The Temptations – Masterpiece (1973) [1989, Reissue]

Artist: The Temptations
Title: Masterpiece
Year Of Release: 1989 (1973)
Label: Motown Record Company (USA)
Genre: R&B, Soul/Funk, Motown
Quality: FLAC (img.+.cue+.log) | MP3 320kbps
Total Time: 42:28
Total Size: 390,87 | 135,19 Mb (Full Scans)
WebSite: Album Preview

“Masterpiece” is a 1973 album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) Label, produced and written by Norman Whitfield. The Title refers to the album being not the group’s intended masterpiece, but Norman Whitfield’s. Having already produced songs for the Temptations such as “Smiling Faces Sometimes” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” which emphasized his instrumental tracks over the group’s vocals, Whitfield goes one step further here. The Title track, at nearly fourteen minutes long, includes only three minutes of vocals from the group, who all share sections of the lead vocal. “Masterpiece” shares space on side one with “Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)”, a slow classic-styled ballad led by Richard Street which opens the album. Side two of the LP opens with “Ma”, an ode to a hillbilly mother led by Street, Damon Harris, and Melvin Franklin, which was recorded as the Title track of Rare Earth’s 1973 Whitfield-produced LP. “Law of the Land”, led by Dennis Edwards, Street, and Harris, was recorded the same year by The Undisputed Truth. The song is a message track in the tradition of “Don’t Let the Joneses Get You Down” from Puzzle People. “Plastic Man”, with its lead vocal shared between Edwards, Harris, Franklin and Street, disparages “plastic people” who operate in backhanded ways, while the eight-minute album closer, “Hurry Tomorrow”, is a solo spot for Harris, which explores a hallucinogenic drug trip. Many critics, and the Temptations themselves, remarked that much of Masterpiece, and especially its Title track, sounded like a Norman Whitfield/Funk Brothers solo recording featuring supporting vocals by the Temptations. Fans complained directly to the Temptations themselves, and some music journalists began snidely referring to the Temptations as “The Norman Whitfield Chorale Singers” and other such names. Despite the criticism directed towards the LP, “Masterpiece” became a #1 hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart, and a #7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Its follow-up, the “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”-like “Plastic Man”, hit #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)” also became a Top 40 hit in the late summer/early fall of 1973. “Law of the Land” was released as a UK-only single by Tamla Motown, and just missed out on the UK Top 40, peaking at #41 in late 1973. Masterpiece was the final Temptations LP recorded in Detroit at Motown’s Hitsville U.S.A. studio. By 1973, Motown Records had completed its migration to Hollywood, California, and beginning with the next release, 1990, the Temptations would record in Los Angeles-area studios.
Release of the album: 1973, February, 21 [LP Gordy, Cat.# G-965L, USA]
Release of this CD: 1989, June, 19 [CD Motown Record Company (USA), Cat.# 3746351442 / UPC: 737463514422]
c, p 1973 Motown Record Company, L.P.
Manufactured By – Motown Record Company, L.P.
Marketed By – Motown Record Company, L.P.
Note: AAD, Reissue
Arranged By – Paul Riser
Artwork [Sculpture] – Parvis Sadighian
Bass – Bob Babbitt, Eddie Watkins, Leroy Taylor
Bells, Percussion [Gourd], Timpani, Vibraphone – Jack Brokensha
Bongos, Congas – Eddie “Bongo” Brown
Design – Des Strobel
Design [Creative Assistant] – Asari Graham
Drums – Aaron Smith, Andrew Smith, Richard “Pistol” Allen, Uriel Jones
Engineer, Mastered By – Orson Lewis
Guitar – Eddie Willis, Joe Messina, Melvin “Wah Wah” Ragin*, Paul Warren, Robert Ward, Robert White
Harmonica – Ted Lucas
Mastered By, Producer, Written-By – Norman Whitfield
Organ – Johnny Griffith
Organ, Piano – Earl Van Dyke
Photography By [Liner Photo] – Jim Britt
Tambourine, Maracas – Jack Ashford
Trumpet – Maurice Davis
01. Hey Girl (I Like Your Style) (04:40)
(Norman Whitfield)
02. Masterpiece (13:53)
(Norman Whitfield)
03. Ma (04:50)
(Norman Whitfield)
04. Law Of The Land (05:02)
(Norman Whitfield)
05. Plastic Man (05:57)
(Norman Whitfield)
06. Hurry Tomorrow (08:07)
(Norman Whitfield)

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