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Music / A Love Supreme

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An album supreme.

A Love Supreme is a 1965 studio album by John Coltrane, generally considered to be one of his greatest outings. It's some sort of a spiritual Concept Album, divided in a four part suite, broken upon the tracks "Acknowledgement," "Resolution," "Pursuance," and "Psalm." Compared to his previous albums, it also sold better.

The album manuscript is one of the National Museum of American History's "Treasures of American History," and part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Time Magazine included the album, in their 2006 list of 100 timeless and essential albums. It was listed at #47 in Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.



Side One

  1. Part 1: "Acknowledgment" (7:47)
  2. Part 2: "Resolution" (7:22)

Side Two

  1. Part 3: "Pursuance" (10:42)
  2. Part 4: "Psalm" (7:05)

The CD version adds a bonus CD with live tracks.


  • John Coltrane: tenor saxophone, vocals
  • Jimmy Garrison: double bass
  • Elvin Jones: drums
  • McCoy Tyner: piano

Supreme tropes:

  • Album Title Drop: None of the songs share the album's title. However, "Acknowledgement" ends with Coltrane putting down his sax and chanting "A love supreme, a love supreme..." into the mic.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Elvin Jones gets several solos on the album, and even when he isn't soloing he's packing a lot of power into his playing.
  • Concept Album: The album can be interpreted as a spiritual record, expresses the artists' deep gratitude towards spiritual higher powers for his talent.
  • Covers Always Lie: There's nothing in the title, nor the album cover that implies that the album will be a spiritual journey. Most people would probably think it's about a romantic love for a partner, though the more religiously inclined might guess it.
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  • Deliberately Monochrome: The album cover. Even the record label got into the act. Normally, Impulse used a black and orange color scheme for their albums' graphic design. However, for A Love Supreme, they went with a black and white scheme, visually signifying that they thought this album was important.
  • Face on the Cover: Coltrane's face in close-up.
  • One-Word Title: All the tracks consist of one abstract concept, summarized in one word.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Siamese Twin Songs: Some CD versions of the song combine "Pursuance" and "Psalm" into one track.
  • Soul Power: The album is a homage to spiritual energy gained from higher powers.
  • Thank the Maker: "A Love Supreme" expresses Coltrane's supreme love to higher powers. He had interest in Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism for several years, and this came out in this work.


Example of: