The Temptations

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The Temptations

Duggerman
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My favorite singing group of all time. No one can touch them. Here is a pic we took of them when we attended a concert in May 2007. Give it up for The Temptin' Temptations.
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Re: The Temptations

Michelle
I saw the movie and I adored it. I read your review of their last album in your blog AJ and it intrigued me. How do they sound without powerhouse leads like David Ruffin or Dennis Edwards?
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Re: The Temptations

Duggerman
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Michelle wrote
 How do they sound without powerhouse leads like David Ruffin or Dennis Edwards?
At the moment, they have Bruce Williamson in the David Ruffin role, and he really shines, especially on the most recent album. The Tempts always have a raspy-voiced lead singer, a secondary lead singer, a 1st tenor/falsetto who gets some leads, a purring bass singer, and of course, Otis.

The current line-up is OK, but that new album is their best in years. It's a wonderful modern spin on The Tempts classic sound.
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Re: The Temptations

Damita Jo
Whoever was singing bass on the new album was not good. No thunder. Why has Joe Herndon been skipping out on the previous albums?
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Re: The Temptations

Michael
Rox-My-Sox wrote
Why has Joe Herndon been skipping out on the previous albums?
I heard he was sick when they recorded last year's album. I have no idea why he wasn't on Front To Back, though.
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Re: The Temptations

Duggerman
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In reply to this post by Duggerman
If Eddie, Paul, Melvin and David were still alive, I think they'd be really proud of Otis for carrying on the legacy the way that he has. I applaud albums like Phoenix Rising, Earrisitible, Awesome, Still Here, For Lovers Only and Special for putting a modern spin on their trademark sound.

They've also changed with the times in terms of appearance. Otis and Ron have earrings, which wouldn't fly back in the 60s. Otis and Bruce have bald heads, something else that probably wouldn't have been allowed back in the day.
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Re: The Temptations

49-0
G.C. Cameron was a terrible lead singer for the Tempts. Do you know why he left?
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Re: The Temptations

Michelle
Dennis Edwards was a better singer than David Ruffin. The group found a most excellent replacement.
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Re: The Temptations

GatorPurify
Whoa I have to stop you on that one. I understand that some people prefer David over Dennis, and that's fine (everyone has a preference) but David is the better singer. Not too many people can touch Ruffin in the vocal department. If you listen to the "Live At The Copa" album(after David was fired) Dennis could not to hit notes on "I Wish It Would Rain" and "I Could Never Love Another" that David hit on these songs. And to be honest David is probably the Temptations most influential singer of all times. "Shaky Ground" was about the only song that Dennis sang lead alone that was a hit.

Most of Dennis hits came from multi lead songs (Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Cloud 9, Ball Of Confusion, Runaway Child, I Can't Get Next To You). While David had hit after hit on songs where he sang lead by himself (My Girl, Since I Lost My Baby, My Baby, It's Growing, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, I"m Losing You, Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, etc..) And David was only in the group for about 4 years. Dennis was in the group altogether for about 14 years with about 1 big single lead hit(not multi leads). This shows the uniqueness of Ruffin. He could sing from smooth the rough, uptempo or ballad. I love Dennis too, I'm a big fan but facts are facts.He cannot touch Ruffin vocally. The only member that comes close (as far as overall range) is Allie Ollie.

For further proof. Here are the Tempts singing "Im Losing You" live on the Smothers Brothers
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leD9kTMWS9M Listen to the notes David hits live, Dennis did not have the vocal pipes to compete, I'm sorry. Especially the note at 2:07 in the clip.

Here's a Ruffin song from his first solo album  called "World of Darkness". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejhTFfozQRE No one can honestly say that Dennis can touch these vocals.


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Re: The Temptations

Duggerman
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GatorPurify wrote
Whoa I have to stop you on that one.
LOL. I almost spit out my kool-aid on the screen when I saw that one. LOL!! I knew you'd come with the real.

