Last month I had the pleasure of seeing The Temptations live here in Ottawa. It was a great show! But why did I go to see The Temptations? I went to hear some of the greatest soul / R&B songs all-time, like My Girl, Papa Was A Rollin' Stone, The Way You Do The Things You Do, Just My Imagination...and the list goes on (like the beat). And it's true, none of the original members are still with us in person (Otis Williams passed in 2010), but the performances were true to the originals. It was great as well to hear the 15 piece band backing them up!
Originally formed as The Elgins in 1960, from the Detroit bands, The Distants and The Primes, the group is recognized as one of the most successful in music history. They've had 4 number one hits on Billboard and were the first Motown act to earn a Grammy Award. Their influences included The Miracles, led by Smokey Robinson, The Cadillacs, The Drifters and the Isley Brothers.
Ball of Confusion, one of my favourites, has been covered by Love And Rockets, Tina Turner, Duran Duran, and even Public Enemy (well sort of)! You know you've composed something special when your song is covered across genres. The song was actually written by Norman Whitfield and Barret Strong. I owe them thanks as I took the spirit of that song to inspire my song about the Arab Spring, Kings & Generals. You can check it out on the Soundcloud player. It will also be included on my album when it is released on March 5th, 2013!
One last thing I'd like to mention, is the dancing. Despite their ages (and yes there are a couple of younger guys touring with the group these days), they still have the moves. It was superb to see five guys singing and swaying together while keeping the audience entertained. I was taking notes!
Here they are in all the glory of gold lamé - Jeffrey Carl