ARTIST: The Temptations
TITLE: The Temptations Anthology
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #65 US, #5 US R&B (That was the first vinyl version released in 1973. They upgraded it twice since then…)
SINGLES: Top 10 US: My Girl (#1 US, #1 US R&B, #43 UK), Beauty Is Only Skin Deep (#3 US, #1 US R&B, #18 UK), (I Know) I’m Losing You (#8 US, #1 US R&B, #19 UK), All I Need (#8 US, #2 US R&B), You’re My Everything (#6 US, #3 US R&B, #26 UK), I Wish It Would Rain (#4 US, #1 US R&B, #45 UK), Cloud Nine (#6 US, #2 US R&B, #15 UK), I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (#2 US, #2 US R&B, #3 UK), Runaway Child, Running Wild (#6 US, #1 US R&B), I Can’t Get Next to You (#1 US, #1 US R&B, #13 UK), Psychedelic Shack (#7 US, #2 US R&B, #33 UK), Ball of Confusion (#3 US, #2 US R&B, #7 UK), Just My Imagination (#1 US, #1 US R&B, #8 UK), Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone (#1 US, #5 US R&B, #14 UK), Masterpiece (#7 US, #1 US R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Believe it or not, these didn’t hit the Top 10: The Way You Do The Things You Do (#11 US, #1 US R&B), Ain’t Too Proud to Beg (#13 US, #1 US R&B, #21 UK), Get Ready (#29 US, #1 US R&B, #10 UK)
LINEUP: David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin. Dennis Edwards replaced Ruffin in 1968. Richard Street replaced Paul Williams in 1971. Damon Harris replaced Kendricks in 1971. The Funk Brothers did most of the session work.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The most famous male Motown vocal groups collection of hit singles going all the way to 1996, but most all were done before 1976.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Look at all the hits this group produced. First, for Smokey Robinson, then for Norman Whitfield. The Temptations were a gold mine for Motown records, almost as much as the Supremes were. This anthology collects almost all of the relevant A sides, some B sides and some album cuts from their classic era and a little beyond.
It does miss their embryonic singles, as only one of the first seven charted on the R&B chart and another charted at #122. But that’s not why you listen to the Temptations.
Hearing the early to middle cuts all in a row, you get a sense of how cookie-cutter and alike many of the songs are, especially until David Ruffin starts getting some leads. That was Motown until the late 60’s though. Get the good material out there as a single and don’t screw with the formula. They didn’t.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: I am going to review the albums in the “Psychedelic Soul” era as I think Norman Whitfield may have produced some interesting gems there.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: This is plenty for casual fans!
GRADE: A: What’s interesting to do for the songs you know by heart is to listen to the backing tracks closely to hear the magic of the Funk Brothers.