"I Hear a Symphony" is a 1965 song recorded by The Supremes for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown's main production team, Holland–Dozier–Holland, the song became the sixth number-one pop hit on Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the United States for two weeks from November 14, 1965 through November 27, 1965. On the UK pop chart, the single peaked at number thirty-nine.
The Supremes enjoyed a successful run of hits in 1964 through 1965, while their producers Holland–Dozier–Holland did their best to keep turning out hits. In mid-1965, the producers came to realize they had fallen into a rut when the Supremes' "Nothing but Heartaches" failed to make it to the Top Ten, missing it by just one position and breaking the string of number-one Supremes hits initiated with "Where Did Our Love Go." Motown chief Berry Gordy was displeased with the performance of "Nothing but Heartaches," and circulated a memo around the Motown offices that read as follows: “ We will release nothing less than Top Ten product on any artist; and because the Supremes' world-wide acceptance is greater than the other artists, on them we will only release number-one records. ” Holland-Dozier-Holland therefore set about breaking their formula and trying something new. The result was "I Hear a Symphony," a song with a more complex musical structure than previous Supremes releases. "Symphony" was released as a single in place of another Holland-Dozier-Holland Supremes song, "Mother Dear", which had been recorded in the same style as their earlier hits. "I Hear a Symphony", later issued on an album of the same name, became the Supremes' sixth number-one hit in the United States. After the number-five hit "My World Is Empty Without You" and the number-nine hit "Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart," the Supremes began a run of four more number-one hits: "You Can't Hurry Love," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone," and "The Happening." The group performed the hit song on The Mike Douglas Show on November 3, 1965.
- Diana Ross - Lead vocals
- Mary Wilson - Background vocals
- Florence Ballard - Background vocals
- The Funk Brothers - Instrumentation
|Chart (1965)||Peak Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||#1|
|U.S. Cashbox Hot 100||#1|
U.S. Billboard R&B
|U.K. Singles Chart||#39|