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“Cloud Nine,” composed by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, won the 1968 Be st Rhythm and Blues Performance By a Duo or Group, Vocal or Instrumental for the Temptations, which was also the FIRST Grammy won EVER by any Motown artist!
It was also the FIRST single released by the Temptations with Dennis Edwards on lead. As all fans know, Dennis Edwards replaced David Ruffin when he was fired from the group.
Another FIRST is the group was finally back to being a group and not the David Ruffin show. In other words unlike the “I Wish It Would Rain” LP — “Cloud Nine” the single and the album featured songs where all group members shared lead lines and alternated leads on the various songs. It was great to hear Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams singing again after an album full of nothing but David Ruffin leads.
Sure I liked David, but The Temptations were a group not David Ruffin and The Temptations!
“Cloud Nine” is pretty much my favorite Temptations album. It was the FIRST LP to contain the Psychedelic Soul sounds orchestrated by producer Norman Whitfield (in answer to Sly & The Family Stone’s sound) and the beginning of the end for my dear Eddie Kendricks.
Kendricks loved the love ballads that The Temptations were initially known for and Whitfield was taking the Tempts in another direction.
I never got to see the Classic Five Temptations perform live in person nor did I ever get to the the HOF6 with Dennis replacing David.
But I did get to see the the current line up of Temptations just last night at the Weinberg Centre for the Performing Arts and the show was awesome.
Along with 70 years young, sole original member Otis Williams, the group consisted of Bruce Williams performing most of Dennis and David’s leads along with providing comic relief since 2007; Ron Tyson who joined the group in 1983 and sings first and second tenor, sometimes baritone and bass; Terry Weeks who joined the group in 1997, and the bass singer from Washington DC since 2003 — Mr. Joe Herndon.
The performance was superb. The crowd loved it and the group was having a blast — especially Otis. He smiled, missed steps and still had a few high kicks in him. He even sang a solo, but had to stop to laugh at a crazed fan swooning at him on the front row. (ROTFL)
Yes it was a blast. Be sure to catch The Temptations if they come to your town. They performed hit after hit for 90 minutes with no intermission, but never got around to singing “Cloud Nine”. Heck, they could have performed for hours more and still never have sung all their hits.
If possible, one day soon, I hope to also see Dennis Edwards and his touring group of Temptations. That should be a great time too.
- The Temptations Review, Featuring Dennis Edwards Will Perform During the 3rd Annual Valentines for Veterans Concert (prweb.com)
- Happy 70th Birthday to You Otis Williams of The Temptations! (everythingoldisnewagain.net)
- “Induction then destruction, who wants to die?” (justwilliam1959.wordpress.com)
- Album: The Temptations, 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1961-1971 (Hip-O Select) (independent.co.uk)