Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Supremes Have A Hard Day (1964)

Well if you are a music fan, then you know that this week is all about The Beatles. Once every couple of years the biggest band in popular music comes out with something new and the world still goes crazy for it.

This week sees the much needed release of the entire Beatles' catalog in its much needed remastered form (or you could just listen to them on vinyl, like I do). There is also the unveiling of the The Beatles "Rock Band" video game. Once again, The Beatles are here, there, and everywhere.
On that note, today's track is a popular Beatles tune; But not by the Beatles because that would be way too obvious. It is a cover version of "A Hard Day's Night" by Diana Ross and The Supremes.

This was one of Motown's fast and cheap albums created to cash in on the popular British Invasion of the mid-1960's. Motown acts would often cover other popular artists of the day, and The Beatles were no exception. Sometimes it would create something great like Stevie Wonder's version of "We Can Work It Out" and sometimes it would just be okay. Such is the case with The Supremes 1964 album 'A Bit Of Liverpool.'

Although the album name-dropping the Beatles' home town of Liverpool, England would imply the album is mostly Beatles' songs, it is in fact filled with various cover versions of many different British artists. The Supremes sing songs by The Animals, Gerry & The Pacemakers, and The Dave Clark Five. The album is a very interesting listen because of the blending of the British pop sound with the Motown R&B style.

It is also fun to remember how new this song was to already be covered by other artists. The original Beatles version of "A Hard Day's Night" had just come out in late summer of 1964 as part of the movie soundtrack of the same name, and by late fall we had this album with The Supremes singing the same song. Recording and releasing records sure moved fast in those days.

So click the link below, to hear The Supremes work like a dog and sleep like a log.

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