The Temptations

The Sky's the Limit/Where I'm Coming From

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A two-fer comprising albums originally released at the same time on Gordy and Tamla Records, respectively, by the Temptations and Stevie Wonder. Chart-wise, the Temptations reign supreme with a number 16 pop placement, while Wonder's album braked at number 62. The Temptations' album was Eddie Kendricks' last with the group. His buttery falsetto gets a good workout on "Just My Imagination," a deftly slow "Gonna Keep on Trying Til I Win Your Love," a wired, elongated "Smiling Faces Sometimes," and two more leads, the most for Kendricks since he and Paul Williams swapped 'em prior to David Ruffin joining. Dennis Edwards doesn't get many chances on this one but takes full advantage when he does, particularly on the taken-for-granted "Unite the World" with its churning horns and line-stepping rhythm. On "Love Can Be Anything," producer Norman Whitfield mixes jazz, acid rock, and other styles for a powerful earful with a swing, rollicky beat and inspired lead from Edwards with the other Temptations contributing cameo lines. On the Wonder ledger, Where I'm Coming From is considered the former Little Stevie Wonder maturation into adulthood; now 21, he was no longer being produced by others. Totally on his own, he comes up with the gem "If You Really Love Me," a pop and R&B Top Ten hit; it was the sole chart-topper from an LP of crafty tunes that includes the exquisite "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer," "Do Yourself a Favor," and "Something Out of the Blue." Wonder wrote and produced every track. The selections are light years from his earlier sides (but with one exception, not nearly as commercial); still, Ray Charles could see this multi-talented artist was a lip away from getting it all together.