Finally, The Temptations, one of the most popular singing groups of all time, perform the Motown classics they always loved but never had the chance to record. Putting a fresh spin on 15 of Motown's greatest songs, Reflections (New Door/UMe) will be released January 31, 2006. "Motown is the soundtrack of our lives," says Otis Williams. "These are songs we have always wanted to do, and now, happily, we have had a chance to do them." This is the 47th album of new recordings from the incomparable Temptations, their first album for New Door Records, a UMe label venture.
Forty-five years after forming in Detroit, The Temptations bring some of the most memorable songs in pop and R&B to life like no other group, adding their signature harmonies to these timeless classics. Forty-one years after the last time they issued an album with a similar theme (1965's The Temptations Sing Smokey), Reflections is a reflection of artists who were there when Motown made history. Otis Williams, the remaining founding member, actually observed the recording of The Supremes' original version of "Reflections." Temptation G.C. Cameron, once a member of The Spinners at
Motown, was also a frequent presence in the Hitsville studios.
Five tracks from "Reflections" are from the legendary Holland-Dozier-Holland writing and production team, with whom The Temptations didn't record much in the 1960s. On Reflections, The Temps pounce on the material with gusto: they put a haunting, modern R&B stamp on the title track (#2 for The Supremes in 1967); deliver a raucous rendition of "Can I Get A Witness" (Top 25 for Marvin Gaye in 1963), have fun with "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" (Top 10 for Gaye in 1965) and "This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)" (Top 15 for the Isley Brothers in 1966); and are in a melancholy mood in "I Hear A Symphony" (#1 for The Supremes in 1965).
The Temptations also tackle two songs that were hits for Gaye and Tammi Terrell: "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" (Top 10 Pop/#1 R&B in 1968), with guest vocals by Vann Johnson, and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (Top 20 Pop in 1967 and #1 Pop for Diana Ross in 1970). In addition, Reflections boasts their energetic take on "Ooo Baby Baby," the 1965 Pop Top 20 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles hit, as well as a pair of tracks first made famous in 1970 by the Jackson 5 - aching, sensuous versions of "Never Can Say Goodbye" (#1 R&B/#2 Pop) and "I'll Be There" (#1 Pop and R&B).
On "Refections", the Temptations also put their unmistakable stamp for the first time on "Don't Leave Me This Way," Thelma Houston's #1 disco anthem from 1977 (originally performed by Philly's Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Motown and Thelma made it a classic). Temptations Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks and Cameron trade off electrifying lead vocals on "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)," a 1973 R&B #1 from Gladys Knight & The Pips; and on "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted," originally a 1966 Top 10 Pop and R&B hit for Jimmy Ruffin, brother of former Temp David Ruffin.
One song they did previously record but as a duet with The Supremes in 1968 is "Try It Baby," which had been a Pop Top 20 for Gaye in 1964. Vann Johnson again guests on the track. Diana's 1970 Pop Top 20 "Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)" is the album's perfect closer, a song more and more relevant to our times. Eight of the album's tracks are produced by Steve "The Scotsman" Harvey (Bridgette McWilliams, Donnie, Everyday People) with the balance produced and arranged by Benjamin Wright (OutKast, Justin Timberlake, Destiny's Child, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson), both of whom have produced recent Temptations successes.
Click here to pick up on "Reflections"...
The book, "A Memoir: David Ruffin--My Temptation", authored by his former ("common-law") wife, Genna Sapia-Ruffin, weaves a riveting, heart-wrenching story of her life with the world-famous Temptations lead singer.
Here, for the first time, Sapia-Ruffin offers rare insight into the childhood, and other significant periods of the legendary Motown singer whose lead vocals on such enduring R & B hits as "My Girl", "I'm Losing You", "Since I Lost My Baby", "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", "I Wish It Would Rain" and many others, infused hope in the Black American Culture during the critical civil rights movement of the 1960's.
This 170 page, enhanced electronic version of the original critically acclaimed book, is a real bargain at just $15.00. It utilizes some of the multimedia/technology capabilities of the Adobe .pdf format, and the Internet. As such, it allows you, the reader, to "see, hear and read" the story (featuring many previously unpublished pictures and audio) as opposed to only being able to "read" the story.
Click here to download a free copy of a chapter from "A Memoir: David Ruffin--My Temptation" and also to purchase it.
WANT TO TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT????