Michelle, in your opinion, how is Dennis the better singer? I've heard David do a lot more with his voice, so I'd give the honor to Mr. Ruffin. Dennis couldn't sing all of David's notes when he replaced him. Despite that, my uncle Stanley prefers Dennis over David, saying that Dennis' singing has a bigger grip on him. Opinions differ. I'd like to hear your thoughts.
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Re: The Temptations

Michelle
In reply to this post by GatorPurify
GatorPurify wrote
Whoa I have to stop you on that one. I understand that some people prefer David over Dennis, and that's fine (everyone has a preference) but David is the better singer. Not too many people can touch Ruffin in the vocal department. If you listen to the "Live At The Copa" album(after David was fired) Dennis could not to hit notes on "I Wish It Would Rain" and "I Could Never Love Another" that David hit on these songs. And to be honest David is probably the Temptations most influential singer of all times. "Shaky Ground" was about the only song that Dennis sang lead alone that was a hit.

Most of Dennis hits came from multi lead songs (Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Cloud 9, Ball Of Confusion, Runaway Child, I Can't Get Next To You). While David had hit after hit on songs where he sang lead by himself (My Girl, Since I Lost My Baby, My Baby, It's Growing, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, I"m Losing You, Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, etc..) And David was only in the group for about 4 years. Dennis was in the group altogether for about 14 years with about 1 big single lead hit(not multi leads). This shows the uniqueness of Ruffin. He could sing from smooth the rough, uptempo or ballad. I love Dennis too, I'm a big fan but facts are facts.He cannot touch Ruffin vocally. The only member that comes close (as far as overall range) is Allie Ollie.

For further proof. Here are the Tempts singing "Im Losing You" live on the Smothers Brothers
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leD9kTMWS9M Listen to the notes David hits live, Dennis did not have the vocal pipes to compete, I'm sorry. Especially the note at 2:07 in the clip.

Here's a Ruffin song from his first solo album  called "World of Darkness". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejhTFfozQRE No one can honestly say that Dennis can touch these vocals.
It's not Dennis' fault that he sung on songs with multiple leads, is it? I thought the group was going for a "Sly and the family Stone" kind of multi-lead sound at that time. To answer AJ's question, I'm just impressed with Dennis' voice better. You can have all the range in the world but sometimes tone is more important. Prince has sung much higher and deeper than Michael Jackson but I prefer Michael's voice. Alicia Keys can't compete with Kelly Clarkson but I like Alicia better. You get my drift. Once Dennis got comfortable in the group, he sang David's songs better than David did, and I can't imagine David singing "Papa" "Cloud 9" or "Ball of confusion."

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Re: The Temptations

GatorPurify
That's fine you prefer Dennis over David. That's you opinion and you're entitled to it. But Dennis doesn't have the range to mess with David. He wasn't blessed with those pipes it is what its it. And to be honest Ruffin can (and did) sing everything. When Smokey had him singing smooth "My Girl" "It' Growing" to the powerful vocals "Ain't Too Proud" "I'm Losing You" he handled that. My favorite Temptations album is Mellow Mood. David sang those standards like "Impossible Dream" "Somewhere" "What Now My Love" like no one else. I love Dennis don't get me wrong. But after 14 years you have one lead where you sang alone that was a hit. Whereas when David was in for four years every single they put with him on lead was a hit (and his leads were by himself). Even Eddie Kendricks said in an interview that after David was fired producers knew no one could sing lead like him which is why they switched to multi leads. It was a great idea and I love their music from this era.

