August 15th – The Supremes – It’s All Been Said Before

By the time The Supremes released their self-titled album in 1975 the writing was on the wall.  Their previous LP, the clumsily titled The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb, had flopped and Motown (and Berry Gordy’s) palpable lack of interest had led to Miss Ross’s replacement Jean Terrell leaving the group to be followed into the lead spot by Scherrie (sister of Freda) Payne.

It’s All Been Said Before was scheduled as the first single from the album but never released (it was replaced at the last minute by He’s My Man which enjoyed success on the disco charts).  Written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, the song had previously been recorded by Dusty Springfield during sessions for her Cameo album but the tapes were lost or destroyed when her contract with ABC/Dunhill expired.  It has the same melodic sophistication as the songs Lambert and Potter wrote for Dusty and the harmonies are beautiful.  The intro in particular seems to hark back to an earlier Motown sound which may be why it was pulled at the least minute for its resolutely 70s sounding, but altogether less sophisticated, replacement.

The Supremes would limp on through other personnel changes and two more albums before disbanding for good in 1977.