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Temptations Live!

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The Temptations 5/18/1999

Review

Capturing live rock or soul performances professionally for commercial release was still more art than science on October 3, 1966, when this album was recorded at the Roostertail in Detroit. Technically, Temptations Live! has its flaws -- balance problems and leakages -- but the remastering has compensated for these problems extraordinarily well, and the performance always had about as much energy as any other three albums of the same era. And as fine as their studio sound was, that energy was something that could only be captured in concert. In fact, they fare better than almost any other Motown act of the period on this live album. Berry Gordy always encouraged his acts to try to "mainstream" their sound in concert, which meant the Supremes did numbers from contemporary Broadway shows when they cut live albums, but the Temptations were one act that could get away with this repertory and not seem arch or artificial on stage -- Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" (he must have gotten the biggest kick out of the Temptations covering one of his songs) and Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's "Ol' Man River" just flow out as part of the show, sandwiched between the Smokey Robinson numbers. The producers compensated for the original album's flaws by going back to the unedited tape, which yielded yet another bonus -- in addition to the released album, they found the original finale of "The Way You Do the Things You Do" (which would have made the LP too long) that puts a killer cap on a superb concert recording and fills a gap in their recorded history. The notes are fully detailed as well -- always a nice bonus on a mid-priced CD. ~ Bruce Eder
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Introduction The Temptations 1:10
  3. 2 Medley: Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)/The Girl's Alright with Me/I' [Medley] The Temptations 4:49
  4. 3 What Love Has Joined Together The Temptations 3:1
  5. 4 My Girl The Temptations 3:9
  6. 5 Yesterday/What Now My Love The Temptations 4:51
  7. 6 Beauty Is Only Skin Deep The Temptations 2:24
  8. 7 Group Introduction The Temptations 0:49
  9. 8 I Wish You Love The Temptations 1:53
  10. 9 Ain't Too Proud to Beg The Temptations 2:58
  11. 10 Ol' Man River The Temptations 4:45
  12. 11 Get Ready The Temptations 2:11
  13. 12 Fading Away The Temptations 1:56
  14. 13 My Baby The Temptations 2:11
  15. 14 You'll Lose a Precious Love The Temptations 2:51
  16. 15 Baby, Baby I Need You The Temptations 1:50
  17. 16 Don't Look Back The Temptations 7:7
  18. 17 The Way You Do the Things You Do [Previously Unreleased] The Temptations 3:24

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