Friday, 5 October 2018

Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations - Together (1969)




Released September 1969

After their excellent debut album from the previous year, this marriage of two huge Motown groups had one more outing. Again, it was a pleasant, enjoyable mixture of mainly cover versions of other Motown songs and assorted classics. Any combination of this voices will be a success, it has to be said. The album has excellent stereo sound too, which always brings Motown material to life.

Diana Ross takes the lead on an impressive "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow" with Eddie Kendricks backing her up,  while a great cover of Smokey Robinson's "I'll Be Doggone" sees Paul Williams aided by Ross. Two good ones to kick off with. Covering The Band's iconic "The Weight" was probably not a good idea, however. However great their voices are, it doesn't work, I'm afraid. "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" is tailor-made, however, and works a treat. Stevie Wonder's "Uptight" is slowed-down somewhat to turn into soulful Temptations-style groove. Again, though, it works and is quite infectious.

Sly & The Family Stone's funky "Sing A Simple Song" is given a "psychedelic soul" makeover to great effect, sounding all "Ball Of Confusion" before it had even been conceived. The merging of "My Guy/My Girl" has a great sound to it, although the two songs don't quite mesh. The join sounds a bit clumsy. The backing on it is superb though. "For Better Or Worse" is a bit schmaltzy, however. Frankie Valli/Andy Williams' "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" doesn't hold a candle to either previous recording, it has to be said. "Why Must We Fall In Love" is a joyous singalong that would have made a great single, with Diana Ross on fine vocal form.

This is a pleasant, enjoyable half hour's listen, excellently-played and sung. Nothing spectacular, but worth digging out every now and again.

C+

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