The Best of the Temptations consists of 46 chronologically placed songs that begins with their first hit "The Way You Do The Things You Do" released in January 1964, about a month after The Beatles' first stateside smash, "I Want To Hold Your Hand," began its historic climb up the charts. The second disc ends with "Lady Soul" from 1986.
You get a clear sense of how this almost perfect vocal group evolved from a high quality, commercial act who created quite danceable, uptempo hits, romantic ballads and breakup songs into a late 60s, psychedelic-soul outfit with a social conscience. Singles like "Ball Of Confusion" and "Cloud Nine" represent the latter period.
One of the best things about The Temptations is that they employed multiple lead singers so each new 45 RPM sounded fresh. It gave them a versatility most Motown groups never had. As great as they were, neither the Supremes nor The Four Tops utilized more than one lead vocalist during their most productive years.
The accompanying booklet is superb. There are pictures featuring the quintet's different lineups, a biography detailing how the group was born and their history of personnel changes. For each song you also get release dates, chart positions, who sang lead and what album each track came from, information all true music geeks will find fascinating.
Disc 1 is totally in mono and that makes the productions sound a bit compressed but disc 2 is presented in full stereo clarity. There is no explanation as to why the album was released that way.
The entire set list is posted below the videos.
The Way You Do The Things You Do
I'll Be In Trouble
The Girl's Alright With Me
Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)
What Love Has Joined Together
Who's Lovin' You
Since I Lost My Baby
You've Got to Earn It
Nobody But You
Don't Look Back
Ol' Man River (Live)
Ain't Too Proud To Beg
You'll Lose A Precious Love
Beauty Is Only Skin Deep
(I Know) I'm Losing You
All I Need
You're My Everything
(Loneliness Made Me Realize) It's You That I Need
I Wish It Would Rain
I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)
Please Return Your Love To Me
Lullaby Of Love
The Impossible Dream
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me (With Diana Ross & The Supremes)
Runaway Child, Running Wild
Don't Let The Joneses Get You Down
I Can't Get Next To You
Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)
Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)
Let Your Hair Down
A Song for You
Standing On The Top
Treat Her Like a Lady