Thursday, November 23, 2006

159. The Temptations - Cloud Nine (1969)

Track Listing

1. Cloud 9
2. I Heard It Through The Grapevine
3. Runaway Child Running Wild
4. Love Is A Hurtin' Thing
5. Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)
6. Why Did She Have To Leave Me (Why Did She Have To Go)
7. I Need Your Lovin'
8. Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me
9. I Gotta Find A Way (To Get You Back)
10. Gonna Keep On Tryin' Till I Win Your Love


The Temptations go funk! At least for a bit of this album. In fact this is a perfect case study on the transition from R&B to Funk in the late 60's. And for the Funky bit, this is a great album. The rest of the album doesn't really reach the heights of the first three tracks, but it's not bad.

The Temptations take a page out of the Sly & Family Stone songbook for the first three amazing tracks here. And then disappointingly they return to traditional Temptations fare for the rest of the album. But particularly Cloud Nine and Runaway Child, Running Wild must have made many a Temptations fan scratch their head in puzzlement.

It is extremely unfortunate that although perfectly good R&B, the rest of the album does not come anywhere near the greatness of the first three tracks. And it is in this that you can see The Temptations experimenting and the transition into funk, which would be pushed further by Sly & the Family and would create the template for a lot of music in the coming decade, from Barry White to Stevie Wonder.

Buy it for the first three tracks at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Runaway Child, Runnign Wild
2. Cloud Nine
3. Heard It Through The Grape Vine
4. I Gotta Find A Way (To Get You Back)

Final Grade




From Wikipedia:

While Williams, Whitfield, and Williams' then-wife Ann Cain were standing outside of the Casino Royale nightclub in Motown's home city of Detroit during the summer of 1968, Williams suggested that Whitfield might try to produce something like Sly & the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music" for their next single. The Temptations had been successful with romantic ballads such as "My Girl" and midtempo numbers such as "(I Know) I'm Losing You", but Williams, taking Gamble's advice, felt that it was time to update the group's sound. "Man, I don't want to be bothered with that shit," remarked Whitfield, who regarded the Family Stone sound as a "passing fancy".

No comments: