Stoned Love

Album: New Ways... but Love Stays (1970)
Charted: 3 7
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  • When Diana Ross left The Supremes in 1970, the group continued with Jean Terrell replacing Ross alongside Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong. Motown head Berry Gordy was much more interested in Ross' solo career, and pulled resources away from The Supremes. With Frank Wilson in charge of producing the group, they defied expectations and had a hit with "Up the Ladder to the Roof." They followed it up with "Stoned Love," which Wilson wrote with a 17-year-old songwriter named Kinney Thomas, who he heard on a talent show on the Detroit radio station WJLB. Wilson tracked down Thomas and asked him if he had any songs. Kinney played him "Stoned Love," and Wilson loved it. He recorded the track with an orchestra, and had The Supremes add their vocals in another session, with Terrell singing lead.
  • The Supremes' biggest hit without Diana Ross; it was a #1 R&B hit. It was also their last US Top 10 hit. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2
  • According to Kinney Thomas, who wrote this song, it has nothing to do with drugs. It's really about the social issues of the time, including the Vietnam War, and the need for compassion. "Stones are forever," said Thomas. "They don't break or come apart. Love will be here forever."

    Thomas wasn't unique in assigning an alternate meaning to the term "stoned." Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, and the Chi-Lites are some of the acts who have recorded songs with different meanings of the term.
  • The song's writer Kinney Thomas was credited on this track as "Yennik Samoht" (Thomas's first and last name spelled backwards respectively). This was something Stevie Wonder had done (credited as Eivets Rednow on his recording of "Alfie"), and Thomas also liked how it sounded a bit like the name of one of his favorite singers: Nina Simone.

Comments: 10

  • Bryan from New York CityJean Terrell, song the hell out of this song. This is my all time favorite song by the Supremes.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 1st 1970, "Stoned Love" by the Supremes entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #61; and six weeks later on December 13th, 1970 it peaked at #7 {for 2 weeks} and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    And a week after it reached #7 on the Top 100, on December 20th, 1970 it peaked at #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    It was the trio's 19th and last Top 10 record, with 12 of the 19 peaking at #1...
    They just missed having twenty Top 100 records when "Nothing But Heartaches" peaked at #11 in 1965; plus they also came close to having a thirteenth #1 hit but in 1967 "Reflections" stalled at #2 {for 2 weeks}.
  • Rotunda from Tulsa, Ok"Stoned Love" was the follow-up to the "surprise" hit "Up the Ladder To The Roof" in 1970. I recall that "Up The Ladder..." stayed on the charts a very long time & racked-up lots of sales. Then "Stoned Love" climbed the charts & hit #1 on the R&B charts which really pleased Supreme's fans. I've been a Supremes' fan since 1963. Yes, some people thought "Stoned Love" was about drugs, but then word spred that it was about love. I loved Jean Terrell's voice. While she sounded a bit like Ross, she had a finer, sweeter tone, yet was stronger in interpreting lyrics. In other words, she didn't sound like she was just reading words from the sheet-music! Ross sounded that way at times. I have two versions of this hit. One is in mono and the other is in stereo. Now, I cannot recall which version was the original release in 1970. But who cares??!! It's a great song. It's just a shame that Gordy shifted corporate resources away from The Supremes and toward Ross's career. A business move, I understand, but seems like a huge outfit like Motown was at the time could've supported both simultaneously. Still, the recording captures memories of the times thru the skills and talents of The Supremes!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyThe Supremes 1st release after the departure of Diana Ross was "UP THE LATTER TO THE ROOF", it peaked at #10 and stayed in the Top 100 for 11 weeks!!!
  • Michael from Chicago, IlCharles Terrell, a member of the 'Heavyweights' with Jean and Ernie, passed away April 15, 2009. The group was originally named (The)'Astronauts', and Charles soloed on a cover version of the Drifters' 'Under The Boardwalk'.
  • John from Nashville, TnThe Supremes were banned from performing this song on the David Frost show because the censors thought it was about drugs.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlEven though this was a major hit for the Supremes after Diana Ross left (#7), Motown did not want to release an album with the same title, thus this song was released from the album entitled "New Ways But Love Stays".
    ALSO, since this song was released in the heavy drug culture of the early 70s, most people assumed it was about getting stoned! Mary Wilson clarified in her second book, "Supreme Faith", that when this song was written, it was about a "solid love, faith in God, and love for your fellow man, not getting hooked on drugs".
  • Andre from The Bronx, NyI agree with "K"! Here SHE is.... "Miss Jean Terrell" as Diana Ross introduced her after the final concert of Diana Ross & The Supremes when Jean was brought out on The Frontier Hotel stage in Las Vegas for the audience to see. Jean's sports legend boxer brother had a music group known as Ernie & The Heavyweights of which Jean was the singer! - Dre
  • K from Seattle, WaSince Jean Terrell is still alive, I think it's correct to say she "is" female.
  • Marina from Seattle, WaSince Jean Terrell was female, I think it's correct to say she is the "sister" of Ernie Terrell.
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