Diana Reid Haig (Compilation); Gary E. Mansfield (Compilation)
Number of Discs
29m : 36s
Album Notes and Credits
All songs written or co-written by William Robinson or Norman Whitfield except "I'm Ready For Love" (Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland, Jr.), "Paradise" (Berry Gordy) and "I've Passed This Way Before" (William Weatherspoon/James Dean).
This is part of ESX Entertainment's Motown Legends series.
The Motown Legends series are all compact, tight packages, and this ten-song compilation of Temptations sides is no exception. The tunes range from the pre-David Ruffin era to songs from the I Wish It Would Rain LP. Al Bryant sang with the Temptations when they cut "Paradise," a '50s-sounding number led by a young full-throated Eddie Kendricks doing a Frankie Valli imitation in his most hysterical falsetto. It begins with Melvin Franklin's deep bass and features some thumping harmonies. Fans unfamiliar with the pre-"The Way You Do the Things You Do" Temptations will be surprised at the sound. On "Two Sides to Love," Kendricks is more relaxed; the beautiful ballad was one of the more popular songs on the With a Lot of Soul album. The late Paul Williams' definitive lead on "Don't Look Back" is as eloquent as ever. Williams sounds like an elder instructing a youth on the perils of love. Richard Street leads a driving rendition of Gladys Knight & the Pips' "The End of Our Road" that nearly rivals the original. Ruffin shines on "I Know (I'm Losing You,") an uptempo monster that begins with a killer Cornelius Grant guitar riff that grabs you from the get-go. His rendition of "I've Passed This Way Before" is slower then big brother Jimmy Ruffin's, and isn't as arresting. And his remake of Martha & the Vandellas' "I'm Ready for Love" is strictly MOR; in fact, it was pulled from the Temptations' In a Mellow Mood set. Four different lead singers are featured, with the most prominent missing-in-actions being Dennis Edwards, Damon Harris, Ali Woodson and Glenn Leonard. ~ Andrew Hamilton