“Back in My Arms Again” was the Supremes fifth number one in succession. I’m pretty sure they are the only American group, male or female to have done that. The only groups to have surpassed five straight number ones were the Beatles and the Bee Gees with six each and, of course, they are not American. Flo Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross were on a roll.
The song was written by the Motown writing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, who wrote most of what came out of Motown. In the mid-Sixties, there were two places that dominated American music, Liverpool and Detroit. The writers made sure that no one else could sing the song by putting the names of two of the Supremes right in the lyrics of the song. This was basically a marketing ploy to get the public to know the names of the individual girls, not just the name of the group. In fact, the picture sleeve for the single shows pictures of each member of the group with her name written right above her picture.
It is said that Motown was very instrumental in the Civil Rights movement of the mid-Sixties. The popularity of the black groups that sang for Motown helped America ignore the color line and just enjoy the music. It was after “Back in My Arms Again” hit number one that the Supremes were invited to play the Copacabana in Manhattan on July 29, 1965. This was a significant coup for a black group. The girls felt like they had finally made it.
“Back in My Arms Again” was actually recorded before their last hit, “Stop! In the Name of Love,” back on December 1, 1964. Both songs appear on the album More Hits By the Supremes, which was not released until July 23, 1965. The album went to number six on the Billboard 200 chart and two of the three singles released from the album reached number one. Unfortunately, the next song they released was “Nothing But Heartaches” and it only reached number eleven, breaking their number one streak, because the song after that, “I Hear a Symphony” put them back on top.
“Back in My Arms Again” entered the pop charts on March 8, 1965 and spent one week at number one.