Friday, April 20, 2007

266. The Temptations - All Directions (1972)

Track Listing

1. Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On
2. Run Charlie Run
3. Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
4. Love Woke Me Up This Morning
5. I Ain't Got Nothn'
6. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
7. Mother Nature
8. Do Your Thing


The Temptaitons have by now definitely left their days of My Girl behind, and decide to come out with this supremely funky album. It is really a great collection of tracks, although curiously the best tracks are the ones that The Temptations didn't want to record, like Run Charlie Run, and Papa Was a Rollin' Stone, this shows that more than being a savvy band they were being very well advised.

It starts out with what sounds like a live recording of a really funky tune, followed by the amazing Run, Charlie Run (the niggers are comin') about the white people running away to the suburbs, which The Temptations didn't want to record, maybe because of the use of the n-word every fucking line, but it ends up being one of the strongest track on the album, showing a political awareness not usually associate with The Temptations.

It is in the third track, however that it really explodes with the supremely long Papa Was a Rollin' Stone, probably the most perfect of their songs. Lasting upwards from 10 minutes it is great from the instrumental to the singing bit to everything, and feels much shorter than 2 digits. Following this there are a lot of mellower songs more in the tradition of The Temptations, with a great rendition of The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face) and a cover of Do Your Thing that rivals Hayes'. So definitely an album to get at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
2. Run, Charlie Run
3. Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On
4. Do Your Thing

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

According to group leader Otis Williams, the Temptations fought "tooth and nail" not to record "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" or "Run Charlie Run", a socially conscious Black power track (dealing primarily with the phenomenon of white flight) that called for them to repeatedly call out, in an affected Caucasian accent, "the niggers are comin'!" The group was certain that "Papa" and All Directions would flop, and that they would be back to singing ballads like "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" again. Although the first single, "Mother Nature", charted at number 92 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart, "Papa" was a number-one hit and is today one of the Temptations' signature songs.

Also included on All Directions are the Edwin Starr cover "Funky Music Sho' Nuff Turns Me On" (the b-side to "Mother Nature", a Top 30 R&B hit), the Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell cover "Love Woke Me Up Early This Morning", and "I Ain't Got Nothin'", a rare lead showcase for Otis Williams.

Here you go a shortened version of Papa Was A Roling Stone with a slideshow:


Anonymous said...

Hey weird question...

I just got this album and am really liking it except in my copy the first song (Funky music...) sounds like a live recoding recoded from a mile away and is pretty much undecipherable? Are all versions like this?

Francisco Silva said...

It was like that in my copy as well, maybe there is a re-recording of it in a studio, but I'm not sure.