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"Temptations, Cloud Nine"

CLOUD NINE When this album was originally released in early '69, it was a gamble. Could the Temptations, known as smooth melodic crooners of love songs, successfully reinvent themselves as contemporaries of Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Funkadelic, and the Chambers Brothers, with their psychedelic rock and soul sounds? The answer was YES. CLOUD NINE, this masterpiece by produced by Norman Whitfield, the most soulful producer to ever come out of Motown, is one of my favorite LPs by the Temptations. The grittiness of "Cloud Nine", the title song and the album opener (and the first single from the album, released in late 1968) demands that you pay attention to what the Tempts are saying. Songwriter Barrett Strong's words come to life as newest Temptation Dennis Edwards tells the story of growing up poor in the inner city...and the debate about this song continues to this day. Was the song about getting high, or just changing your way of thinking? A funky rendition of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" takes Gladys Knight and the Pips' version, strips it down to the rhythm track, and emphasizes the Tempts' harmonies above everything else. I LOVE the scatting on this track!! The nine minute and thirty-eight second version of "Runaway Child, Running Wild" is worth the price of the LP alone. Simply relentless, with the sound of a child crying for his mother. What was really great about this LP was the use of multiple vocalists singing different parts at the same time on each song. Prior to this LP, you'd basically have David Ruffin, or sometimes Eddie Kendricks singing the lead and the rest of the guys singing "Oooh, waaa" or "Oh baby" in the background. However on these three cuts on CLOUD NINE you might hear Dennis, then Eddie, then Paul, the Melvin, then Otis...all on the same song! I just love it. The second part of the LP, to me, seemed to let Temptations' fans know that they could still sing the love ballads in the way that made them famous, even though David Ruffin was no longer in the group by then. There are some very nice remakes on it ("Love Is A Hurtin' Thing", "Hey Girl") plus some beautiful original tunes ("I Need Your Lovin'" with Eddie Kendricks on lead vocals, "Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me", a Paul Williams standout lead, "Why Did She Have To Leave Me" and others). A daring bit of work that forever changed Motown, and a definite part of their history, since "Cloud Nine" was the very first Motown tune ever to win a Grammy. Get it, and you too will be on CLOUD NINE! Track Listings 1. Cloud Nine 2. I Heard It Through the Grapevine 3. Runaway Child, Running Wild 4. Love Is a Hurtin' Thing 5. Hey Girl (I Like Your Style) 6. Why Did She Have to Leave Me (Why Did She Have to Go?) 7. I Need Your Lovin' 8. Don't Let Him Take Your Love from Me 9. I Gotta Find a Way (To Get You Back) 10. Gonna Keep on Tryin' Till I Win Your Love
SKU Number: GORD 939
Price: $22.99 
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