Motown built their history on well-crafted, beautifully written love songs that avoided controversy and highlighted a soulful groove and an upbeat attitude. In the middle of the civil rights movement of 1967, Motown took a risk with Diana Ross & The Supremes latest single, “Love Child”. Inspired by Diana’s childhood where she grew up without a father in her life, the lyrics addressed the plight of so many child born out of wedlock. Growing up in a single parent household is difficult is so many ways, financially, emotionally, and the loss of a parent impacts the way children think about love and relationships. The powerful single shot straight to #1, buoyed by a fierce rhythm track by the legendary Funk Brothers. Diana was in full Diva mode during this time period and recorded the song without backing vocals by the other Supremes, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong. A year after this recording, Diana embarked on her solo career.
“LOVE CHILD” Diana Ross & The Supremes
“Love Child”s theme opened up a dialogue in the 60’s about contraception, deadbeat fathers, and abstinence. The groundbreaking single’s message is still relevant today as evidence by a performance on Fox’s Glee! In the early 90’s, the song was remade by Sweet Sensation and even LaToya Jackson valiantly attempted to cover it. The Motown connection went full circle in 1994 when Janet Jackson sampled “Love Child” for her hit single, “You Want This”.
“YOU WANT THIS” Janet Jackson