Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Single by The Supremes|
|From the album New Ways But Love Stays|
|B-side||"Shine On Me"|
|Single Released||October 15, 1970|
|Single Format||vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)|
|Track recorded||Hitsville USA (Studio A); March 10, April 2, and April 27, 1970|
|Vocals recorded||New York City studio; May 12, 1970|
|Song Length||3:01 (LP mix with intro runs 4:09)|
|Chart positions||7 (US), 3 (UK)|
|Supremes single chronology|
|"Everybody's Got the Right to Love"|
|"River Deep, Mountain High" (with Four Tops)|
"Stoned Love" is a 1970 hit single recorded by The Supremes for the Motown label. It was the final Billboard Hot 100 Top Ten hit for the group, and their final Billboard #1 R&B hit as well. It and "Up The Ladder To The Roof" are the only Top Ten Supremes singles to feature Jean Terrell on lead vocals instead of Diana Ross, who had left the group in January 1970 to pursue a solo career.
"Stoned Love" was originally written by a Detroit teenager named Kenny Thomas. Thomas had entered some of his songs into a local radio talent show, which record producer Frank Wilson happened to tune in to. Wilson arranged a meeting with the young musician at Thomas' house, where he proceeded to play a number of songs on a guitar that only had two strings. One of the songs he played was an unfinished version of "Stoned Love." Wilson was very much impressed with the song, and came back to Thomas' house a few days later with, to Thomas' delight and surprise, Supremes member Mary Wilson (no relation to Frank).
After a few lines of the song were revised by the producer, "Stoned Love" was recorded during the spring of 1970. The instrumental track was recorded with The Funk Brothers and at least 30 other session musicians in Detroit, while Jean Terrell, Mary Wilson, and Cindy Birdsong recorded their vocals in New York.
Essentially a Vietnam protest song, the lyrics of "Stoned Love" are a plea for the people of the world to end conflict and animosity between each other. Thomas chose the term "stoned love" (or alternately, "stone love") to define the concept of an unchanging bond between one another.
Many people believed (and continue to believe) that the song was a reference to drug use, and many radio station owners were at first apprehensive to play the record. Motown founder Berry Gordy was also said to have hated the song, and label executive Barney Ales had to arrange for the RKO radio stations to agree to play "Stoned Love" before releasing the single.
Kenny Thomas' writing credit was listed as "Yennik Samoht" (his name spelled backwards).
"Stoned Love" was the main single from The Supremes' album, New Ways But Love Stays, released in October 1970. It also appears in the 1994 motion picture Forrest Gump, staring Tom Hanks. In 2004, neo soul singer Angie Stone covered the tune as the intro to her LP Stone Love.
- Lead Vocals by Jean Terrell
- Background Vocals by Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong
- Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
- Written by Kenny Thomas (credited as "Yennik Samoht") and Frank Wilson
- Produced by Frank Wilson
- Arranged by David Van DePitte
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