“Cloud Nine” by The Temptations - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1969Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Anything Sly and the Family Stone can do, we can do better say The Temptations, as they delve headlong into the all-new brand of funky-psychedelic-soul. As the Wiki tells, producer Norman Whitfield took the Temptations into psychedelic territory after a suggestion from the group’s defacto leader, Otis Williams. Williams had been discussing Sly & the Family Stone’s music, and the changes it brought to the soul music industry, with his friend, producer Kenneth Gamble. Gamble agreed with Williams that Sly Stone’s funkier production style and multi-lead vocals was here to stay and that it was time to learn to adapt to it. When it works (as it does on side one) it's fabulous. They were one of those of groups that I could never quite trust – often just as culpable of trite pop crimes as capable with hard-hitting chops – but the nine-minute stretch-out of “Run Away Child, Running Wild” which closes side one shows them off at their best; hands-down it's the stand-out centre-piece of “Could Nine”. Featuring all five Temptations – Dennis Edwards, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams – trading verses and harmony lines, the song paints a tale of a school kid who runs away from home after being punished for truanting. The boy wanders the dark streets alone, eventually realising he cannot survive on his own, but cannot find his way home, and ends up lost, frightened by strangers, unfamiliar landmarks, and his own thoughts.

Roaming through the city, Going nowhere fast, You’re on your own at last, Hey it’s getting late, where will you sleep

Gettin kind-a hungry, You forgot to bring something to eat, Oh lost with no money, you start to cry, But remember you left home

Wanting to be grown, So dry your weepin eyes, Siren screamin down, neon light is flickin, You want your mama

Ah there’s nothing for you, You’re frightened and confused I want my mama, But she’s much too far away, She can’t hear a word you say

In the 2002 liner notes for “My Girl: The Very Best of the Temptations”, group member Otis Williams tells that he often hears from fans that the record’s terrifying depiction of running away kept them from doing so as children. That’s soul power for ya!

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:27] 6.4.png The Temptations - Cloud Nine (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) Disco / Funk
A2 [03:00] 6.2.png The Temptations - I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) Soul
A3 [09:38] 7.9.png The Temptations - Run Away Child, Running Wild (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) Disco / Funk
B1 [02:28] 5.9.png The Temptations - Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing (Ben Raleigh, Dave Linden) Soul Ballad
B2 [02:38] 4.4.png The Temptations - Hey Girl (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) Soul
B3 [02:56] 3.8.png The Temptations - Why Did She Have To Leave Me (Why Did She Have To Go) (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) Soul
B4 [02:35] 3.8.png The Temptations - I Need Your Lovin’ (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) Soul
B5 [02:31] 5.2.png The Temptations - Don’t Let Him Take Your Love From Me (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) Soul
B6 [03:00] 5.0.png The Temptations - I Gotta Find A Way (To Get You Back) (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield, Eddie Holland, Cornelius Grant, Eddie Kendricks) Soul
B7 [02:32] 5.6.png The Temptations - Gonna Keep On Tryin’ Till I Win Your Love (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) Soul

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved