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Psychedelic Soul

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Editors’ Notes

The Temptations’ reinvention after losing their gifted/troubled singer David Ruffin (ending the Tempts' “classic five” lineup) is one of pop history’s greatest. For Motown’s signature vocal group to carry on without the “My Girl” voice was considered career hari-kari. But ex-Contours singer (and son of a preacher) Dennis Edwards stepped in, as did visionary Detroit songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield (along with ace songsmith Barrett Strong), and the revived Temptations kicked down pop-music doors. Incisive songs burst with freakout soul, funk, and rock ’n’ roll that owed as much to Sly & The Family Stone and Hendrix as the Vietnam War–defined turmoil of the era and the friction between Detroit’s inner city and ’burbs. Songs traced suburban materialism (“Don’t Let the Joneses Get You Down”) and prison life (“Slave”), updated Shakespearean father-son themes (the grand “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”), and nodded to drug-enhanced escape (“Cloud Nine,” which scored Motown’s first GRAMMY®). This set boasts the best from the eight albums that made up the group’s unbelievably prolific and rich psych era (1968-1973) and features many unsung Motowners, such as song arranger Paul Riser and guitarist Dennis Coffey.

Customer Reviews

Psychedelic Soul

The greatest body of work on one album. This compilation recreates the era when The Temptations ruled the clubs and disco's. The driving dance music coupled with introspective politically motivated lyrics make this the crowning achievement of The Temptations and cemented their place as R&B/Pop legends. A must have as a foundation for Motown affeciandos.

Take a Stroll Thru Your Mind!!

You'd be suprised at what you might find. I LOVE this music... a great combo of soul, funk, psych and rock. Check out the guitar work on "Take a stroll..." man, this guy can PLAY! PeAcE!

A "Masterpiece"

I love whitefields influence in orchestration, I mean Masterpiece is my favorite Temptations song-mainly because of the great harmonics & they had a full orchestra- working with the lyrics that are raw, but a picture of the 70's. Hey this is a great view of Motown at its best.


Formed: 1960 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Thanks to their fine-tuned choreography -- and even finer harmonies -- the Temptations became the definitive male vocal group of the 1960s; one of Motown's most elastic acts, they tackled both lush pop and politically charged funk with equal flair, and weathered a steady stream of changes in personnel and consumer tastes with rare dignity and grace. The Temptations' initial five-man lineup formed in Detroit in 1961 as a merger of two local vocal groups, the Primes and the Distants. Baritone Otis...
Full Bio

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