Click here to download a free copy of chapter 2 from "A Memoir: David Ruffin--My Temptation"
|I guess this is where I draw the line in the sand. Garfield, Dr Temptation and the rest of you may as well call me a player hater, but after repeated listening to the Mighty Temptations new release 'Awesome' I am of the opinion that they should get right back in the studio, preferably with Joe, Gerald Levert, Smokey Robinson (wouldn't that be a kick) and Isaias Gamboa and get back to doing what they do best and thats "Sang". Awesome is not their best effort or material. The album sounds like a tune up for something great.
This album certainly isn't even near great. Frankly I would be surprised if this record isn't totally ignored by negro radio. Why the fellas would release this hodgepodge of mystery tunes is a mystery to me.
I cannot and will not recommend that anyone buy this album expecting to hear the Temptations that we have come to know and love in this era. I know that some of you have been very nice in your reviews of this album, but dam it I love these guys and if this is the way they return it they are gonna be out of business. Realistically there may be three moderate hits on this album (please note that I am being generous here) lets take them one at a time :
· HURT SO BAD ; nice little hook, mid tempo groove they start off sounding like Al Green, smooth cut.
· LADY: QUIET STORM SOUL, hook reminds me of someone else's song, sorry CRS has set in.(Bo & Terry)
· MY BABY: Bo jams this one another mid tempo cut, may make the top 50 err...100.
· SWEPT AWAY: sounds like this was recorded for the For Lovers Only CD, Ron does a nice job, good background vocals.
· THATS HOW HEARTACHES ARE MADE, yeah thats right the old soul standard is nice but not good as the Tempts could have made this, This record needs a remix and if released as a Stepper cut they will have a bonafide underground hit as with their recording of the Joneses.
· I WANT A LOVE I CAN SEE: this is just outright blasphemy, Paul should be rollin in his grave. They should have left this record alone. You cant take out that original killer piano and drums and make this song work, plus that sappy quasi DJ small talk from Otis is totally unnecessary.
· I FEEL GOOD ( so what, tune up for choir rehearsal, no more no less)
· AWESOME: this flat tune is the title track...(unreal)
· SO EASY ( naw brothers I aint feeling ya)
· FORGET ABOUT IT: (wish I could forget this album)
· RACE FOR YOUR HEART: why ? I'm sure it will still be beating after you listen to this cd.
Whew, now that I got that out of my system...
Let Me say that Phoenix Rising, Ear-re-sistable, and For Lovers Only all contain some of the best music the Temptations have produced in years, don't buy one, buy all three!
If you don't buy Awesome you haven't missed anything and that's a fact. Yes friends and neighbors I am sorely disappointed with my boys for releasing this stuff that deserves to be in the can. The Temptations are better than this and The Big O knows it. Phoenix Rising went Platinum and They got a Grammy for Ear-resistable, if they get anything for this record I will be the most surprised brother on the planet. Ok, now that I've had my vent on, this isn't the first time the Tempts have released a stinker, Bareback, Hear To Tempt you, Wings of Love, & Milestone immediately come to mind, lets just hope they dust themselves off, reshine their shoes, retool them vocal chords and do what they do best "The Temptations" Comments anyone ?
Karl The Player Hater
Yes, I realize this is a compilation album, but I have been sitting here for most of the week listening to this joint in my CD ROM player of my computer and I am prepared to say that this is a GREAT album!
It's the "David Ruffinless" Temptations going through their many personnel changes during the 1970's full of BADD AZZ SLOW JAMS and STANK FUNK, I mean that "stone cold southern FONK"
It's all digitally re-mastered, the sound is clean, and I can hear stuff in this mix, that I had NEVER heard before in these songs.
You interested in discovering or re-discovering some GREAT BLACK MUSIC FROM THE ANCIENT TO THE FUTURE"?
Check it out!
This album should be included in a time capsule of Soul Music....
1. BALL OF CONFUSION (THAT'S WHAT THE WORLD IS TODAY
This is one of the Temptations classic "message songs" this album doesn't include either "Cloud Nine" or "Message to a Black Man", but it's cool cuz "Ball of Confusion" is enough to give the uninitiated the feeling of 1970.
The messages here are about racism, vietnam and more.
There is a different mix here in this song than on the original, with a SERIOUS "blues harp" right out front.
2. PSYCHADELIC SHACK
"Hold it hold it.....listen"
-- Dennis Edwards
Well that's how I always thought this song started out, I never remembered a knock at the door previous to that line, but here in this mix it's there.
"Oh yeah, it's right around the corner, just across the tracks"
"They got music so LOW you can't get under it......they got music so HIGH you can't get over it"
Now I know that some of yall think that P-Funk originated that description for what FUNK music is, but they didn't, the Temptations did it, and they did it on this record!
How about this line...