To bring the point home. Someone put David's vocal range on youtube. Now it's almost 10 minutes long, but honestly listen to it objectively. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebKqcaVQFFg 
After listening you can't say that honestly Dennis is a better singer. But if you prefer Dennis I respect that.
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Re: The Temptations

Duggerman
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Yeah. In my opinion, Ali-Ollie was the best lead singer for the group because he was allowed to let loose. Ruffin was restricted during his tenure. But my personal favorite lead singer of the group was Barrington "Bo" Henderson. I like his techniques and his riffing. He sounded more like Al Green than Ruffin or Edwards, but he was in the same raspy tradition. But yes, I know of several people who prefer Dennis over David, but David was the better singer. He could do so much more.
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Re: The Temptations

Damita Jo
In reply to this post by GatorPurify
David was the better singer but Dennis has such a strong hold on his listeners. He had a faster tongue than David did, but not the skyrocket falsetto or smooth tenor. Opinions differ. David may have been the best, but I liked Theo Peoples as their lead singer, followed by Dennis, then David. David's voice is best for solo material.
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Re: The Temptations

49-0
In reply to this post by GatorPurify
GatorPurify wrote
I love Dennis don't get me wrong. But after 14 years you have one lead where you sang alone that was a hit. Whereas when David was in for four years every single they put with him on lead was a hit (and his leads were by himself).
It's not that black and white. Dennis sang lead on more hits than David and Eddie combined. Mother Nature, A Song For You, Let Your Hair Down, Plastic Man, Law of The Land, Look What You Started, I Wonder Who She's Seeing Now, Shakey Ground, Love On My Mind, etc. All of these songs were hits where Dennis sang the lead By Himself. They weren't as big of hits as the songs from the Ruffin era, but the group was in a dryspell during the 70s when Dennis sang lead on hits by himself. Have you heard the House Party album? It's a Dennis Edwards solo album. I strongly suggest you check out the 1990, Masterpiece, Wings of Love, and a Song For You albums as well. All of these albums feature Dennis singing leads by himself on the big hits.
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Re: The Temptations

GatorPurify
This post was updated on .
49-0 wrote
GatorPurify wrote
I love Dennis don't get me wrong. But after 14 years you have one lead where you sang alone that was a hit. Whereas when David was in for four years every single they put with him on lead was a hit (and his leads were by himself).
It's not that black and white. Dennis sang lead on more hits than David and Eddie combined. Mother Nature, A Song For You, Let Your Hair Down, Plastic Man, Law of The Land, Look What You Started, I Wonder Who She's Seeing Now, Shakey Ground, Love On My Mind, etc. All of these songs were hits where Dennis sang the lead By Himself. They weren't as big of hits as the songs from the Ruffin era, but the group was in a dryspell during the 70s when Dennis sang lead on hits by himself. Have you heard the House Party album? It's a Dennis Edwards solo album. I strongly suggest you check out the 1990, Masterpiece, Wings of Love, and a Song For You albums as well. All of these albums feature Dennis singing leads by himself on the big hits.
I've heard those albums and those are good albums, but they fell on deaf ears. Heavenly is one of my personal favorites. That song should if been bigger. Not saying it was Dennis fault, but it seems the public wasn't responding to the Tempts when Dennis was the lead singer as they was when David was. The Dennis lead Tempts struggled on the charts. Masterpiece was their last big one during that 73-75 era that went #1 r&b, #7 pop. After that they songs usually only made around top 40 pop charts.

Whereas when Ruffin lead by himself the ball kept rolling. Ruffin was only in for four years and had 3 million seller singles where he sang lead by himself (My Girl, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, and Wish It Would Rain). 5 of the singles were pop top 10's and the rest were no lower than #18 on the pop charts.
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Re: The Temptations

Duggerman
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In reply to this post by 49-0
49-0 wrote
G.C. Cameron was a terrible lead singer for the Tempts. Do you know why he left?
G.C. basically attempted to use the Tempts as a stepping stone. He knew from the beginning that he wasn't going to be there long, and was hired by Otis as an 'interim' lead singer until Bruce was hired. When he was there, his 'diva' attitude clashed with the group. I remember one time the song was supposed to end, and G.C. added more adlibs and Terry looked at him like, "WTF, man!!" He also went out of control on Legacy, trying to outsing everyone, and was determined to prove that he could sing a high falsetto as smooth as Ron. Mr. Cameron didn't work out for a variety of reasons, but he's a terrific vocalist, dare say on the same level as Ruffin, or dangerous close.

