Saturday, September 10, 2016

50 years ago: The Supremes “You Can’t Hurry Love” hit #1

You Can’t Hurry Love

The Supremes

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

Released: July 25, 1966

First Charted: August 5, 1966

Peak: 12 US, 11 CB, 11 GR, 12 HR, 12 RB, 3 UK, 3 CN, 6 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 5.0 radio, 10.0 video, 366.54 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“You Can’t Hurry Love” was the seventh chart-topper from the Supremes. Like its predecessors, it was written by the Motown songwriting and production trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland. Billboard magazine described it as “the group’s most exciting side to date.” WK “Every one of the Supremes’ hits had a big beat working for it, a four-four engine driven by handclaps and bass-drum hits. But none of the hits leading up to ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ had a beat quite that big.” SG “That beat is the focal point, even more than the vocals. Diana Ross and her fellow Supremes flit around that bassline like hummingbirds.” SG

Lamont Dozier, one of the songwriters, said “It was basically a gospel feel we were after.” FB To that end, they were inspired by the ‘50s gospel song “You Can’t Hurry God, He’s Right on Time” by Dorothy Love Coates & the Original Gospel Harmonettes. SG It includes the lines “You can’t hurry God/ You just have to wait/ Trust and give him time/ No matter how long it takes.”

In the Supremes’ hands, Diana Ross sings “as someone who wants to be in a relationship and who finds herself getting more and more impatient.” SG It “works less as a lonely woman’s lament and more as a piece of romantic advice.” SG Cash Box summed it up as a “pulsating pop-R&B rhythmic ode which contends that romance is a slow-developing game of give-and-take.” WK

Phil Collins’ 1982 cover of the song reached #10 in the United States and topped the charts in the UK, doing even better than the #3 peak of the original. Dozier considers it one of the best covers of a song by the Supremes. FB Dozier would later co-write “Two Hearts,” a #1 song in the United States for Collins from the 1988 movie Buster.


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First posted 2/6/2023.

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