THE TEMPTATIONS SET THE BAR HIGH FOR MOTOWN VOCAL GROUPS (AND SOUL AND R&B MUSIC IN GENERAL) THANKS TO SNAPPY STAGE MOVES AND ELEGANT HARMONIES. (taken from the Rock Hall website, links can be found in the descriptions under the pictures)
- 5 – I could never love another (off the 1968 The Temptations wish it would rain album) From the first screams of David Ruffin’s falsetto the song takes us on a bumpy love story that has all the elements of the original Temptations sound. Blue’s bass line, Otis leading the rest of the men on the chorus line and taking us through that sweet Motown sound. The Temps have that du op sound but add rhythm and soul to it like no other especially on this ballad of a love song. You can hear the pain and passion from Ruffin and the backing band just takes you on a journey of love and progression. The words couldn’t be truer coming from this era of music and the group makes us believe that with every note.
- 4 – I want a love I can see (off the 1963 meet the temptations album) The scrapping sound at the beginning of the track helps to ease in those Paul Williams vocals, and from there we are transported right into “Hitsville USA”. The sound of Willams voice is dominant and smooth, loud but calming at the same time. It’s like the opening track of any 1970’s love story. A symphony of voices comes and you can just tell its the Temps in the back just giving it their all. Every corner of the song gives you something you didn’t know you needed in a Temptations song. The funk brothers help to bring this song light in a sad tunnel and they both gel incredibly well.
- 3 – Beauty is only skin deep (this 1964 single) The big band themed song is filled with sax, chimes and the voice of David Ruffin. His sharp notes tell the story of what really matters when looking for love. The Temps do what they were born to and tie it all together on the chorus and the sharp trumpet sounds try to keep up with the Ruffin vocals and the Funk brothers just jam while the group sings their hearts out. This is early Temptations and the group sounds aged like fine wine the whole time the track runs. What you really pick up on in this song is how well they mesh together, each of the roles defined and each part plays a pivotal role in making this song sound the way it does.
- 2 – I wish it would rain (off the 1968 The Temptations wish it would rain album) The song is calm and down unlike most Temptations music and you can hear what they were trying to achieve with every note and beat. The choir type backing voices of the Temps help glide Ruffin’s voice on a cloud filled with rain. The song is very lyrical and makes you realize that the song speaks too much truth to ignore that somedays you truly do wish that it would rain. The piano plays a little ballad before Ruffin even begins to sing, and the hums set the scene for this honest love tragedy.
- Just my imagination (off the 1971 Sky’s the limit album) When you listen to a song for the first time you never know what your gonna get, and when you mix that theory with the music of the Temptations you understand that any song can be really wants to be. This ballad of love and pain persuade the listener to stop and think in this fast paced world. As Otis calls this “Eddies finest moment” he is correct but it is also the groups finest. From the out of nowhere Paul Williams line to the surprise ending that the women he loves doesn’t even know who is. This song is what the Temptations were to the world a day dream, whoever could have thought a group of nobodies from Detroit could be as good as them. And this song severs as a testament to them, they nail it all on this track. The full orchestra pulls the strings at the right moments and fills in any pieces that you think might be missing. Eddie does what he was there to do and just lays his voice on you every step of the way. Though this was the last track to feature Paul and Eddie it is ours to cherish forever.