Monday, January 25, 2010
Love the Temps; this song, not so much. Producer/songwriter Norman Whitfield was no Barry McGuire, let alone Bob Dylan. Though the later Whitfield-penned “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” was quite good. In both cases the Temps’ super-fly dance steps somewhat clash with the subject matter.
Whitfield was a legendary producer-auteur. He wrote “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and produced both the Gladys Knight and Marvin Gaye hit versions of it. With the Temps, he seems to have wanted to refashion them along the lines of Sly and the Family Stone, with somewhat more mixed results. Perhaps Whitfield’s effort in that mode was “Smiling Faces Sometimes”, by The Undisputed Truth (a group assembled by Whitfield himself).
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