I remember first hearing The Supremes‘ classic “Stop! In the Name of Love” in the 80’s, as a young man living in Boston. And I knew I liked it, but something told me I wasn’t supposed to like this song. To my young boy ears, this seemed like a song that only women should like, and it wouldn’t be cool for me to like it.
Even as I got older and my musical palette expanded, it would still be many years before I could admit to myself that it was okay to like this song. For some reason, perhaps having seen some modern performance of it or a video, I associated the song with disco, which was a genre that still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The diva reputation of Diana Ross also did little to sway me towards accepting the group into my musical oeuvre.
Earlier this week, founding Supreme Mary Wilson passed away, and it struck me that I had never given the group a fair shake. Despite having long since found a love and appreciation for vintage girl group pop, I realized I was still mentally banning the group from my listening for little to no reason. And so I dove in to some of their classic tracks, and of course, “Stop! In the Name of Love” still stood out to me as one of their strongest. The upbeat rhythms, charming guitars, and of course, the vocals that simply embrace your ears. Then there’s that chorus, which is so simple yet so powerful.
So take some time today to honor the work of Mary Wilson and her ground-breaking group and listen to this song and other’s by The Supremes.