Personnel: Diana Ross, Cindy Birdsong, Mary Wilson (vocals).
Through 1964 to 1967 the Supremes were Motown's biggest act. Singles like "Where Did Our Love Go," "Back in My Arms Again," and "You Keep Me Hanging On" defined the label's pop prowess and the quirky appeal of talented lead singer Diana Ross. By 1968, the group not only lost member Florence Ballard, but also Holland-Dozier-Holland who had written and produced all of their big singles. Cindy Birdsong joins Mary Wilson and Ross for this 1968 effort and the group name was officially changed. Although it's always fun to hear Ross and the Supremes, the most interesting thing about this effort is its production. With a lack of consistently great songs, Love Child had to rely on hooks, choruses, and production values rather than magical songs. The well-produced and controversial title track proved how good Ross is with melodrama. "How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone" has a great bassline from James Jamerson and Ross oddly having a lot of fun with her supposedly dire romantic prospects. The warm cover of Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers' classic "Does Your Mamma Know About Me" sticks close to the original with good results. Ashford and Simpson offer two of their early tracks, the album's first single "Some Things You Never Get Used To," and the graceful "You Ain't Livin' Until You're Lovin'." For the most part, Love Child's tracks seem to run together but this offers the late-'60s Motown sound without gimmicks and is more than recommended. ~ Jason Elias
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