"Cream of the Crop" was released by Diana Ross and the Supremes in December 1969. It was the final regular Supremes album to feature lead singer Diana Ross.
The album was released after the release and rising success of the single "Someday We'll Be Together". The single "Someday" was originally to have been released as Ross' first single (Ross is backed on the recording by session singers Maxine and Julia Waters, not the Supremes). Motown chief Berry Gordy appended the Supremes billing to the single so as to create more publicity for Ross' exit from the group. The album includes covers of songs by The Beatles ("Hey Jude") and Bob Dylan ("Blowin' in the Wind"), also covered by Stevie Wonder. Since another Ross-led single or album had not been planned, "Cream of the Crop" was made up mostly of vaulted material. However, many songs such as those mentioned and "Shadows of Society" portend to a much more serious image for the group. "Love Child", the album was originally slated to be even more of a concept album where songs like "Shadows of Society", "The Young Folks" and the top 10 hit, "I'm Livin' in Shame" were examples of a new image turn for the group had Ross remained in the group.
The album's modest Billboard chart ranking at #33, though the album was certified gold, was as much a reflection on the company's forthcoming focus on Diana Ross' solo debut, as it was on the album's content of "second tier" songwriters.
Diana Ross & the Supremes - Cream of the Crop
U.K. Tamla Motown STML 11137 stereo (1969)
The vinyl attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.
Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.
Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.
The albums laminated flipback sleeve is in excellent condition with only minor signs of wear.
The original inner sleeve is excellently presented.