14 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1970, David Ruffin was a mess (ex-lover Tammi Terrell had just died; his solo career too often butted up against his substance abuse) when he made this album with his brother (whose own career was scoring well in the U.K.). Yet you’d never be able to tell. Backed by assorted Funk Brothers and arranged by unsung Motown champs including Paul Riser and Henry Crosby, the tunes and performances here prove the truism that there’s nothing like duets and harmonizing when genetics play a big role. The album simply captures the yin and the yang of Detroit’s gospel-weaned brothers, with younger David’s hard-earned soul and Jimmy’s smooth-operator croon. The result is a handsomely toiled, cohesive whole. Between the so-beautiful-it-transcends-the-obvious covers (“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” “Stand by Me”) and punchy, pop-hook–heavy standouts (“Steppin’ on Dream,” “True Love Can Be Beautiful”), there’s gospel-deep soul (“Your Love Was Worth Waiting For”) and soul-tender gospel (James Taylor’s “Lo and Behold”). Even the original of The Delfonics' “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” can’t hold a candle to the version here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1970, David Ruffin was a mess (ex-lover Tammi Terrell had just died; his solo career too often butted up against his substance abuse) when he made this album with his brother (whose own career was scoring well in the U.K.). Yet you’d never be able to tell. Backed by assorted Funk Brothers and arranged by unsung Motown champs including Paul Riser and Henry Crosby, the tunes and performances here prove the truism that there’s nothing like duets and harmonizing when genetics play a big role. The album simply captures the yin and the yang of Detroit’s gospel-weaned brothers, with younger David’s hard-earned soul and Jimmy’s smooth-operator croon. The result is a handsomely toiled, cohesive whole. Between the so-beautiful-it-transcends-the-obvious covers (“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” “Stand by Me”) and punchy, pop-hook–heavy standouts (“Steppin’ on Dream,” “True Love Can Be Beautiful”), there’s gospel-deep soul (“Your Love Was Worth Waiting For”) and soul-tender gospel (James Taylor’s “Lo and Behold”). Even the original of The Delfonics' “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” can’t hold a candle to the version here.

TITLE TIME
4:04
3:48
2:51
2:45
2:51
2:27
3:03
3:56
2:55
3:20
3:31
3:32
3:42
4:17

About Jimmy Ruffin

The older brother of the Temptations' lead singer David Ruffin, Jimmy enjoyed several huge hits himself in the mid-'60s for Berry Gordy's Soul label. Ruffin first signed with another Motown subsidiary, the short-lived Miracle, in 1961, but it was his convincing vocal on "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" that made him a star in 1966. He encored with "I've Passed This Way Before" and "Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got." In 1970 he briefly teamed with David (by then a solo artist) as the Ruffin Brothers and cut a duet remake of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me." He staged an impressive comeback in 1980 on RSO Records with a major pop hit, "Hold on to My Love," produced by Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. A stint living in England during the 1980s resulted in collaborations with Heaven 17 and Paul Weller, the latter for a benefit cover single of "Soul Deep." ~ Bill Dahl

  • ORIGIN
    Colinsville, MS
  • GENRE
    R&B/Soul
  • BORN
    May 7, 1939

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