The Supremes — “Come Together”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — March 14, 2023


762) The Supremes — “Come Together”

The Supremes — without the recently departed Diana Ross — do the Beatles’ “Come Together”, as does Diana as a solo artist in the same year. What were they thinking?! Well, both versions work remarkably well — but I declare the Supremes the winner. Michael Hann calls their cover “amazing, certainly for a Motown record, etiolated* and blank. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear they were heroically stoned.” ( Heroically stoned — that is sooooo appropriate, Timothy Leary being the catalyst for the song. . . .

Buckley Mayfield says that:

Doing one of the Beatles’ funkiest and oddest songs, “Come Together,” may seem counterintuitive, but the Motown brain trust and the Supremes made it something special. They made a sitar the lead instrument, surprisingly relegating the bass to the background. It’s pretty funny as well to hear [Jean] Terrell sing “walrus gumboot” and to ham it up on the “hold him in his armchair, you can feel his disease” line. What goofy fun this is.

And Joe Viglione makes the point that “This is the genius of the Supremes on their own. With Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye making inroads and developing their skills as producers and songwriters, Frank Wilson broke the girls out of the Holland-Dozier-Holland formula, bringing different flavors and styles to this class act.” (

Andy Kellman notes of that the Ross-less Supremes that:

Without Ross, they rebounded instantly with the Top Ten hit “Up the Ladder to the Roof” and the Top 40 entry “Everybody’s Got the Right to Love.” Those two . . . singles anchored Right On, the first of seven Supremes studio LPs featuring the lineup of Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong, and [Jean] Terrell. . . . Well into 1972, the Supremes unloaded an additional haul of Top 40 entries highlighted by “Stoned Love,” the group’s last single to peak in the Top Ten.

* etiolated: Don’t feel bad. I didn’t know what this word meant either. Etiolate as a verb means “to bleach and alter the natural development of (a green plant) by excluding sunlight . . . to make pale . . . to deprive of natural vigor . . . make feeble”. (

Here is Diana’s solo version:

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