The Supremes Stopped The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ From Reaching No. 1


“Yellow Submarine” has become one of the Beatles’ most famous songs. A song by The Supremes prevented the song from reaching No. 1 in the United States. Afterwards, one of The Supremes’ regular songwriters explained why the song represented a significant moment in the band’s career.

The Supremes | Archive by Michael Ochs/Getty Images

1 Gospel-Inspired Song Stopped The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” From Reaching No. 1

A trio known as Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote many of The Supreme’s songs. The trio consisted of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland. In his 2019 book How Sweet It Is: A Songwriter’s Thoughts on Music, Motown, and the Mystery of the MuseDozier explained the origin of The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

“The song was rooted in the gospel music that Brian and I grew up with, but had a contemporary twist that continued the development of the Supremes’ sound,” Dozier wrote. “The Supremes sang ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ on the Ed Sullivan show that summer wearing matching sparkly sequin dresses. They exuded confidence and charisma, and it was clear that ‘the Supremes girls’ had all grown up. The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hitsthe song prevented “Yellow Submarine” from reaching number 1.

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RELATED: George Harrison Said The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ Was ‘No Good’ But He Had A Theory Why It Was Popular

What Lamont Dozier Thought About The Supremes During ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ Era

In How sweet, Dozier recalled picking up The Supremes at an airport around the time they released “You Can’t Hurry Love.” “I remember they were coming down the ramp from the plane and they all had Chihuahuas,” he wrote. “Brian and I watched them with these ugly little dogs, and we started laughing at them strutting around and doing their star thing.”

In a way, this moment made Dozier happy. “At the same time, we had a real sense of pride,” he said. “When they got off that plane, they were glamorous superstars. It was far from a group of immature girls screaming at each other in the recording studio, and we felt gratified to have helped The Supremes to become one of the biggest bands in the world.

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RELATED: Paul McCartney began writing The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ in a mental ‘twilight zone’

How The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” And The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” Fared On The Charts

“You Can’t Hurry Love” became a huge hit. It remained at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, remaining on the chart for 13 weeks. He appeared on the album The Supremes A’ Go-Go. The album was No. 1 for two of its 60 weeks on the Billboard 200.

“Yellow Submarine” was also a hit, although not as popular in the United States. The song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, lasting nine weeks in total. The Beatles put “Yellow Submarine” on the album Revolver. The album topped the Billboard 200 for six of its 85 weeks on the chart.

“You Can’t Hurry Love” is a classic hit and it commercially surpassed a famous Beatles track.

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