22/4/15 – Diana Ross And The Supremes – Reflections – 1967

Video Of The Day

Song Of The Day

diana-ross-and-the-supremes-reflectionsMotown goes Psychedelic! Strange sounds, an opening line “Through the mirror of my mind” and the Summer Of Love has reached Detroit. This was in fact the turning point in the billing where Diana Ross’s name preceded the Supremes pushing her into the spotlight. This also was the end of the line for original member Florence Ballard who was fired and replaced by Cindy Birdsong. Three years later Diana Ross would go solo and the Supremes would revert back to their original name and carry on without her.

Supremes (Ballard:Wilson:Ross)

I remember the song vividly from my childhood, I bought the single at the age of nine and wonder if this might have been the beginning of my eclectic music tastes as different styles collided in this song. The two versions here are the album version and a live version that sounds like they had the ‘samples’ of some of the weird noises from the record  but there’s a live orchestra and a live vocal from Diana Ross, not sure about Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong. Ross’ singing is impressive, looking like an escapee from an episode of Thunderbirds.

Reflections reached No.2 on the US Charts (No.5) in the UK. It was held off the No.1 spot by Bobbie Gentry’s Ode To Billie Joe. Oddly that song also appears on the Reflections album. The album released in 1968 reached No.18 in the US charts and number 30 in the UK and isn’t Psychedelic at all, more a typical Motown Pop album from what is still the most successful female vocal group of all time.

This is the final album with the Motown songwriting team of Holland,Dozier, Holland, leaving the Motown family over a royalty dispute. It  is also the only album to feature both Florence Ballard and Cindy Birdsong as Birdsong replaced Ballard and is seen here with Diana Ross and Mary Wilson in the video, her first performance as a Supreme. The album is produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier and Smokey Robinson on some tracks.

The first photo is the Reflections album cover from 1968 shown here to illustrate the nod to the Psychedelia. The second picture shows Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross and the third Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Cindy Birdsong.

After singing on sixteen Top 40 singles including ten that reached No.1, Ballard fell on hard times. She lost a court case against Motown for unpaid royalties – the same year she had her third daughter. Ballard depressed became an alcoholic, split up from her husband and ended up on welfare before getting into rehab and making some kind of recovery. Mary Wilson brought her back into The Supremes as a fourth member after Ross had left where she played tambourine, saying she had lost the desire to sing. As if it could get any worse, Ballard died of a heart attack at the age of 32.

Through the mirror of my mind
Time after time
I see reflections of you and me

Reflections of
The way life used to be
Reflections of
The love you took from me

Oh, I’m all alone now
No love to shield me
Trapped in a world
That’s a distorted reality

Happiness you took from me
And left me alone
With only memories

Through the mirror of my mind
Through these tears that I’m crying
Reflects a hurt I can’t control
‘Cause although you’re gone
I keep holding on
To the happy times
Oh, when you were mine

As I peer through the window
Of lost time
Looking over my yesterdays
And all the love I gave all in vain
(All the love) All the love
That I’ve wasted
(All the tears) All the tears
That I’ve tasted
All in vain

Through the hollow of my tears
I see a dream that’s lost
From the hurt
That you have caused

Everywhere I turn
Seems like everything I see
Reflects the love that used to be

In you I put
All my faith and trust
Right before my eyes
My world has turned to dust

After all the nights
I sat alone and wept
Just a handful of promises
Are all that’s left of loving you

Reflections of
The way life used to be
Reflections of
The love you took from me

In you I put
All my faith and trust




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