|
"You Keep Me Hangin' On" was covered in an updated version by British singer Kim Wilde in 1986. Wilde's version was a total re-working of the original, completely transforming the Supremes' Motown Sound into a hi-NRG song. She and her brother, producer Ricky Wilde, had not heard "You Keep Me Hangin' On" for several years when they decided to record it. The song was not a track they knew well, so they treated it as a new song, even slightly changing the original lyrics.
It was released as the second single from Wilde's Another Step studio album (although "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was the LP's first worldwide single, as the first single had been released only in selected countries). The song became the biggest hit of Wilde's career, reaching number two in her home country, and number one in Australia. It also became Wilde's second and last Top 40 hit in the US following "Kids in America" and is also, to date, her most successful song in that country, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in June 1987. It later ranked as the 34th biggest hit of 1987 on Billboard's Hot 100 year-end chart that year. "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry for UK sales exceeding 250,000 copies.
However, in the United Kingdom, it could not reach the first position, because the song "Take My Breath Away" of Berlin, blocked it, and was at #2 for two consecutive weeks, reaching this maximum position on November 15, 1986.
It has sold 265,000 copies in France.
A music video was produced to promote her single. Directed by Greg Masuak, the video shows Wilde in a dark room lying on a large bed. She then rises from the bed as she sings the song and finds herself being "threatened" by a strange man who is breaking down the walls around her.
Reba McEntire version
|"You Keep Me Hangin' On"|
|Single by Reba McEntire|
|from the album Starting Over|
|Reba McEntire singles chronology|
Country music singer Reba McEntire covered the song in 1995 for her twenty-second studio album, Starting Over. Released as the album's fourth single in 1996 on MCA Nashville Records, it was co-produced by Tony Brown and Michael Omartian. Although not released to country radio, McEntire's rendition was her only dance hit, reaching number two on Hot Dance Club Play.
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