David Ruffin

So Soon We Change

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David Ruffin's first LP outside of Motown finds him under the direction of legendary Detroit producer Don Davis, who worked with Ruffin before his Motown days. Davis had been igniting the charts with productions for Johnnie Taylor, the Dramatics, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., and others. Prior to his pop chart successes, he had established himself as one of Detroit's most soulful producers via his Groovesville work for Steve Mancha, J.J. Barnes, and Ortheia Barnes. The thought of him working with David Ruffin blew everybody's mind; no doubt, the product would be the best thing Ruffin ever released -- alas, no. So Soon We Change consists of one of Ruffin's most compelling vocals and seven stiffs. The ace is "Break My Heart," written by David Garner; this is Ruffin at his best, a sensitive plea for his woman to do him wrong, to hurt him deeply, making it easier for him to leave since he doesn't love her anymore -- a little reverse psychology. The other seven tunes are strange; Davis has Ruffin singing in a lower register then listeners were used to hearing, especially on "I Get Excited," where he heads for baritone territory. "Let's Stay Together" is not the Al Green classic, but a nondescript affair that does the title shame. This is the weakest David Ruffin LP ever, which didn't seem possible with Don Davis producing.

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