"You can have your fortune told, you can learn the meaning of SOUL...."
"They got a cat there shoutin the BLUES, talking bout payin some dues..."
U want a definition of what FUNK music is?
(u could do worse than listening to this song for the answer to that question)
3. JUST MY IMAGINATION (RUNNING AWAY WITH ME)
The classic Eddie Kendricks slow jam that I have personally done many a grind to :)
Mick Jagger and the Stones did a WEAK AZZ remake of this song on the "Still Life" CD, that demonstrates what masters the Temptations are, Jagger/Stones should go and hide in a closet .
THIS IS A SONG THAT NOBODY COVERS
4. PAPA WAS A ROLLIN' STONE
This classic tale, is a FUNK ODYSEY in "Ghetto Family Relationships". Dennis Edwards and the Temptations in perfect group harmony.
I mean, these brothas even got the "hand claps" goin on in here...."
People keep trying to tell me that Doo Wop harmonies have NOTHING to do with FUNK music, ...
HELL THEY BETTA ASK SOMEBODY (cuz they DON'T know) and if they aren't convinced by "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", just let em listen to the MONSTER FUNK GROOVES of the next song, which is aptly titled.....
"Broken down homes, kids strung out, they don't even know what life's all about...."
"It's an EVERY DAY THING in the Ghetto...."
Now these MONSTER FUNK GROOVES are back with some SERIOUS DOO WOP HARMONY, combined with the telling of a story that just won't go away....
It's the story of Black people living in the ghetto
I remember the album cover for "Masterpiece", it had Mount Rushmore type photos of the Temps.
Very accurate indeed :)
6. HEY GIRL (I LIKE YOUR STYLE)
Richard Street takes over the lead here and this is one of those slow jams where when you are grinding, the words of the song actually work as a "get over type of rap".....lol
It's one of my favorite slow jams
7. A SONG FOR YOU
This song is practically a Dennis Edwards solo effort, and it never did much for me, as a matter of fact it puts me to sleep!
8. SHAKEY GROUND
More MONSTER PHUNK MUSIC from the mind of Norman Whitfield. I have always heard that 1/2 of P-Funk is playing on this song.....lol
Buddy Miles once told me that this song is s RIP OFF of "Them Changes" and that Berry Gordy owes him some money.
I can certainly hear similarities, but I'm not sure how much of a case Buddy would actually have on this one...
It's some sho nuff STANK stuff
9. STANDING ON THE TOP - (FEATURING RICK JAMES)
"Mo' FUNKY STUFF"...
When I saw Rick James a few years ago, he performed this song and when he introduced it, he talked about his relationship with the Temptations and how much he learned about the music business from them.
It's a great song about the rise and fall that stardom can often bring.
Too bad that Rick didn't closely enough to the words himself...
10. TREAT HER LIKE A LADY
Ali Woodson on lead here and although I like the song, I always thought this one was a mistake for the Temptations, because it makes them sound like the Whispers.
And to me, it's a mistake for the Temptations to drop down to that level :)
This song is now a classic, it's release was perfectly timed with the TV movie about the Temptations.
Great marketing of a "product" (the Temptations) not just a great Soul music group, but the one group that ultimately ALL Black male performers MUST come to terms with, if they want to be considered to be GREAT.
They are an American institution!!!
|NEW YORK--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Aug. 27, 1998--Thirty eight years after their inception, THE TEMPTATIONS are still making hits with their 56th career album. The new album, The Temptations Phoenix Rising, debuts this week at No. 10 on Billboard's R&B Album chart while the new song "Stay" hits No. 1 on Billboard Monitor's Urban/AC chart and R&R's Urban/AC chart. "Stay" boldly features a well-placed sample of the Temptations' classic "My Girl."
LOS ANGELES (BPI) _ TEMPTATIONS 101: There aren't many groups who could brag about having 56 albums under their belts _ these days most artists struggle just to make three.
But Otis Williams, the last original member of the Temptations, says it was possible because they have always been a ``working'' group. The group's new album, ``The Temptations Phoenix Rising,'' released by Motown Aug. 11, stands as a testament to those longstanding efforts _ and to the additional talents of Ron Tyson, Barrington Henderson, Terry Weeks, and Harry McGillberry. The point of the album's title, says Williams, is mostly to show that ``the Temps,'' even without original members Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and David Ruffin, will continue to put out quality music.
