Diana Ross is set to morph from frontwoman to bandmate in a new SUPREMES' GREATEST HITS CD - as Mary Wilson and FLORENCE BALLARD's vocals are given centre stage.

Universal Music, who own MOTOWN RECORDS' back catalogue, are re-working tracks from the STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE trio's chart-topping '60s career for a new disc, to be released to coincide with the 45th anniversary of Motown in May (04).

The new edition of the Greatest Hits is supposed to replace all previous versions of the former Supremes' Best Of collections, according to Fox News correspondent Roger Friedman.

On the previous editions of the discs, Ross' voice is always clearer and louder than Wilson's and Ballard's, however Universal's new release will ensure the less famous members of the group are heard clearly.

Universal engineer SUHA GUR says, "I kept saying, 'Why didn't they do this in the first place?' When we put them up and heard what the tracks sounded like."

Ross often recorded her vocals on a separate tape to Wilson's and Ballard's, as well the music being on different recordings too.

He explains, "Some people can't stand it because they weren't the original versions. A small percentage of hardcore fans have complained."

The Supremes were launched as a trio with equal billing, with Ballard often singing lead on many songs, although Ross was mainly at the forefront. In 1967 Ballard was replaced by CINDY BIRDSONG and the trio was renamed DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES. The singer quit the group for a successful solo career in 1969.

11/03/2004 16:56