Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart

Album: The Supremes A' Go-Go (1966)
Charted: 9
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Songfacts®:

  • The Supremes had a "burning, yearning feelin'" inside them on their first hit, "Where Did Our Love Go." In this song, they've "been bit by the love bug," causing an itch in their hearts that drives them crazy in every way, shape and form because there's no way to scratch it. Both of these symptom-based songs were written by the Motown team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, the trio responsible for most of the group's output.
  • The lyrics border on parody, but Eddie Holland insisted they were grounded in real heartbreak, as both he and his brother Brian were going through some "heavy s--t" in their personal lives at the time. "The lyrics were coming from two broken hearts," he said. "Love isn't only yearning and burning in the heart, it's an itching that you can't make go away - it taunts you."

    He said the song is about "completely hopeless frustration."
  • This song was recorded in 1965 but was not released until a year later. Unlike most of the Supremes' hits which had light and airy feelings and were pop-styled, this song has a sound that had a more soulful and brassy feeling that was usually heard in the hits of Martha & the Vandellas and the Four Tops (interestingly, Martha & the Vandellas had a hit one year later that sounded more like a Supremes song: "Jimmy Mack").
  • The music was played by Motown session musicians called the Funk Brothers. Out front in the mix on this track is the piano by Earl Van Dyke and bass by James Jamerson. Mike Terry did the saxophone solo. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
  • Released as a single with "He's All I Got" on the B-side, this song underperformed by Supremes standards, peaking at #9 in the US. They were one of the hottest acts in America, with six #1 hits under their belt. Their next single, "You Can't Hurry Love," returned them to their chart-topping ways, starting a run of four consecutive #1 hits.

    Not everyone shared this success equally: the group had little control of their finances and Motown head Berry Gordy was grooming lead singer Diana Ross for a solo career. Mary Wilson put up with it but Florence Ballard had a rough go, butting heads with Gordy and suffering a number of health problems. She left the group a year later.

Comments: 11

  • Jerro from Delmont, PaCan you imagine the music videos that could've been made for the Supremes' songs if MTV and VH1 had existed during the late 1950s onward? I recently came up with a brilliant but crazy idea for a video, so try to imagine the following...

    The Supremes play patients in an asylum and they're in a room with many other patients, some of whom are in straitjackets. Diana steps up on top of a table, and Mary and Flo join her immediately after. They perform this song for all the patients who start dancing right away. The doctors and nurses who oversee the room order them all to stop singing and dancing; but eventually, they start dancing to the song along with the patients. ;)
  • Jerro from Delmont, PaI became a huge fan of the Supremes after I turned 11. At the time, I listened to a radio station in Pittsburgh called 3WS which specialised in oldies music at the time whenever I was in the car with my folks. After becoming a fan and hearing so many of their hits on the radio, I learned that this song was a Top 10 hit on the Pop charts but wondered why the title was unfamiliar. Not too long after, I listened to 3WS one day and this song came on! It was then that I realised that I had heard this song many times before but never knew what the title was beforehand! ;)
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny"Love is Like an Itching In My Heart" was track one of side one in the trio's ninth studio album, 'The Supremes A' Go-Go', and on October 22nd, 1966 the album peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, thus becoming the first album by a all-female group to reach #1 on the Top 200 Albums chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 1st 1966, the Supremes performed "Love is Like an Itching In My Heart" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    One week earlier on April 24th, 1966 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #62; and on May 22nd it peaked at #9 (for 1 week) and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #7 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    The trio's next four releases all peaked at #1; started with "You Can't Hurry Love", "You Keep Me Hangin' On", "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone", and finally "The Happening"...
    R.I.P. Mr. Ballard (1943 - 1976) and Mr. Sullivan (1901 - 1974).
  • Randy from Fayettevile, ArBack in 1966 this was a big hit for The Supremes, even though it didn't hit #1 as most of their singles did. It was a really good song to dance to because of the heavy beat and the rhythm. The horns accentuated the beat very well. And it sounded like someone was whipping tire chains on the floor. Wild! This single was much more raw & gritty than the usual Supremes' material & hits to that point and proved they could really rock it up. Actually, I always thought it sounded like something Martha & The Vandellas would release. In other words, a powerful R&B rocker!
  • Elmer H from Westville, OkMercy! The Supremes were "cooking" when this hit climbed the charts in '66. Those DRIVING DRUMS were just awesome. I still love this song because it's so raw & downright nasty that ya just cannot keep from dancing to it. Yep, it was a jukebox favorite when I was in college. I recall that most of the college bars in Lawrence, Kansas had this on their jukeboxes & it got the dudes & the dudettes to rocking & a-rolling. Everything about this hit was perfect------the Supremes, the drums, the brass, the beat, & the arrangement.
  • Guy from Montréal, QcI loved that record back in 1966 and I still do but I always thought there was something a little weird about it. In fact, that tune was ten years ahead of its time. I was surprised nobody made a cover of it during the disco years.
  • John from Nashville, TnThe four-on-the-floor beat of this record predates disco.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlOnce the intro comes on, its very hard to sit still-Great dance tune!!
  • Andre from The Bronx, NyDiana delivers!! This H-D-H song is a non-stop rock 'n' soul sensation from beginning to end. Like the song says, it's "burnin'"!! A real face-paced everybody-dance hit song. -- Dre
  • Tanya from La Verne, CaA very cute tune by one of the best girl groups!
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