Where Did Our Love Go

June 16, 2024

This month I’m focusing on Rock Songs of the 60s.

Today our song is:  Where Did Our Love Go

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:

According to Brian Holland, "Where Did Our Love Go" was written with the Supremes in mind. Though Supremes member Mary Wilson later wrote that the song had been originally given to the Marvelettes, Holland denied that claim, as did the Marvelettes themselves. Marvelettes member Katherine Anderson-Schnaffer later said that the song did not fit her group's repertoire because it was produced with a slower beat, whereas their music was more uptempo. When the Supremes were eventually given the song, the group members were not pleased with the song. Supremes member Florence Ballard later stated that they had wanted a stronger single, similar to the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman". Another objection from the group was that it sounded too "kiddie-ish.” Although the group felt the song did not have the hook needed to make it successful, they decided that they had no choice and prepared to record it.

Initially, the producers argued over who should sing the song, because it had been cut in the same key as Mary Wilson's voice. The lead vocal was ultimately assigned to Diana Ross because, according to Allmusic's Ed Hogan, "she had a unique, sensuous sound." She sang it in her usual high register in the recording studio on April 8. As a result, Ross was told to sing the song in a lower register and begrudgingly complied with Holland/Dozier/Holland's "to the letter" formula. Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard's vocal contribution was significant in bringing a fresh yet smooth tone to the overall sound of the song, while remaining true to the backup arrangements that Lamont Dozier had set down.

After hearing the song's playback, an excited Ross rushed to Gordy's office and told him to come to the studio to listen. At the end of the playback, a satisfied Gordy nodded, telling the producers and the group that the song had the potential to be a top ten hit.



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