Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cusp Song of the Day: Love Child

"Love Child" marked a change of direction for the newly renamed Diana Ross and the Supremes. Motown stalwarts Holland-Dozier-Holland had left the company in a financial dispute, and a new collective, known as the Clan, was assembled to replace them. This song, their first release, started them off with a bang, going to number one at the end of 1968.

The Clan - the producers and songwriters of "Love Child" - also had a top 10 hit in 1969 with the Supremes' "I'm Livin' in Shame." The collective was comprised of Pamela Sawyer,  R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson and Deke Richards. Their song tells the story of a young woman resisting her boyfriend's advances because she doesn't want to end up pregnant and giving birth to a "hurt, scorned, rejected love child," as she herself was ("Take a look at me"). Quite a story is packed into about three minutes.

In Chapter 12 of Cusp, Karen and Mark open Christmas gifts while listening to the Love Child album. When side one ends, Karen makes a preemptive move to block the playing of side two. "Enough Supremes, already," she thinks. What does Mark put on instead? Donna Summer's then-current first hit "Love to Love You Baby," which had its own issues.

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