Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Love Child (song)
|Single by Diana Ross & the Supremes|
|From the album Love Child|
|B-side||"Will This Be the Day"|
|Single Released||September 30, 1968|
|Single Format||vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)|
|Recorded||Hitsville USA (Studio A); September 17, September 19, and September 20, 1968|
|Producer||"The Clan": Berry Gordy, Henry Cosby , Frank Wilson, Deke Richards, and R. Dean Taylor|
|Chart positions||1 (US), 15 (UK)|
|Supremes single chronology|
|"Some Things You Never Get Used To"|
|"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (with The Temptations)|
"Love Child" is the name of a 1968 hit song released by the Motown label as a single for Diana Ross & the Supremes, although Diana Ross is the only member of the group present on the record. It was the #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for two weeks, from November 24, 1968 to December 7, 1968, and is notable for its then controversial subject matter of illegitimacy.
During the late-1960s, Diana Ross & the Supremes, having dropped group founder Florence Ballard, acquired new member Cindy Birdsong, and added Ross' name to the billing in July 1967, had mixed success on the pop charts, with five of their singles from this period failing to make it into the Top Twenty. Motown label chief Berry Gordy held a special meeting in a room at the Ponchartrain Hotel in Detroit, which was attended by a team of writers and producers at the label, including Frank Wilson, Henry Cosby , Pam Sawyer , Deke Richards, and R. Dean Taylor .
The group, who named themselves "The Clan," set to work on a hit single for Diana Ross & the Supremes. Instead of composing another love-based song, the team decided to craft a tune about a woman who is asking her boyfriend not to pressure her into sleeping with him, for fear they would conceive a "love child." The woman, portrayed on the record by Diana Ross, is herself a love child, and, besides not having a father at home, had to endure wearing rags to school and growing up in a "old, cold, run-down tenement slum." The background vocals echo this sentiment, asking the boyfriend to please "wait/wait won't you wait now/hold on/wait/just a little bit longer."
As was often the case with many of the records released under the "Diana Ross & the Supremes" name, Supremes Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong do not appear on the record. Motown session singers The Andantes perform the background vocals, with all lead vocals by Diana Ross, who was becoming increasingly distant from the group and would leave it in a year for a solo career.
The resulting track had a decidedly different feel than previous Supremes singles, not only because of its change-of-pace subject matter, but also because of The Clan's production, which gave the melodramatic tale a driving, almost hedonistic rhythm. The public responded well to "Love Child" when it was released as a single on September 30, 1968; and it became the title track of Diana Ross & the Supremes' Love Child album, released in December 1968.
"I'm Livin' In Shame"
The Clan followed up "Love Child" with a sequel, "I'm Livin' In Shame," which explores the same woman's quest to shun both her impoverished childhood and her mother, and pass herself off to her friends and new husband the daughter of a rich family. The woman's mother ends up dying without ever seeing her daughter as an adult, or ever meeting her two-year-old grandson. "I'm Livin' In Shame," also recorded by Ross and the Andantes without Wilson or Birdsong, was included on Let the Sunshine In (1969) and made it to the #10 spot on the pop charts in the winter of 1969.
- Lead Vocals by Diana Ross
- Background Vocals by The Andantes: Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps
- Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
- Written by Deke Richards, Pam Sawyer , R. Dean Taylor , and Frank Wilson
- Produced by "The Clan": Berry Gordy, Henry Cosby , Frank Wilson, Deke Richards, and R. Dean Taylor
- Arranged by Paul Riser
- Download sample of "Love Child"
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