On 5 December 1964, the Supremes were big international news and made the UK LP chart for the first time, by inviting us to Meet The Supremes. After shaking off their unwanted tag as the “no-hit” Supremes, the Motown trio were travelling, in every sense. They scored two big UK hits in the space of a few weeks with ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ and ‘Baby Love,’ and now it was time for some album action.
The UK album chart for that week is a fascinating reflection of the musical currents that were flowing at the time. The Beatles, almost inevitably, were at No. 1, with A Hard Day’s Night, followed by the self-titled debut albums by the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. Other breakthrough groups of the time such as Manfred Mann and the Animals were also in the top ten, but as ever, they had the easy listening brigade to compete with. The Bachelors had a top ten album and Jim Reeves, tragically killed in a plane crash that summer, had two.
Meet The Supremes was not a new album at the time of its UK debut. The group had released it as their first long player as far back as the end of 1962, when it failed to chart even in America. It contained no fewer than four singles, none of which made much of an impression. But when the girls crashed into the British consciousness in 1964, it was a different story, and Motown had an album they could present to their international admirers.
The album debuted that week at No. 17, the second highest new entry of the week, behind Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ at No. 11. The following week, it climbed to No. 13, which turned out to be its peak. Very surprisingly, even with all of their massive popularity with one hit single after another, the Supremes didn’t make the top ten of the UK album chart until they topped it four years later with their Greatest Hits collection.
Meet The Supremes can be bought here.
Follow the 60s Motown playlist.