Cover Versions

You Can’t Hurry Love

You Can’t Hurry Love

Song: You Can’t Hurry Love
Artist: Phil Collins
Original artists: The Supremes

It may come as something of a surprise to you to discover that You Can’t Hurry Love is
partially based on an old gospel song – (You Can’t Hurry God) He’s Right on Time.
Included in its lyrics are: “You can’t hurry God/you just have to wait/trust and give him
time/no matter how long it takes”.
The Supremes’ version of You Can’t Hurry Love was released in 1966. It was produced
by Holland-Dozier-Holland and made it to the top of the US charts. In the UK it peaked
at No 3.
The song was completed at the same time as You Keep Me Hangin’ On, but Motown
decided to release You Can’t Hurry Love first. Given the success of the two I guess it
didn’t make a whole lot of difference.
The Supremes’ version is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame permanent
collection of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Billboard listed the song at 19
in its 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.

Below is the only video I could find in colour of The Supremes singing the song. Note
that they had not become Diana Ross and the Supremes by this stage of their careers.
It’s taken from the Ed Sullivan show. Speaking of Sullivan, have you ever seen a more
miserable looking bloke on the TV? He looks like President Nixon after the word
Watergate was mentioned to him. Maybe people watched Sullivan just to make
themselves feel better.

Still with videos, there’s a bit of trickery on the official video of the Phil Collins version in
that it features himself as his two backing singers.
Collins’ rendition was released a good few years after The Supremes’ track – 16 years
to be exact. But Phil’s version enjoyed even greater success in the UK by topping the
charts. It was his first No 1 there as a solo artist. It also reached No 10 in the States.
The song was later certified gold in the UK.
I had the great good fortune to hear Collins perform this song live at the Royal Albert
Hall in 1985 just a few tracks after In the Air Tonight that features his famous drum solo.
A memorable night.

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