Oct 10, 2015

RhoDeo 1640 Grooves


Today the final Temptations  Known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy wardrobe, the group was highly influential to the evolution of R&B and soul music. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history. As of 2015, the Temptations continue to perform with one living original member, Otis Williams, still in the lineup.  ... N'joy

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Thanks to their fine-tuned choreography -- and even finer harmonies -- The Temptations became the definitive male vocal group of the 1960s; one of Motown's most elastic acts, they tackled both lush pop and politically charged funk with equal flair, and weathered a steady stream of changes in personnel and consumer tastes with rare dignity and grace. The Temptations' initial five-man lineup formed in Detroit in 1961 as a merger of two local vocal groups, the Primes and the Distants. Baritone Otis Williams, Elbridge (aka El, or Al) Bryant, and bass vocalist Melvin Franklin were longtime veterans of the Detroit music scene when they joined together in the Distants, who in 1959 recorded the single "Come On" for the local Northern label. Around the same time, the Primes, a trio comprised of tenor Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams (no relation to Otis), and Kell Osborne, relocated to the Motor City from their native Alabama; they quickly found success locally, and their manager even put together a girl group counterpart dubbed the Primettes. (Later, three of the Primettes -- Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard -- formed the Supremes).

In 1961, the Primes disbanded, but not before Otis Williams saw them perform live, where he was impressed both by Kendricks' vocal prowess and Paul Williams' choreography skills. Soon, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Bryant, Franklin, and Kendricks joined together as the Elgins; after a name change to The Temptations, they signed to the Motown subsidiary Miracle, where they released a handful of singles over the ensuing months. Only one, the 1962 effort "Dream Come True," achieved any commercial success, however, and in 1963, Bryant either resigned or was fired after physically attacking Paul Williams. the Tempts' fortunes changed dramatically in 1964 when they recruited tenor David Ruffin to replace Bryant; after entering the studio with writer/producer Smokey Robinson, they emerged with the pop smash "The Way You Do the Things You Do," the first in a series of 37 career Top Ten hits. With Robinson again at the helm, they returned in 1965 with their signature song, "My Girl," a number one pop and R&B hit; other Top 20 hits that year included "It's Growing," "Since I Lost My Baby," "Don't Look Back," and "My Baby."

In 1966, the Tempts recorded another Robinson hit, "Get Ready," before forgoing his smooth popcraft for the harder-edged soul of producers Norman Whitfield and Brian Holland. After spotlighting Kendricks on the smash "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," the group allowed Ruffin to take control over a string of hits including "Beauty's Only Skin Deep" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You." Beginning around 1967, Whitfield assumed full production control, and their records became ever rougher and more muscular, as typified by the 1968 success "I Wish It Would Rain." After Ruffin failed to appear at a 1968 live performance, the other four Tempts fired him; he was replaced by ex-Contour Dennis Edwards, whose less polished voice adapted perfectly to the psychedelic-influenced soul period the group entered following the success of the single "Cloud Nine." As the times changed, so did the group, and as the 1960s drew to a close, The Temptations' music became overtly political; in the wake of "Cloud Nine" -- its title a thinly veiled drug allegory -- came records like "Run Away Child, Running Wild," "Psychedelic Shack," and "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)."

After the chart-topping success of the gossamer ballad "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" in 1971, Kendricks exited for a solo career. Soon, Paul Williams left the group as well; long plagued by alcoholism and other personal demons, he was eventually discovered dead from a self-inflected gunshot wound on August 17, 1973, at the age of 34. In their stead, the remaining trio recruited tenors Damon Harris and Richard Street; after the 1971 hit "Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)," they returned in 1972 with the brilliant number one single "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." While the Tempts hit the charts regularly throughout 1973 with "Masterpiece," "Let Your Hair Down," and "The Plastic Man," their success as a pop act gradually dwindled as the '70s wore on. After Harris exited in 1975 (replaced by tenor Glenn Leonard), the group cut 1976's The Temptations Do the Temptations, their final album for Motown. With Louis Price taking over for Edwards, they signed to Atlantic, and attempted to reach the disco market with the LPs Bare Back and Hear to Tempt You.

After Edwards returned to the fold (resulting in Price's hasty exit), the Temptations re-entered the Motown stable, and scored a 1980 hit with "Power." In 1982, Ruffin and Kendricks returned for Reunion, which also included all five of the current Temptations; a tour followed, but problems with Motown, as well as personal differences, cut Ruffin's and Kendricks' tenures short. In the years that followed, The Temptations continued touring and recording, although by the '90s they were essentially an oldies act; only Otis Williams, who published his autobiography in 1988, remained from the original lineup. The intervening years were marked by tragedy: after touring in the late '80s with Kendricks and Edwards as a member of the "Tribute to the Temptations" package tour, Ruffin died on June 1, 1991, after overdosing on cocaine; he was 50 years old. On October 5, 1992, Kendricks died at the age of 52 of lung cancer, and on February 23, 1995, 52-year-old Franklin passed away after suffering a brain seizure.

