#soon! Part Un - The 60s-00s Girl Band Debut Breakthrough Rate

So sorry the next elimination is delayed, my lovelies. I had a sleep-in til 8am and had a couple of PJ00s things to sort out before the gym and now going to a lunch. Will work on it when I get back! The next cut will see us lose a very influential group and I am the high scorer, but not with a 10! WHAT DID YOU DO???
So sorry the next elimination is delayed, my lovelies. I had a sleep-in til 8am and had a couple of PJ00s things to sort out before the gym and now going to a lunch. Will work on it when I get back! The next cut will see us lose a very influential group and I am the high scorer, but not with a 10! WHAT DID YOU DO???
Don't worry about it, you don't strictly have to eliminate 1 a day.
You are doing beautifully honey.
The mammoth that falls today is...............


The Supremes – When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes
Average Score: 6.948
Highest Score: 9.6 x 1 (@berserkboi)
Lowest Score: 4 x 2 (@Conan, @DJHazey)

I wasn’t kidding when I said we were losing a beast! The Supremes are easily one of the most influential groups ever and could teach doctorates about how to have crossover appeal. Originally only a regional favourite struggling to find a pop hit (releasing seven singles prior to When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes), this track saw them break into the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 and almost reach the top 10 in Good Ol’ Australia (where we stanned talent early). Since then, they became a force that spanned decades and decades of iconic hits either solo or as a group and a permanent fixture in Pop Culture.

When The Lovelight however really struggled to get going in this rate. At one point, The Supremes were not even to make the top 50 and were much below Danity Kane (yikes) before an influx of decent scores came through and lifted their average. As you can see, no one here gave this wonderful soulful Motown to a T number a 10, which is a little shameful, but since many of the commentaries compare this to what you classify as stronger moments in their career, I suppose it makes sense we were all a little stingy.

This is not to say When The Lovelight is not a great record, as it is all kinds of fabulous! The vocals from Diana (that a certain someone *@baby Clyde* calls nasally) have plenty of charm and conviction, and really goes off with the bopping instrumental that pushes the doo wop genre in an interesting direction. This single was The Supremes’ first to be written and produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland who previously created hits for (#soon to be discussed) Martha And The Vandellas, and would eventually become the dominant songwriting/producing team of Motown, as well as the team that would give our girls their later hits.

The Supremes are not without controversy and in fighting (their Wikipedia page or even Dreamgirls which is loosely based on their history will show you) but let’s discuss a few of the positive! The Supremes (founded as The Primettes) started off with Florence Ballard recruiting her best friend Mary Wilson who then recruited her classmate Diana Ross as a sister group to the Primes. They started performing at local talent shows and gatherings, and earned a bit of a fan following. After winning a prestigious local talent contest, they auditioned for Motown executive Berry Gordy and the rest as they say is history.

In their heyday The Supremes rivalled The Beatles in worldwide sales and popularity, and are to date America’s most successful vocal group with 12 #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100! It is also said their success made it possible for future African American musicians to find mainstream success. Gordy achieved this by giving The Supremes a more glamorous image than previous black performers; with detailed make up and high fashion gowns and wigs, and graceful choreography. The idea was to have The Supremes appeal equally to both black and white audiences (apologies for using lingo of the time). Next was booking them to as many mainstream shows as possible, including a total of 17 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The girls would have their hits across decades and continue to persevere while Diana Ross had a go at a solo career too. Undeniably iconic and undeniably ground breaking – what did PopJustice think of The Supremes?

Zar-Unity (7) keeps it short and sweet - Enchanted, rich vocals! Tech: 5 Taste: 2 = 7 points. Kermit_The_Frog (6) is a fan who still has discoveries and is thankful for them - As a confirmed Supremes fan, I am a bit disgusted that I’ve never heard this song before! Not a challenger for my 11 (unlike many of their singles) but still lots of fun… Further Listening: My World Is Empty Without You. Riiiiiiiii (9.2) unfortunately continues to lose numbers from his top 20! - Gotta love The Supremes. They gave us Diana Ross. And Diana gave us black Dorothy. And black Dorothy is equally amazing as Judy’s Dorothy, no discussion.

ComeOnGloria (5) is back to the @Mina impressions – Nah. Spillett (5) isn’t far behind - (forgettable) Filippa (8) isn’t new to the girls but doesn’t think it is their top tier - I certainly know the Supremes. This is a nice song but not their best. I agree with Trouble In Paradise (8), as always” - Not the Supremes best but still so so good. Empty Shoebox (6.5) thinks it is one of the better 60s numbers - I honestly had never heard this song before starting this. I like the big band sound, and the lyrics are a bit better than others.

Sprockrooster (7) brings some personal stories to this and I love! - Diana Ross is one of my ultimate queens and I was blessed to see her Symphonica in Rosso concert. What a moment. She performed this song as part of one of the Supremes medleys, but like in this rate it pales a bit in comparison. Baby Clyde (9) is being a little cruel but the high score makes up for it - (Point docked for Diana's horribe, nasal delivery)

DominoDancing (7.5) will need to give me some names for consideration in part 2! - Not bad, but a really a footnote in their discography, which is filled to the brim with songs that tower over this one by a mile. Ufint (6.5) is also #TeamDomino - Miss Ross sounds lovely, but this song is not memorable whatsoever and considering how many great songs are in their discography, this has nothing on what was yet to come. Unnameable (6) agrees – far from their best

DJHazey (4) has lots of options for part 2, hooray! - I'm confused as to why this is considered their debut, since wikipedia says "Tears of Sorrow". I mean that's only slighter better to be honest. It's a shame it had to be this one representing them since songs like "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In the Name of Love", "Back in My Arms Again", "I Hear a Symphony", "My World Is Empty Without You", "You Can't Hurry Love", "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and I could keep going on, they'd all be 10s or close to it. Would really love a 60s focused girl group single rate sometime.​

Our untimely cut is....



