The polar opposite of the individualistic vision exemplified by Laura Nyro below, this late-period Supremes disco outing is a thoroughly corporate number; the group, after innumerable personnel changes and, at this point, containing only one original member, reduced to little more than a Brand Name. This state of affairs is unwittingly (if amusingly) alluded to by the literally faceless trio of figures on the front cover and the fact that, while producers, engineers, conga player, etc. are named, the singers are not.
All of which is not to say High Energy is bad. As suggested in the recent Supremes article, part of the charm of the venture is its very commercial contrivance. And with various Hollands and Doziers back manning production/songwriting duties and budgets obviously high, this was never going to be a dud. Certainly, “You’re What’s Missing In My Life”, “I’m Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking”, “Don’t Let My Teardrops Bother You” are all examples of really good mid-70s disco-soul and if Motown had called the band High Energy (or something) instead of the album, they would have been seen more fairly in the continuum of the Supremes, with their orchestral filigrees and spoken love tokens, instead of in the parent band’s shadow.
A second Lp (and on relatively heavy vinyl) from Age UK this a.m., where I skipped on a good looking Nina and Friedrik album despite its being on Atco. I simply didn’t have the heart.