The Temptations  

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The Temptations (often abbreviated as "The Tempts" or "The Temps") are an American Motown singing group whose repertoire has included doo-wop, soul, psychedelia, funk, disco, R&B, and adult contemporary.

Formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1960 as The Elgins, the Temptations have always featured five African American male vocalists/dancers. The group, known for its recognizable choreography, distinct harmonies, and onstage suits, has been said to be as influential to soul as the Beatles are to rock.

Psychedelic soul

The addition of Dennis Edwards to the Temptations coincided with the adoption of a new sound for the group by producer Norman Whitfield, and in the fall of 1968, Whitfield began producing psychedelic-based material for the Temptations, derived primarily from the sound of funk band Sly & the Family Stone. This new style, which debuted with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" in October 1968, was a marked departure from the David Ruffin-era ballads. The instrumentation was funkier, the beat was hard-driving, and all five Temptations traded lead vocals, similar to Sly & the Family Stone. "Cloud Nine", the centerpiece of the group's landmark Cloud Nine LP, was a Top 10 hit and won Motown its first Grammy Award, for Best R&B Vocal Group Performance of 1969.

The blending of the Motown sound and psychedelic rock sound resulted in a new subgenre of music called "psychedelic soul", also evident in the work of Diana Ross and the Supremes ("Reflections", "Love Child"), Marvin Gaye's version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", and the music of The 5th Dimension, The Undisputed Truth, and The Friends of Distinction. More Temptations psychedelic soul singles would follow in 1969 and 1970, among them "Runaway Child, Running Wild" (a number-one R&B hit), "I Can't Get Next to You" (a number-one pop hit), "Psychedelic Shack", and "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", but the formula began to wear thin when "Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite the World)", only went to #33 Pop in the fall of 1970. The group's other important albums from this period included Puzzle People (1969) and Psychedelic Shack (1970). Psychedelic Shack includes the original version of "War", later made famous by Edwin Starr.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Temptations" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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