Mel & Kim – Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend)
Average Score: 7.048
Highest Score: 10 x 2 (@unnameable, @Remorque)
Lowest Score: 2 x 1 (@Untouchable Ace)

So we are finally at a 7 average! We got here in time to say goodbye to yet another 80s track! This one (similar to Shakespears Sister) had the reverse fortune of going down the ranks the more votes we got. So, you guessed it – those late voters were not here for the 80s at all (watch out Salt-N-Pepa & Go-Gos!) so let’s see how the rest of that list does now they are down to just 4 entries (only a quarter of the tracks before the halfway mark)!

Mel & Kim were an act I was expecting to do quite well when we first started. Their sound is fairly well represented in Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend) and although it isn’t the timeless earworm of a banger that their classic Respectable is, it isn’t too far behind. It also has a few similar sonic qualities unlike cuts from Patti Labelle or Pointer Sisters on this list, which cost the latter two an early exit in this rate; and the beat in Showing Out is unrelenting with the bop factor turned to the max with the amazing production on display here.

Showing Out came to be due to Pete Waterman (of Stock Aitken Waterman or SAW, famous for many of Kylie Minogue’s early hits among others) feeling the song he initially planned to be the girls’ debut ‘System’ (which got relegated to B-Side of the single release) was too soft and not representative of the girls’ big personalities. Showing Out was influenced by the ‘Chicago Garage House’ and was quite a successful debut for Mel & Kim, peaking at #3 in the UK and getting to #1 in @DominoDancing ’s homeland (apologies if I got that wrong) Germany.

Mel & Kim were a proper sister act born to British and Jamaican parents, and were predominantly active from the 1986-1989 period until Mel’s untimely death in 1990 to pneumonia (the chemotherapy she had for cancer weakened her immune system so much, a cold developed to pneumonia). They started by recording some demos as a duo, which got them signed with Supreme Records and Nick East (its president) put them in contact with SAW. The stunning girls had a few hits during their most active period and were also nominated for a Brit award in the Best British Breakthrough Act category. Kim had a bit of a solo career after Mel’s death, including two UK top 10 hits. The act still seems to have a fairly captive PopJustice following too, based on their thread in the Comeback Corner still being quite active recently with news of some remixes and demos from their imperial phase being released.

The untimely death of Mel makes this write-up a little hard as from the hits we did have from the girls, it is more than apparent they were destined for even more greatness and long term success. The material they had for an eventual second album (most used for Kim’s solo album) showed a great deal of talent and insight – life had other plans unfortunately but what we have to discuss is still very special.

What did PopJustice make of this bop?

Zar-unity (7) has given lots of 7s and he is losing a few in a row but this seems to have gotten a little deeper an analysis from him - Catchy and a bit quirky pop, but bizarre. Tech: 4 Taste: 3 = 7 points. I guess bizarre in the sense of timeless or difficult to replicate does make sense here… Kermit_The_Frog (9) obviously does not stan early Kylie it would seem… - First things first - I have a high-key hatred of Stock Aitken Waterman (I know), yet I make allowances for Dead Or Alive, Princess, Bananarama and… best of all… Mel & Kim. The songs are just as basic everything else on their label, yet Mel & Kim are true popstars and SELL THEM. Further Listening: Respectable

I am feeling really bad for Riiiiiiiii (9.8) who managed to go almost half the rate without losing a number that matters to him to losing three in a row! - I Remember listening over and over to this minimix Rex The Dog made for Annie Mac that started with Showing Out and ended with Respectable. Ever since I’m a big fan of both songs. I even have them on vinyl.

ComeOnGloria (5) is becoming quite the shady diva of the rate – watch out @Filippa! - Missed this when it was released... Can't say I'm sorry. Saviodxl (6.5) makes a very interesting comparison although I feel the vocals are stronger on one rather than the other, let’s guess which (make sure @Jeffo doesn't come for you!)! - It's like Paula Abdul became a duo. Filippa (7) is okay with this but not overly impressed - One of the SAW acts. They all sound a bit the same, but I like this tune.

Empty Shoebox (5) gives us #Empty_The_Frog realness with the similarities (or differences depending on how you read it) to another commentary - Ah yes, the Stock, Aitken, Waterman hit that doesn't sound like an SAW song. Never been a big fan of this. Probably because it doesn't go OFF and just feels like it's all buildup with no payoff. Poor Mel though. DominoDancing (7.5) is happy enough with this, much like Germany was - Sounds surprisingly "cool" for a SAW track. That little riff after every "Get Fresh at the Weekend" reminds me of something and I just can't seem to remember what it is.

Iheartpoptarts (8) enjoys this discovery I think! - They're a recent Ultimate Popstar discovery for me! Unnameable (10) - remember when mainstream pop was this good? Yes, do not get me started on a particular noughties song that outlasted this… DJHazey (9) is the key audience for SAW so yes, investigate! - There is some amazing production on this song, wowza. "It only takes a moment to feel alright" is also quite a little moment too.

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