My World Is Empty Without You

Album: I Hear a Symphony (1966)
Charted: 5


  • Like many Supremes songs, this is a tale of heartache with an uptempo beat supplied by the legendary Motown session musicians known as the Funk Brothers. Sax player Henry Cosby has a prominent part, as does bass player James Jamerson.
  • This was written by the Motown songwriting team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, who were known collectively as Holland-Dozier-Holland.

    According to Lamont Dozier, the sacrifices he made to become a top songwriter at Motown cost him dearly in his personal life, which inspired this song. "When you have no one to share your good fortune with, it can be a very grim and lonely time," he said. "A lot of the sacrifice for this fame and fortune was made, including losing one of the loves of my life."
  • At the time, The Supremes were Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard, but Ross had emerged as the lead singer and focal point of the group. This didn't sit well with Ballard, who was on the outs with Motown head Berry Gordy. She didn't show up for the "My World Is Empty Without You" session and was replaced on the track by Marlene Barrow, who often backed The Four Tops. Gordy considered replacing Ballard with Barrow, but was talked out of it. Ballard lasted another year in the group before she was replaced with Cindy Birdsong.

    Most listeners can't tell that Ballard isn't on this track, which is partly because the backup vocals are low in the mix, emphasizing Diana Ross' lead.
  • This song came in the middle of a remarkable run of hits for The Supremes. Released as the follow-up to their sixth #1 US hit, "I Hear A Symphony," it kept their momentum going as they made a number of high-profile appearances on TV shows and played sets the the Copacabana in New York City. The group landed another six chart-toppers before Diana Ross went solo in 1970.
  • The Supremes performed this song on The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, February 20, 1966.
  • MC Lyte sampled this on her 1991 rap ballad "Georgy Porgy."

Comments: 6

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 27th 1966, the Supremes were the mystery guests on the CBS-TV quiz show 'What's My Line?'*...
    At the time the trio's "My World Is Empty Without You" was at #10 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the two previous weeks it was at #5 {See next post below}...
    The song was the trio's second of nine straight Top 10 records on the Top 100, four of the nine reached #1...
    * The 30 minute weekly 'live' show aired for 25 and a half years, and was initially titled 'Occupation Unknown'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAs stated above, on February 20th 1966, the Supremes performed "My World is Empty Without You" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    As the time the song was in its second week at #5 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, and that was also its peak position on the chart...
    It had entered the Top 100 on January 9th, 1966 and spent 11 weeks on the chart...
    On Billboard's R&B Singles chart it reached #10...
    Was track one of side two from the trio's eighth studio album, 'I Hear a Symphony', and the album peaked at #1 on Billboard's Top R&B Albums chart {#8 on the Top 200 Pop Albums chart}
    One other track from the album also made the Top 100; "I Hear a Symphony" reached #1 {for 2 weeks} on november 14th, 1965.
  • Markantney from Biloxi, MsJul 2014,

    Hmmm, seems MC Lyte sampled the group ToTo's hit "Georgy Porgy" on her rap hit "Georgy Porgy". She even uses the bridge(?) "Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry".
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlAccording to the DVD "Reflections: the definitive Supremes performances", Mary and Flo DEFINITELY are on this recording - their background vocals had been scaled down a bit to emphasize Diana's vocal.
  • Andre from The Bronx, Ny"My World Is Empty" could be considered Diana Ross's first solo song. When recorded it has been confirmed that Mary Wilson was on vacation and Florence was ill. That's why we only hear Diana. Only at the end of the infectious song we faintly hear two session background singers.
  • Tanya from La Verne, CaA classic song of love's woe
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