Song of the Day #339: ‘Baby Love’ – The Supremes

babyloveOne thing these Songs of the Day have made crystal clear to me over the past year is that my CD collection is woefully incomplete. This is my 10th Motown song since I started the Motown Weekends and I don’t own any of them. These are some of the best songs ever recorded and they haven’t found a spot on my shelf.

In large part, that’s because many of these songs were released in the days when the attention was on singles rather than albums. So averse as I am to greatest hits collections and other compilations, it’s tough to get all the good stuff without spending a fortune. But it’s probably high time I just got over that hangup and spent some time on iTunes assembling a kickass Motown playlist.

The Supremes are a prime example of a group I should have in my CD collection. Every song of theirs I know is a bona fide classic and a simply sublime listening experience. They are also the one group that came close to rivaling The Beatles in terms of chart popularity, scoring 12 #1 singles in their heyday. When people say they don’t make ‘em like they used to, they’re talking about groups like The Supremes.

One more thing… I don’t want to subscribe to ugly racial stereotypes, but the white people in this video can’t dance worth a damn. Come on, people, it’s embarrassing!

Ooh baby love, my baby love
I need you, oh how I need you
But all you do is treat me bad
Break my heart and leave me sad
Tell me, what did I do wrong
To make you stay away so long

‘Cause baby love, my baby love
Been missing ya, miss kissing ya
Instead of breaking up
Let’s do some kissing and making up
Don’t throw our love away
In my arms why don’t you stay
Need ya, need ya
Baby love, ooh, baby love

Baby love, my baby love
Why must we separate, my love
All of my whole life through
I never loved no one but you
Why you do me like you do
I get this need

Ooh, ooh, need to hold you
Once again, my love
Feel your warm embrace, my love
Don’t throw our love away

Please don’t do me this way
Not happy like I used to be
Loneliness has got the best of me
My love, my baby love

I need you, oh how I need you
Why you do me like you do
After I’ve been true to you
So deep in love with you

Baby, baby, ooh ’til it’s hurtin’ me
‘Til it’s hurtin’ me
Ooh, baby love
Don’t throw our love away
Don’t throw our love away

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #339: ‘Baby Love’ – The Supremes

  1. dana says:

    That video is just bizzare–I suppose in a still generally segregated America, it didn’t seem odd to have three black women singing to an entirely white audience. Is it me, or does nobody seem particularly happy in that video, including the Supremes?

    Your observation about Motown music and artists from that era in general is interesting. I just saw Billy Bob Thorton on Bill Maher, and he was arguing that if you were to list artists who are truly legends and who will be remembered 100 years from now, you could name a hundred who began recording prior to 1978 and vurtually none after that time. Now, I don’t know if 100 is accurate–it might be more like a dozen or so. And he acknowledged a few post 1978 who might qualify, namely REM and U2. Of course, to sustain this argument, you have to put artists like Springsteen, Michael Jackson, etc, into the pre 1978 camp because they were recording before that time, even though, arguably, some of their legendary status came in the 80′s. Anyway, interesting food for fodder.

  2. Amy says:

    This “video” reminds me of Hairspray. What a brilliant job John Waters did capturing that divide.

    I don’t know if I’m so quick to buy into what either of you are saying. It’s just like any nostalgia. There is always a pull to look at what has come before and glorify it. I don’t think this music is better than music that is recorded today, any more so than today’s films or television shows or Broadway shows or novels or paintings are lesser than that which has come before. It’s just that as time goes by, we sift through the garbage and all that remains on our radar is the “good stuff.” Which is why I have always fully embraced the notion of the “single.” Why watch the entire run of the I Love Lucy show if there were only a few that stand the test of time? Why own every Elvis Presley album if you only want to listen to “Blue Suede Shoes”?

    So, yes, Clay, do buy an iTunes collection of your Motown favorites, for there were some lousy songs recorded back then. We just don’t listen to them now.

  3. Clay says:

    I’m not making the argument that better stuff was recorded back then than today (though I’m not prepared to argue against that statement either). My point was just that this wonderful music isn’t represented in my CD collection. Mostly because I wasn’t alive when it came out so I didn’t accumulate it in real time, as I do now.

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