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Soul - Uscito il 27 luglio 1972 | Motown

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Come la loro casa madre Motown, anche i Temptations hanno avuto molte vite. Nel 1972, quando All Directions venne pubblicato, avevano già quindici album al loro attivo e la loro formazione aveva già subito diverse modifiche. Tre anni prima, con Cloud Nine, diedero un colpo di coda alla musica soul. Prodotto dal visionario Norman Whitfield, questo capolavoro del 1969 ruppe con la lussuosa delicatezza vocale che la band di Detroit aveva ricamato fino a quel momento per i suoi fan. All'improvviso, il soul della Motown abbracciò la psichedelia mentre i testi cominciarono a rappresentare le problematiche sociali. Il gruppo e la sua etichetta tesero l'orecchio a sonorità urbane, come il rock, che fino a quel momento avevano ignorato. Psychedelic Shack confermerà questa tendenza... Con All Directions, i Temptations, ora composti da Dennis Edwards, Damon Harris, Richard Street, Melvin Franklin e Otis Williams, daranno il via a questa rivoluzione. Sebbene alcuni dubitassero del loro futuro dopo l'addio del carismatico Eddie Kendricks, il successo del singolo Papa Was A Rollin 'Stone rassicurò i suoi seguaci. Insieme a questa sinfonia memorabile di metalli di oltre 12 minuti che solo un Curtis Mayfield avrebbero potuto generare, i Temptations si destreggiano tra ballate classiche (Love Woke Me Up This Morning), psichedelia e funky (Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On). Insomma, il titolo lo diceva già: tutte le direzioni! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Soul - Uscito il 01 febbraio 1965 | UNI - MOTOWN

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"..the first great soul concept album.." - Rating: A © TiVo
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Soul - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1966 | Motown

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Soul - Uscito il 30 ottobre 1970 | Motown

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In the world of Motown, no proverbial stone was left unturned and no market untapped. This especially rang true during the holiday season, as yearly the label would flood the record store shelves with holiday records from many of its most popular artists. This Temptations session leads off with their most renowned holiday classic, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Most of the other holiday standards here are easily forgettable and underwhelming. Christmas Card is not as fantastic as Give Love on Christmas Day or any of the other budget-line holiday compilations available from the Temptations, so unless you're a die-hard collector, it might be best to skip this one. © Rob Theakston /TiVo
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Soul - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1970 | Motown

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With everything the Temptations released pretty much guaranteed to turn to gold, not to mention platinum, even their tripped-out forays into sweet '60s psychedelic experimentation were sure to fire a string of hits. 1970's Norman Whitfield-produced Psychedelic Shack -- while perhaps a system shock to those fans who grooved to the band's lame-suited, Motown dance-routined R&B classics -- was a magnificent stretch into an epic that ultimately emerged as another in a long line of enduring sets. Deviating from form across the first songs, it was with the whimsical and willful title track (and a big thanks to the band from Georgia retro-ists the B-52's, who took their own homage, "Love Shack," to the top of the charts in 1989) that the Temptations broke their own mold with the acid-drenched party chant: "Psychedelic shack/That's where it's at." Opening that door and venturing outside the nonstop celebration, the band retains that vibe while returning to a slightly more staid stance on "Hum Along and Dance," leaving both the oddly paced "You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here on Earth" and the totally tripped-out "Take a Stroll Thru Your Mind" out on their own plane entirely. With such a strong collection of songs, it couldn't get much better than that. But, of course, it does, as the Temptations blister through the groovers "It's Summer" and "Friendship Train." And that, of course, just leaves the Whitfield-penned classic "War" to round out the mix. While fellow Motown-er Edwin Starr has etched what is now considered to be the definitive version of the song into the history tablets, the Temptations certainly took their own inspiration and added a unique spin as well. Not much else can be said, except that this is an absolutely outstanding album -- one which has stood the test of time, sounding as fresh as it did upon initial release. © Amy Hanson /TiVo
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Soul - Uscito il 14 agosto 1980 | Motown

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This is one of the most classic R&B Christmas albums ever recorded; the Temptations come steppin' in prime form. With a chiming introduction, "Give Love on Christmas Day" is an uplifting jingle showcasing Glenn Leonard's unwavering falsetto on lead. "Everything for Christmas" has mellifluous background vocals, with string and horn arrangements rounded out by Richard Street's indelible delivery. "The Christmas Song" and "Silent Night" are two incomparable selections featuring various members on lead, including Melvin Franklin's admirable bass exhibition. Dennis Edwards shines on the jubilant "This Christmas," which also features a spirited musical interlude. In minimal words, this collection of Christmas carols ranks among the best. © Craig Lytle /TiVo
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Soul - Uscito il 16 gennaio 1975 | Motown

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By 1975, the Temptations were a much different group with both David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks out of the lineup. Dennis Edwards was now singing lead, and only Melvin Franklin and Otis Williams existed from the original group. The group was far more of a funk mind, and this set proves it. The big hit on here was "Happy People," with the Temps backed up by the Commodores, listed as "the Temptations Band" on the second part instrumental version. For ultra-funk, though, it's hard to beat "Glasshouse" and "Shakey Ground," which features guitar and bass work from P-Funk alumni Eddie Hazel and Billy Nelson. But they didn't leave their ballads entirely in the good old days, as the satin-drenched "Firefly," "Memories" and the title track clearly show. Produced by Jeffrey Bowen, this thing has "'70s'" stamped all over it. In the case of the Temps, that's good. © Cub Koda /TiVo