For David Ruffin, leaving the Temptations in the early 1970s to pursue a solo career was taking a gamble. Like Eddie Kendricks (who did the same thing), Ruffin was asked whether or not he was sure he wanted to leave such a successful group. But the soul singer had some fine moments as a solo artist, a fact that is illustrated by this CD. Released in 1998, The Ultimate Collection focuses on Ruffin's post-Temptations work in the 1970s. There's a lot to admire in this good- to excellent-anthology, which ranges from his hits "Walk Away from Love" and "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)," to a pleasing cover of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "I Miss You." The late soul man was a master of dramatic tearjerkers, and the emotional, heart-on-his-sleeve approach serves him quite well on "Pieces of a Man" (not to be confused with the Gil Scott-Heron song), "World of Darkness," and "No Matter Where." If you've never experienced the pleasures of Ruffin's solo years, The Ultimate Collection would be the most appropriate starting point.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson