Album of the Day: The Temptations (7/27/72)

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The Temptations were given up for dead when Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams left the band in late 1971 (Kendricks went for a solo career and Williams began a long alcohol-fueled slide into dementia that led to his suicide in August 1973). Faced with the loss of two key members, the remaining Temptations, Otis Williams, Dennis Edwards and Melvin Franklin hired Damon Harris and Richard Street to revive the R&B quintet. Their first release under the new line-up, All Directions, came out on Motown on July 27, 1972. The album immediately silenced the doomsayers and placed the Temptations squarely back on the top of the R&B/soul heap. All Directions is a solid work by a band that seemed always to be recovering from a revolving door of key members. The prime cut, #1 Billboard hit and Grammy winner “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” pushed the album to #2 in the U.S., despite the fact that it clocked in at nearly twelve minutes and was unsuitable for radio airplay (at least at full length). All Directions is available for purchase as a CD or individual mp3 files on Amazon, but not on iTunes. The Temptations are featured in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault.

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