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I Hear a Symphony (Expanded Edition)

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 9, 2012
$49.95 $41.99

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Editorial Reviews

In our continuing series of reissued and expanded Motown albums comes another 2-CD edition of a Supremes classic: I Hear A Symphony, a top ten Pop album and No. 1 R&B chart album in 1965. The limited edition set includes the original mono and stereo editions of the album with the TRUE stereo version of the LP available for the first time ever on CD that feature the smash hits I Hear A Symphony and My World Is Empty Without You, as well as the standards Stranger In Paradise and With A Song In My Heart ; and covers of the Beatles Yesterday, the Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody and the Toys A Lover's Concerto. (Fans will note that the mono edition of the album features alternate vocals of the better-known stereo LP.) Then there are the amazing bonus tracks...
I Hear A Symphony: Expanded Edition contains several more extra goodies: alternate vocals and extended mixes, and an additional song All Of A Sudden (My Heart Sings), recorded for but not included on the original album. Disc Two contains a complete and spectacular unreleased live show recorded at Detroit's famed Roostertail. The September 1966 performance features seven songs from I Hear A Symphony; full versions of Supremes hits Stop! In The Name Of Love, Back In My Arms Again and Come See About Me, among others; plus more standards, among them their show-stoppers Somewhere, You re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You and People, which has lead vocals by all three Supremes: Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson.
Rounding the set out is a beautiful 20-page booklet with rare and never-before-seen photos, an essay by reissue co-producer George Solomon and the continuing Supremes timeline by co-producer Andrew Skurow.
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Digital Booklet: I Hear A Symphony: Expanded Edition
Digital Booklet: I Hear A Symphony: Expanded Edition
Album Only
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Hip-O Select
  • ASIN: B00975L576
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,621 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ignore all the pre-October 2012 reviews. This is a brand-new, two disc, remastered expanded edition of the 1966 "I Hear a Symphony" album. Disc 1 contains the original mono album, plus a stereo version (so both the mono and stereo purists will find satisfaction). On the original stereo album, many of the tracks were actually mono recordings. In 2009, producers found an alternate 1966 stereo master, and this was used for most of the stereo versions on this set.

The stereo versions are dazzling, with a broader, more expansive sound. The back-up vocals are crystal clear and more evident. "He's All I Got" is outstanding (and those who love this song will be treated to a few extra seconds at the end).

Disc 1 concludes with 2012 mixes of "All of a Sudden My Heart Sings", "I Hear a Symphony", and "My World Is Empty Without You". This version of "I Hear a Symphony" starts with an orchestral flourish and extends the song by more than a minute, and features a substantially different lead vocal. This "My World Is Empty" is also expanded by almost a minute, and Flo and Mary are bumped way up in the mix. You can hear samples of these (plus all the cuts) on the amazon MP3 site for this album; click on the "MP3 Music, 50 songs, 2012" link under Formats, above.

Disc 2 contains alternate versions of "A Lover's Concerto", "Unchained Melody, and "Wonderful, Wonderful". The remainder of Disc 2 is a live recording from a September 1966 appearance at The Roostertail in Detroit. I love this. To me, the sound is much better than the Copa recording. There is a lot of banter, assorted Motown acts are recognized in the audience, and Flo and Mary fans will love hearing "People".

This is probably a set that will only appeal to die-hard Supremes fans, but I am one and I'm in heaven!
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as there are already so many excellent reviews on this expanded edition of 'ihas', and i always tend to write too much, anyway, i feel i ought to give you the essence of my review first:

hip-o has done it again! this 2cd-set is a must-have for any supremes fan. The sound is a marvel. The mono version sounds better than ever, and the new, never-before-released stereo takes are truly revealing. you have never heard it this way before, i guarantee you! the included live show from the roostertail is absolutely fantastic, and imo superior to the copa set. and the new, extended mixes of the title song and 'my world is empty without you' are worth the money alone! even if you don't like the standard-heavy concept of the album, the superb h-d-h- songs included here more than make up for it! A set that has 'he's all i got', 'everything is good about you', or the classics mentioned above can't be too bad, really! and one more thing you should know:
this edition is limited to only 2000 copies, which i find rather strange, because all prior hip-o releases on the supremes made at least 5.000 copies available. 'wdolg' was limited to 10.000 copies, and nonetheless has been sold out for years now.be prepared this will disappear from the market soon. so don't read any further and hurry to get it!*

or get it first and then go on reading: despite his ambition to establish the supremes in the lucrative mor market, back in 1965 berry gordy seemed reluctant to release a full studio album with standard songs on his most popular act. 'there's a place for us' remained in the vaults for 40 years, while two similar projects('tribute to the girls' and 'around the world with the supremes')didn't materialize at all.
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I wasnt a big fan of the original I HEAR A SYMPHONY lp. However, being a big fan of The Supremes early work, I purchased the lp nonetheless...preferring the HDH productions over the 'easy listening' tracks.

That said , I'm loving the expanded version recently released and here's why:

* per usual with these expanded versions , its STUFFED with previously unreleased material

* The new/extended version of I HEAR A SYMPHONY is AMAZING and, in my opinion, should've been released that way

* We finally get a stereo version of the original tracks

* many of the tunes we've becomne familar with over the years now have extended endings

* The LIVE @ THE ROOSTERTAIL show ( disc 2) has Mary and Florence's vocals mixed WAYYYYYYYY up front ~ Flo's soprano notes are clear as a bell as well as her sassy ad-libs

* The enclosed booklet is beautifully written (nods to George Soloman) and nicely ties into the previous timeline of the other expanded editions

Needless to say , if your a diehard supremes fan or just someone who likes good music, dont miss I HEAR A SYMPHONY /EXPANDED !!
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When The Supremes released their sixth #1 single, "I Hear a Symphony", there was a sense that not only had they grown by leaps and bounds......but, to a level of grace and sophistication. It was already clear that they were more than a hit single group. They had wisely released a series of themed albums like "A Bit of Liverpool", "We Remember Sam Cooke" and "Sings Country, Western & Pop" that were successful and not reliant on a hit single in order to be so. "A Bit of Liverpool" went platinum and was just shy of the Top 20, whilst "We Remember Sam Cooke" hit the Top 5 of the R&B Album chart. As a very much declared hardcore fan of the girls by then, "I Hear a Symphony" was a shining moment of deep pride. I just knew they were more than ever, the best female group in the world. They competed with The Beatles on being prolific from 1964-66. The British Invasion had definitely hit these shores. But The Supremes would prove to be great Ambassadors around the world on our behalf.
In 1966, The Supremes were still straddling the line from being a teen sensation to widening their fanbase to include an even older audience. "I Hear a Symphony" is where the desire to be successful to both audiences would come to fore. Beginning with songs like "With a Song in My Heart" to "Stranger in Paradise" that sequenced seamlessly with the #1, title track "I Hear a Symphony" as they were all lush, dripping in symphonic violins and angelic voices.
The Motown Sound was definitely maturing, probably best demonstrated again by the singles, the aforementioned "I Hear a Symphony" to the hauntingly beautiful, melancholy,"My World is Empty Without You". The five previous #1 singles were all classic Motown with The Funk Bros at the top of their game. But, here was a turning point.
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