It was 57 years ago today (August 13th, 1964) that the Supremes recorded “Baby Love.” The song, which was their follow-up to their first Number One hit, “Where Did Our Love Go,” was also written and produced by Motown’s legendary hit-making team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. On Halloween of 1964, “Baby Love” knocked Manfred Mann‘s “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” out from the Number One spot and went on to top the charts for four straight weeks.
Eddie Holland remembers that writing the lyrics to Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Motown classics was a solitary experience: “With those melodies that Lamont and Brian was coming out with, I mean, man! Norman Whitfield used to tease me. They’d say, ‘When he’s in Detroit on Lumpkin Street living up there over his grandmother in those attic rooms, and he never comes out, and all they do is open a little door and shove a little food and water in there for him’ (laughter), be cause I, I would hibernate.”
Shortly before her death in February 2021, Mary Wilson recalled that with all the time and effort that Holland-Dozier-Holland spent with the group in the recording studio; she’s still not sure if they ever saw the group live in concert: “I remember when we had our first hit record, ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ And ‘Baby Love.’ We went to the Copacabana and we were trying to get Eddie, Brian and Lamont to come out and see us onstage. They never wanted to come out and see us onstage. All they wanted to do was to stay back there, and write and produce. And that’s pretty much what they did. I don’t know if they ever saw us onstage.”
“Baby Love,” which was the Supremes’ only UK Number One, marked the first time that a girl group had topped the British charts.
A decade later, in 1974, “Baby Love” again reached the UK’s Top 20, peaking at Number 12. Both former Supremes Diana Ross and Mary Wilson still perform the song in their live shows.