David Ruffin / Eddie Kendricks

Ruffin & Kendrick

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A gem that slipped through the cracks. Hall & Oates were responsible for securing this deal for the former lead singers of the Temptations and helping to resurrect their stagnant careers by using them to open their shows. I don't understand why "I Couldn't Believe It" didn't do better on the charts, Ruffin leads the explosive, high octane strutter about being dumped, sounding more surprise than hurt; Kendricks contributes occasional lines and soulful backing fills, and a bitchin' sax provides some torchy runs. The beautiful, but agonizing, "One for the Lonely Hearts Club," features Kendricks' weakened, but effective, falsetto. "Goodnight Pillow," led by Eddie, is a bonafide tear jerker, a crying, remorseful sax accents the ache in Kendricks' voice. David shines on "One Last Kiss," one of his most sensitive readings; it deserved a far better fate. RCA didn't even drop it as a single. A remake of Sly & the Family Stone's "Family Affair" is all that; the former Tempts gives Sly's rambling commentary on family business depth and meaning, the rhythms dominated by a resounding bass will have you bouncing. "You Only Get What You Put Out's" positive message needs to be pounded into the heads of everyone by the time they reach eight years of age; a relentless beat and nifty female backing voices complement Ruffin's and Kendricks' soulful vocals. The intense, infectious reggae beat on "Don't Know Why You're Dreaming" will have you longing for Jamaica to experience more of the flavor. RCA dropped the old promotional ball big time on this one.

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