My Legends of Pop Music – Part Twenty-Three – The Temptations

If get this right, there will be many cover versions by future bands. I shall try and link live versions if they exist from the tellybox or a film, the sound quality may not be the best, but there is nothing like watching a real talent live.

So, in a sort of chronological order, my twenty third legends are: The Temptations

Curtesy of Wiki:

The featured song My Girl was when I first realised what super tunes this group did.  Often played at the youth club I attended, but that was a lot of years ago!  You often hear some of their songs on the radio, they really do bring back memories, and I think for me, all happy ones.  I hope it is the same for you.

The Temptations are an American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single “Cloud Nine” in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.

Featuring five male vocalists and dancers (save for brief periods with fewer or more members), the group formed in 1960 in Detroit under the name the Elgins. The founding members came from two rival Detroit vocal groups: Otis Williams, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, and Melvin Franklin of Otis Williams & the Distants, and Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams of the Primes. In 1964, Bryant was replaced by David Ruffin, who was the lead vocalist on a number of the group’s biggest hits, including “My Girl” (1964), “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (1966), and “I Wish It Would Rain” (1967) Ruffin was replaced in 1968 by Dennis Edwards, with whom the group continued to record hit records such as “Cloud Nine” (1969) and “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)” (1970). The group’s lineup has changed frequently since the departures of Kendricks and Paul Williams from the act in 1971. Later members of the group have included singers such as Richard StreetDamon Harris, Ron Tyson, and Ali-Ollie Woodson, with whom the group scored a late-period hit in 1984 with “Treat Her Like a Lady” and in 1987 with the theme song for the children’s movement program Kids in Motion.

Over the course of their career, the Temptations released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and fourteen R&B number-one singles. Their music has earned three Grammy Awards. The Temptations were the first Motown recording act to win a Grammy Award – for “Cloud Nine” in 1969[6] – and in 2013 received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Six of the Temptations (Edwards, Franklin, Kendricks, Ruffin, Otis Williams and Paul Williams) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Three classic Temptations songs, “My Girl”, “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)“, and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone“, are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The Temptations were ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

As of 2021, the Temptations continue to perform with founder Otis Williams in the line-up (Williams owns the rights to the Temptations name).

A full discography is here: – The Temptations

The Temptations used to call themselves The Primes, a group of girls joined them, and they changed the name to The Primettes, then they split, and the boys become The Temptations and the girls became The Supremes.  How good is that!

The Way You Do the Things You Do (Diana Ross & The Temptations) – Glad I found this version with Diana Ross.

Paradise – Not released in the UK, but a nice be-bop type tune.

The Way You Do The Things You Do – From 1965, typical Motown song, really, really good.

It’s Growing – Again not released in the UK, but here they are introduced by the wonderful Dusty Springfield in 1964.

You’ve Got To Earn It – Could not find a love version, great tune.  Again, not released in the UK, so for some of you may be a first for you.

Don’t Look Back  – Lead vocals by the late and great Paul Williams Sr. From 1964

The Temptations, Smokey Robinson – Get Ready (Live) – Smokey wrote some songs for them and was a big friend of the group.  You will know this one.

Ain’t too proud to beg – Live performance from 1966

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep – Singing lead is the great David Ruffin backed by the equally great Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams and Eddie Kendricks in 1966.

You’re My EveryThing – David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks sharing lead vocals. Lovely song.

I Wish It Would Rain – Not a big hit in the UK, but I do like David Ruffin on lead vocals in this.

Cloud Nine – You will know this one.  Here they are live from 1983.

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me –  Live on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Song probably best known for when Diana Ross covered it, but the lead vocals from Eddie Hendricks is something special.

I Second That Emotion – Diana Ross and The Supremes with The Temptations, reaming up again.  Could not find a live version but this is good quality.

Can’t Get Next To You – Live TOTP 1970 – love this.

Ball Of Confusion (Live) – Release just over 50 years ago.  As fresh now as it was then.

Treat Her Like A Lady – here they are in 1984

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone –  1972 (Reelin’ In The Years Archives) – If you watch the 4 hour mini series “The Temptation”, this is a very poignant moment with papa dying on the 3rd September.

I finish my list with an all-time favourite which is:

The Temptations – Just My Imagination – Later… with Jools Holland – BBC Two in 2016- Awesome vocals.

As a special treat, if you have not already seen the 4 hour long mini-series The Temptations I have linked the you-tube version here:  The Temptations FULL MOVIE – Much better quality if you find it on Kodi.

Singalong, enjoy and be happy!

Links to previous Legend articles:

1-Buddy Holly 2-Elvis Presley 3-Everly brothers 4-Cliff Richard 5-Joe Brown
6-Gerry and the Pacemakers 7-Roy Orbison 8-The Seekers 9-The Hollies 10-The Rolling Stones
11-Beach Boys 12-The Monkees 13-Rod Stewart 14-T-Rex 15-Slade
16-10CC 17-Pussycat 18-The Kinks 19-Blondie 20-Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music
21-David Bowie 22-Meatloaf 23-The Temptations

Featured Image: “temptations, togather again,” by badgreeb RECORDS – art -photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
© Phil the ex test manager 2021

© Phil the ex test manager 2021