Speaking of Ruffin, that ties into the debate we're having here. Dennis had a churchy, commanding style that people got used to. Otis said in his book that the reason Dennis was rehired so many times after he was fired was because people were so used to his voice. People accepted Edwards after Ruffin left, but they didn't accept Louis Price when Dennis left the first time. With the exception of Treat Her Like A Lady, Ali-Ollie Woodson was generally slept on, although I think Theo Peoples would have made a bigger splash with the group if he stayed longer. Bo (my personal favorite) had a lot of success with the Tempts, winning grammy's and all, but the entire Phoenix Rising line-up had a magic that mirrored the Classic 5. But it's funny that in the four years he was in the group, David had a bigger impact than Dennis.

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Re: The Temptations

Michelle
In reply to this post by GatorPurify
GatorPurify wrote
I've heard those albums and those are good albums, but they fell on deaf ears. Heavenly is one of my personal favorites. That song should if been bigger. Not saying it was Dennis fault, but it seems the public wasn't responding to the Tempts when Dennis was the lead singer as they was when David was. The Dennis lead Tempts struggled on the charts. Masterpiece was their last big one during that 73-75 era that went #1 r&b, #7 pop. After that they songs usually only made around top 40 pop charts.

Whereas when Ruffin lead by himself the ball kept rolling. Ruffin was only in for four years and had 3 million seller singles where he sang lead by himself (My Girl, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, and Wish It Would Rain). 5 of the singles were pop top 10's and the rest were no lower than #18 on the pop charts.
David Ruffin sang lead during the golden days at Motown. Dennis sang lead when the group was in a popularity slump, which is why his voice "fell on deaf ears." It's not Dennis' fault that the group was suffering when he finally got to sing leads on hits by himself. Berry Gordy had lost interest in the Tempts by that time, and they were having regular fights with Jeffrey Bowen and Norman Whitfield. But, those producers preferred Dennis' voice. They gave him all the leads for some of the albums.
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Re: The Temptations

GatorPurify
Michelle wrote
GatorPurify wrote
I've heard those albums and those are good albums, but they fell on deaf ears. Heavenly is one of my personal favorites. That song should if been bigger. Not saying it was Dennis fault, but it seems the public wasn't responding to the Tempts when Dennis was the lead singer as they was when David was. The Dennis lead Tempts struggled on the charts. Masterpiece was their last big one during that 73-75 era that went #1 r&b, #7 pop. After that they songs usually only made around top 40 pop charts.

Whereas when Ruffin lead by himself the ball kept rolling. Ruffin was only in for four years and had 3 million seller singles where he sang lead by himself (My Girl, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, and Wish It Would Rain). 5 of the singles were pop top 10's and the rest were no lower than #18 on the pop charts.
David Ruffin sang lead during the golden days at Motown. Dennis sang lead when the group was in a popularity slump, which is why his voice "fell on deaf ears." It's not Dennis' fault that the group was suffering when he finally got to sing leads on hits by himself. Berry Gordy had lost interest in the Tempts by that time, and they were having regular fights with Jeffrey Bowen and Norman Whitfield. But, those producers preferred Dennis' voice. They gave him all the leads for some of the albums.
This is what I mean. Ruffin in 4 years made the impact that Dennis couldn't make in 14 years. And the Tempts were on a roll when Dennis joined. Great multi lead songs. But when he got the keys to the car (singing lead by himself) the hits were few and far between. The people didn't respond to the songs. Whereas Ruffin, with every single they put out with him singing lead (by himself) it was a hit. The people responded to it. And Ruffin going from smooth "My Girl" to "Aint Too Proud Too beg" was a huge step, but the fans flocked to it again. And as far as vocal range the video I put up of Ruff's vocal range says it all.

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Re: The Temptations

Zorro
In reply to this post by Duggerman
I listened to their music coming up but didn't know their story until I watched the movie last night.  Bravo. I had no idea they went through so much. David Ruffin was such a talented individual who let it all go to waste.
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