I keep hoping for another book like Geoff Emerick’s fine account of how he recorded the Beatles in Here, There and Everywhere… and this is most definitely not that caliber of book.
Not that this is the worst read, but it follows an all-too-familiar formula. First, there’s the truly interesting tale of The Supremes before we knew them. Next, we learn how they came together and got their big break. Then, the trouble with the book begins when every intra-group personality conflict is embellished to the point where the band appears to be on the verge of a nuclear war. And for any fan wanting to know how The Supremes’ songs came to be inspired or written, or crucial and interesting details concerning how they were recorded, this book is not the answer as such accounts are rare in this Saga of Motown. What you will find in this book are obsessively detailed descriptions of exactly who slept with who over forty years ago.
What, exactly, did the sex lives of Diana, Flo and Mary have to do with their music? I have no idea, but by page 180, this dead horse had already been beaten to a bloodless pulp. My excitement over this new music group biography dropped away quite quickly, and I would venture to say that yours will too – unless, of course, you have little interest in the songs of The Supremes and prefer a rehash of everything you might have learned from reading the tabloids for the last 40 or more plus years.
Da Capo Press, $24.95, 426 pages
This review was written by Joseph Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.