Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The Temptations - Gettin' Ready (1966)


Released June 1966

Unlike some Motown acts in the mid-sixties, The Temptations (with a couple of notable exceptions) released albums that were full of genuine Motown material, as opposed to cover versions of easy listening standards. This is a fine example of a credible album, from 1966 too, something relatively unusual. It is also in stereo sound and pretty reasonable sound quality on most tracks.

The opener, "Say You" is a pulsating, upbeat number, although "Little Miss Sweetness" is blighted a little by some hissy sound in places. "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", however, is an absolute classic, one of my favourite Motown songs of all time. David Ruffin's lead vocal is surely his finest Motown moment. This one has superb sound - big, bassy stereo, as it should be. It is simply a perfect song. Motown Heaven.

Then there is "Get Ready". Eddie Kendricks soars on the lead vocal on what is now one of Motown's most iconic tracks. That brass, drum and bass intro - wow. The song cooks from beginning to end. The soulful "Lonely, Lonely Man Am I" features Paul Williams on vocals, who offers a deeper, bassier voice. Despite the great voice of Ruffin and Kendricks, Williams has always been my favourite Temptations singer. The group's take on Marvin Gaye's "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" is a slightly jazzier interpretation than Gaye's. Personally I prefer Gaye's, despite my love for The Temptations. The fifties-ish "I've Been Good To You" is horn-driven and possessing of a huge, resonant bass line. "It's A Lonely World Without Your Love" is lively and catchy, typically mid-sixties Motown.

The last four songs are all Smokey Robinson songs, all of the expected quality, with the the jaunty "You're Not An Ordinary Girl" probably the best. Overall, a lively and enjoyable mid-sixties Motown album.


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