In 1998, The Temptations returned with Phoenix Rising; that same year, their story was also the subject of a well-received NBC television mini-series. Ear-Resistable followed in the spring of 2000 and would win the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance the following year. In 2004, Legacy became their last album for Motown as 2006’s Reflections was released by New Door. The label also released their 2007 effort, Back to Front, which featured new recordings of soul classics from the '60s and '70s. After three years of touring the globe, they returned with Still Here, which was issued on the eve of their 50th anniversary.

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Struggling to rekindle the magic that kept them atop the charts, the group was, for the most part, missing in action on this album. Nonetheless, the five vocalists did hit the charts with the title track, "Power." The single is groomed around a poppin' bassline that's blended with Melvin Franklin's natural bass. Glenn Leonard, Dennis Edwards and Richard Street share lead on the single, which peaked at #11 on the Billboard R&B charts after 13 weeks. In spite of its ranking, the single is not as worthy as some of the group's other songs of comparable ranking. An honorable mention is "Isn't the Night Fantastic." With Richard Street out front, the Tempts groove their way through this inviting track. "Shadow of Your Love" has a tendency to deviate from its original feel, as do some of the other selections, but "Go For It," also a ballad, stays its course with Leonard on lead. The group's vocal skills remain keen.

The Temptations - Power  (flac 228mb)

01 Power 6:06
02 Struck By Lightning Twice 4:13
03 Isn't The Night Fantastic 4:15
04 How Can I Resist Your Love 3:53
05 Shadow Of Your Love 4:38
06 Can't You See Sweet Thing 6:07
07 Go For It 4:22
08 I'm Coming Home 4:08

The Temptations - Power  (ogg 95mb)

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The album that preceded this one (Back to Basics) introduced the group's new falsetto lead, Ron Tyson, who is also a remarkable tenor. To fill the departure of Dennis Edwards, this release introduces the electrifying vocals of Ali Ollie Woodson. As talented, competitive and competent as Edwards is, Woodson's sound is not only refreshing to fans of the Tempts, but to the music industry overall. The smash hit on this release was "Treat Her Like a Lady," a soulful, dance composition that entails some dazzling backgrounds led by Woodson's fiery approach to the melody and the ligthnening squeal of his trademark falsetto. The single was treated very well by the Billboard R&B charts, peaking at number two for two consecutive weeks after 21 thriving weeks. The title track, "Truly for You," retains much of that Temptations magic with its affectionate harp-like guitar rhythms, a romantic confession conveyed in a sincere tone and Ron Tyson's agile, flowing vocals that express the lyrics with honesty and grace. The single made its mark at number 14 on the Billboard R&B charts inside of 13 weeks.

The Temptations - Truly For You  (flac 248mb)

01 Running 3:28
02 Treat Her Like A Lady 4:40
03 How Can You Say That It's Over 6:05
04 My Love Is True (Truly For You) 6:08
05 Memories 4:39
06 Just To Keep You In My Life 4:23 0
07 Set Your Love Right 5:09
08 I'll Keep My Light In My Window 4:30

The Temptations - Truly For You  (ogg 91mb)

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This 18-track compilation contains Temptations B-sides, non-hit cuts and obscure sides recorded from 1963-1974. It includes such sumptuous ballads as "What Love Has Joined Together" and "Gonna Keep On Trying Till I Win Your Love," plus uptempo wailers and an occasional dud ("Stop The War Now"). The early tracks show the group evolving from its doo-wop roots into soul's premier group. While the cuts on this disc aren't the ones that made The Temptations popular music institutions, they're still a vital part of their legacy.

The Temptations - Hum Along And Dance  (flac 372mb)

01 I Want A Love I Can See
02 What Love Has Joined Together
03 You've Got To Earn It
04 No More Water In The Well
05 Ain't No Sun Since You've Been Gone
06 Gonna Give Her All The Love I Got
07 He Who Picks A Rose
08 Fan The Flame
09 Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me
10 Gonna Keep On Tryin' Until I Win Your Love
11 Hum Alaong And Dance
12 Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite The World)
13 It's Summer
14 Stop The War Now
15 Take A Look Around
16 The Plastic Men
17 Heavenly
18 You've Got My Soul On Fire On Fire

The Temptations - Hum Along And Dance  (ogg 141mb)

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1 comment:

Corey Bramlett said...

Thanks, The Temptations are great!