Friday, March 27, 2015

The Supremes hit #1 with “Stop! In the Name of Love” 50 years ago (3/27/1965)

First posted 4/15/2020; updated 4/21/2020.

Stop! In the Name of Love

The Supremes

Writer(s): Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland (see lyrics here)


Released: February 8, 1965


First Charted: February 20, 1965


Peak: 12 US, 11 CB, 11 HR, 2 RB, 7 UK, 3 CN, 42 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.12 UK, 1.12 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 10.9 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

This song grew out of an argument between Lamont Dozier – one of the songwriters – and his girlfriend. She was about to head out the door when he yelled “stop, in the name of love!,” a slight variation of the phrase “stop, in the name of the law.” TB It broke the tension and they both starting laughing over the silliness of the line. CR

Of course, Dozier was one-third of the famed Holland-Dozier-Holland writing team at Motown. They crafted many of Motown’s biggest hits, but were more associated with the Supremes than any other act. “’Stop!’ moves with the grace of HDH’s greatest productions.” MA Initially, the Supremes – Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballad – thought the song was “insufficiently feminine, too forthright.” CR Once in the studio, however, they had fun with it. CR

As for the signature choreography, they were making a live appearance before having the moves for the song worked out. Moments before they went on stage, they worked with Motown head honcho Berry Gordy and a couple of the members of the Temptations to come up with the moves – in the mens’ room! SJ

The song became the trio’s fourth #1 out of five consecutive chart-toppers. In fact, they amassed a dozen #1 songs from 1964 through the end of the decade, giving them more trips to the top than any other American act in the 1960s. It also made them the most successful Motown act of the decade. TB


Resources and Related Links:

  • The Supremes’ DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • CR Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Page 570.
  • MA Dave Marsh (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Pages 496-7.
  • SJ Bob Shannon and John Javna (1986). Behind the Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll. New York, NY; Warner Brothers, Inc. Pages 126-7.
  • TB Thunder Bay Press. (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 76.

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