According to Williams, the first single, ``Stay,'' has been well-received. ``It's a very fine piece of work by Narada Michael Walden,'' says Williams. ``I told him it would be a hit.'' The album also features a remixed version by rapper John Forte. Overall, Williams says, the album is in keeping with the combination of romance and the think-about-it songs that the group always did. ``We wanted to keep in the type of music the Temps were noted for,'' he says. The group worked with a number of producers and songwriters for the project, including Walden, Daryl Simmons, Isaias Gamboa, Johnny Britt, and Arthur Marbury. Other noteworthy songs on the set include ``False Faces,'' ``He Hurt You,'' and ``This Is My Promise,'' a song that Williams notes could become the perfect wedding song. ``It's a heavy romance song,'' he says. Williams says he's a serious radio listener who is not tremendously impressed with what he hears. ``I say sometimes, `This is a sad state of affairs . . . it's come to this.' It's indicative of the times we live in. I'm from an era where good songs were written; they had great lyrical content and melody [that could be listened to] by all ages, from a 5-year-old to an 80-year-old,'' he says. Williams adds that a few songwriters, such as Kenneth ``Babyface'' Edmonds, Diane Warren, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, keep him hopeful. ``They keep the internal light of hope for radio [on], but it's kind of sad . . . after a while, the music [being played] has the same beat, and one artist sounds like another . . . It's one of the reasons why we keep on singing. ``The bottom line is that people still appreciate great songs if they are written and produced well,'' he says. Another reason a group like the Temptations is still around is their great performances. ``We never sang to tracks . . . [We feel that if] people spend their hard-earned money, we [should] perform like we should . . . When I hear an artist who is selling millions and singing to a track, they are cheating the audience . . .It's a bad state of affairs,'' he says.
Williams says he doubts many artists today want to work as hard as he and his contemporaries have done. ``We used to rehearse at 5 in the morning . . . A lot of artists don't want to put in that much dedication . . . Naturally we feel complimented by it, and we genuinely think many of them do [feel inspired], but they don't want to [work hard]. They want a quick fix . . . We have been able to work around that for 40 years . . . There aren't too many acts who can say they will be around for the new millennium. We will.'' Williams cites the work ethics of Cholly Atkins and Harvey Fuqua, who helped them achieve their legendary ``superstar'' status. ``Those guys would build an act . . . and we didn't have to worry about having a hit record to keep working,'' he says. Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, and the late Marvin Gaye are among the many artists Williams considers to be true singers. ``Marvin was one who could sing a melody . . .not riff all over the note . . . I'm a fan of the late Frank Sinatra. [Singers] need to listen to some of those guys to know. [Singers] have it confused. They moan and groan and hit one note with 4,000 runs. I sit and listen and learn. The ones who can really sing have trouble getting on playlists at radio.''
You KNOW I'm gonna be buying this one!
1. I Can't Get Next To You
2. Hey Jude
3. Don't Let The Joneses Get You Down
4. Message From A Black Man
5. It's Your Thing
1. Little Green Apples
2. You Don't Love Me No More
3. Sonce I've Lost You
4. Running Away (Ain't Gonna Help You)
5. That's The Way Love Is
break out of that "Motown mold" and get FONKY !!
It had a really cool album cover & for the first time we saw the Temp's without processes & suits.
Those boys were bustin out with thier fros', jumpsuits and applejacks !!
The only group I can think of today that is similar in style is New Edition.
I agree about the Temps being hard to beat, their concept of multiple lead singers is a rarity these days. Nowadays your lucky if there is ONE person in a group who can actually sing !!
Boyz To Men and New Edition of today...well, I love both of these groups...but there is no comparison yet...they have not yet withstood the test of time...the measure of a GREAT group...if they are still together and making hits in 10-15 years then they should get their due...until then they will remain unique in their own way as many others...I believe that the only group that can come close to the Temptations would be The Drifters who put out hit after hit for over 25 years...but there were 24 members of the group and several notable lead singers...however they had the same ingredient that the Temptations have...the ability to change their music to relate to the changing of time...as you mentioned in your note "Puzzle People" saw a change in the Temps...they had already changed one lead singer for another who was more adapted to the new type of music they were singing in keeping with the times...true, the afro was in...the process was out...By the way, I believe that "Cloud Nine" was the first album that pictures them without the process but the "natural" hair styles...
However "Cloud Nine" was actually the Temps first foray in to FUNK & that's why Dennis Edwards was the perfect choice to replace David Ruffin on lead !!
Remember "Runaway Child Runnin Wild" ??
One of my favorite Temp songs are Heavenly and Since I Lost My Baby. Not on that album unless of course. I don't have it but it sounds like it has great songs on it.
Don't let the Jones...... I bought this when it came out and was dissapointed with the LP...