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GREATEST HITS ALBUM REVIEW
ALL THE MILLION-SELLERS
Released - 1982, on Motown Records. Produced by Norman Whitfield except "My Girl" produced by Smokey Robinson & Ronald White
- Lead Vocals on "My Girl' and "I Wish
It Would Rain"
There are many different session musicians who appear on these songs who are not credited on the album.
All songs written by Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong except "My Girl", written by Smokey Robinson & Ronald White and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" written by Norman Whitfield & Edward Holland.
There is nothing I love more than music that can bring me back to the years of my youth, when I would sit in front of the old AM radio - or the old mono record player for a few hours at a time, grooving to the sounds of the sixties, and the songs on this album do just that for me. The only negative note about this LP is that it does not contain all of The Temptations 1960s hits, a few gems, including songs like "Way You Do The Things You Do" and "War" are missing, but most of the others are here. A total of ten great songs are found in this greatest hits package.
It starts off with their first big hit, one of a few that David Ruffin would sing with them as their lead singer, "My Girl". This Smokey Robinson produced and penned song sounds as smooth as any other song ever recorded. Ruffin also sang lead on just one more tune that shows up here, "I Wish It Would Rain". Eddie Kendricks, who was in the group till 1971 singing harmonies, also did sing the lead on the big hit "Ain't Too Proud To Beg". Singing lead on all of the other songs was the Temptations main vocalist, Dennis Edwards, who joined the group in mid 1968 after Ruffin was fired by the others. Edwards' voice was not as polished as Ruffin's was, but just right for their newer sound, once producer/songwriter Norman Whitfield took over control of the group. He went for the more late '60s rock/funk sound, which included more guitars and even a few protest songs. It was a great move on Whitfield's part and it paid off big time for the Temptations. It seemed whatever songs The Temptations put out after that for the next several years, all were bonafide hits!
"Cloud Nine" was a song about escaping from a bad life by doing drugs, while "Runaway Child, Running Wild" was a very different song, about a boy who runs away from home and regrets it. "I Can't Get Next To You" is your more normal song, about a girl that a usually lucky man just can't get this one time, and "Psychedelic Shack" is a song about a hippie pad.
The very best song found in this package is up next, "Ball of Confusion", one of the all time great protest songs. This tune not only covered all of the events that were current around 1970, but as I write this review in 2005, some 35 years later, its lyrics still apply. Guess it just shows that even with all the progress we have made throughout the years, still, the worries and world problems sadly are the same. Yes indeed, and as a reoccurring lyric in the song goes, "and the band plays on", well it does, for sure!
The last two songs on this album are also winners, the soft sung "Just My Imagination", which was also the final song for a couple of the members of the group; and then The Temptations last "big" hit, "Papa Was Rolling Stone", the story about a absentee father. I'm the kind who is real bad at remembering dates, but thanks to this song, I'll always remember who died on September 3.
What a great album to bring back the old days for me! Like most greatest hits LPs, if you don't know too much about The Temptations, this LP is a great way to find out why they were Motown's all-time best, male singing group.
- Keno 2005
To listen to some soundclips from THE TEMPTATIONS, ALL THE MILLION-SELLERS or to purchase it, click on: All the Million Sellers
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