The Temptations

A Song for You/Masterpiece

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These two albums are almost perfectly suited to each other, representating the peak of the Temptations' early- to mid-'70s output. A Song for You was a rare Berry Gordy co-production (necessitated by Norman Whitfield's departure from the company) -- Gordy and Jimmy Bowen came up with an album that combined a powerful, funky beat with gorgeous singing (especially by Dennis Edwards) and a range of superb songs. These tapes sound extraordinary on this release, like they're really being heard properly for the first time. Masterpiece was precisely that for producer Whitfield, comprised of just six songs, every one of them a winner, including the epic-length title song, possibly the best extended track ever to come out of Motown Records. The two albums fit together almost seamlessly (though one wishes that Masterpiece's tracks were first on the disc), and the only flaw is that there are no expanded notes or album credits.

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