Diana Ross & the Supremes / The Temptations


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Third in a row of four collaborations with the Supremes, thereby outmatching the Four Tops, who managed only three. A big hurrah for the Temptations then? Not quite, since there was no need for them to indulge in yet another of these easygoing affairs. Though "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" was a chart-topper, two albums with their labelmates were more than satisfying. Instead, you're left with the impression of Motown milking this winning combination to the full, especially since the Temptations had released the psychedelic soul masterpieces Cloud Nine and Puzzle People a year earlier. Together with Norman Whitfield they had injected the Motown sound with some raw, adventurous elements and a social impulse that was by then unheard of at the label. Being on a creative course, with Psychedelic Shack and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" about to happen, getting "together" a third time (and yet a fourth to come) smelled a lot like a desperate attempt to save the waning career of the Supremes Mach 1. Since this album happened within a really creative period for the Temptations, some of this obviously rubs off on this album. Selections from Marvin Gaye are enjoyable, and their version of the Band's classic "The Weight" is even fairly good. Motown should have considered this as a single but predictably they choose "Why (Must We Fall in Love)." Taking on "Sing a Simple Song" is risky, but remodeling the lyrics of two classic Motown standards into one song is true crime: "My Guy, My Girl" is nothing less than creative poverty at its most exemplary. Not even psychedelic artwork for the foldout album cover could make up for this intolerable mistake.

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