At the time of the release of this two-disc Temptations compilation, Motown had in print a five-CD box set, Emperors of Soul; a one-disc Ultimate Collection; and two volumes of the midline-priced 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection on the group (not to mention umpteen older comps). So, this TV-advertised set must have been meant to satisfy the fan for whom The Ultimate Collection wasn't enough, but the box set too much. But it was also meant for fans who had taken notice of the vintage group recently, since it emphasized 1990s recordings, particularly in special mixes, and was highly selective about what older songs were included, opting for the better-remembered ones over an actual hits selection based on chart rankings. That could make it a frustrating set for the long-lived Temptations fan, who would notice that only 26 of the group's 43 R&B Top Ten hits were included among the 36 tracks, especially when there was room on the first disc, which ran less than an hour, for several more songs. The collection was an odd combination of rarities, such as previously unreleased stereo mixes of two early singles ("Dream Come True" and "I Want a Love I Can See"), the Temptations' most famous 1960s hits, and some miscellaneous recordings. Particularly short-changed was the mid-'70s, with only three of the nine consecutive Top Ten R&B hits the Temptations scored from mid-1973 to early 1976 included. Since the group's personnel changed in revolving-door fashion after the early '70s, the result was that much of the second disc sounds like it was made by many different male vocal groups instead of one. While you could see what the compilers were going for here, the album was hardly an ideal Temptations compilation.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2
feat: Rick James