Baby Love

Album: Where Did Our Love Go (1964)
Charted: 1 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote this innocent song about teenage love, which was one of 14 US Top 10 hits for The Supremes.

    Explaining how the trio wrote to NME in 1984, Lamont Dozier said: "I would collaborate with Eddie on lyrics and with Brian on melodies. Then Brian and I would go into the studio and produce the actual record although Eddie should have been put down as one of the producers because he helped teach the artists the tune when the lyric was finished."
  • According to Lamont Dozier, this song was about "my first love who I never really got over." Dozier says many of the songs he wrote with Motown were inspired by her.
  • This was the follow-up to "Where Did Our Love Go," The Supremes breakout hit and first #1 in America. That song mentions the word "baby" 68 times, so its fitting that their next single had that word in the title.

    "Baby Love" was released on September 17, 1964, while "Where Did Our Love Go" was still on the charts. Their next three singles, "Come See About Me," "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Back in My Arms Again" all reached the top spot. All five songs were written by the Holland-Dozier-Holland team.

    Berry Gordy required the songwriters to punch a clock when they came in and left for work at Motown, which is something he learned working for Ford. The H-D-H team was especially proficient, often completing two or three songs a day.
  • Diana Ross didn't have a huge voice, but she could "Oooooh" like no other, which she did on "Where Did Our Love Go." The first version of this song didn't have her oohing, so label head Berry Gordy sent the team back to the studio, where Ross did an extended "ooh-ooh-ooooh-oooooh" that kicked off her vocal.
  • The stomping percussion really did involve stomping, which was also done on "Where Did Our Love Go." Combined with hand claps and echo, it became a signature sound of early Supremes recordings.
  • Motown gave this song a big push in the UK, where The Supremes were sent to tour starting on October 7, 1964. On October 15, they performed the song on the popular program Top Of The Pops, and near the end of the tour made an appearance with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. On November 25, the song hit #1 on the UK chart, making The Supremes the first Motown group and the first girl group to reach #1 in that territory. It was their only UK #1, as the rest of their career was focused on America. Then second Motown act to hit #1 in the UK was The Four Tops with "Reach Out I'll Be There" in 1966.
  • Musicians on this track included Earl Van Dyke on piano, James Jamerson on bass and Jack Ashford on vibraphone.
  • This song received a Grammy nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording in 1965; it lost to Nancy Wilson's "How Glad I Am."
  • When this song went to #1 in the US, The Supremes became the first Motown act with two #1 hits. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This song appeared in the following movies:
    Glory Road (2006)
    Stepmom (1998)
    Jackie Brown (1997)
    The War (1994)
    Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
    Cooley High (1975)

    It was also used in the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210, Murphy Brown, Cold Case, Moonlighting and The Vampire Diaries.
  • A musician named Lorenzo Pack filed a lawsuit against Motown in 1966, claiming the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team based "Baby Love" on his 1962 song "I'm Afraid." Pack had little evidence to support his assertion, and Motown won the lawsuit. The testimony, however, revealed some insights on this song, as Brian Holland told the court: "When we write a song, we try to express real feelings about a real situation. In writing the song for The Supremes it was obvious that we were writing for pretty young girls, of whom one is the so-called lead singer. Therefore, in writing 'Baby Love,' we pictured a simple story about a girl whose boyfriend has left her and who loves him very dearly and who would like the boy to come back. The music fits this simple story."
  • In August of 1974, this song was reissued in Britain, where it reached UK #12. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 12

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaAs I recall that opening sound effect that sounds like footsteps actually was on of the Funks stepping on a board in the studio.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 18th 1964, the Supremes performed "Baby Love" and "Come See About Me" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'*...
    At the time the song was in its 4th and last week at #1 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    And "Come See About Me" was at #31; and twenty-five days later on December 13th, 1965 it would reached #1 {for 2 weeks}...
    * On the night of Nov. 18th, 1964 ABC-TV aired two half-hour episodes of 'Shindig!'; this one at 8:30 PM and then the 2nd episode at 9 PM {the show would expand to sixty minutes per episode in January 1965}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 27th 1964, "Baby Love" by the Supremes entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #51; and on October 25th, 1964 it peaked at #1 {for 4 weeks} and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    Was the 2nd of twelve #1 records by the trio on the Top 100; and was their biggest #1 week wise, none of their other #1s lasted more than 2 weeks in the top spot...
    They just missed having a thirteenth #1 record when "Reflections" peaked at #2 {for 2 weeks} on September 3rd, 1967 {the two weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Ode to Billie Joe" by Bobbi Gentry}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAs stated above this was their 2nd #1 record; but they didn't stop there, the next three singles they released all peaked at No. 1... {They were "Come See About Me" for two weeks, then "Stop!, In the Name of Love" for two weeks, and finally "Back in My Arms Again" for one week}
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlThe Supremes performed this song on a syndicated dance show called "Shivaree" back in 1965- they wore blue chiffon dresses while singing/dancing behind a crowd of teens.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlThis exact song was used in the opening credits for the 1975 American-International picture "Cooley High", starring Glynn Turman.
  • Alistair from Vancouver, Canadai like men
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhDiana Ross never liked the name 'Supremes,' but Motown insisted on it.

    Her sister Barbara became a physician and, ultimately, a prominent professor of medicine. She was the director of the medical school at Ohio University. She looks a bit like her famous sister.
  • Spencer from Los Angeles, CaWow, I just clicked random song fact because I was bored and it took me here. I was talking about the Supremes at school today.
  • Kamasu from Las Vegas, NeI've heard at least three versions of this Motown classic. One of them was the original, slower and more sad version, which Motown president Berry Gordy had the Supremes and HDH re-record to make it sound more "peppier," because he felt they were blowing a No. 1 Pop hit.
  • Natasha from Chico, CaThis song brings back good memories. My cousin and I sang this for karaoke twice, with hand movements and choreography and all, and everyone loved it!
  • Nicola from London, EnglandThis song is a great song to listen to
see more comments

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?

Billy Gould of Faith No MoreSongwriter Interviews

Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, chats to us about his two new experimental projects, The Talking Book and House of Hayduk, and also shares some stories from the FNM days.

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."