Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Rock of Ages: The Temptations - "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" (1971)

Motown is one of the greatest musical institutions of all time. And in it's heydey, the music was superb, the performances were stellar and the amount of amazing songs. The Temptations were easily one of the most eclectic and important of these groups. Especially in the 70's, the Temps changed a lot from their "My Girl" days. More complex orchestrations, funkier vibes and still beautiful singing care of the members extreme diversity in range and scope. A personal favorite of mine is the Eddie Kendricks led "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me.)" It may not be the best Temps song, but as this list will waver from obvious transcendent rock songs to more personal ones, it fits the bill. A romantic haze is emitted from the musical talents of The Funk Brothers, who have played on countless Motown tracks. The orchestration also sets the mood of a daydream thanks to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Helmed by Eddie Kendricks on vocals, its sumptuous and sweet love song.

The Temptations are one of the many bands that have so many fantastic songs, its hard to ever choose one. In fact, I could waiver easily on which is my favorite Temps track week to week. Just so happens that this song constantly hits the right chord for me. And as far as Motown goes, a lot of the credit goes to the various songwriters, such as Norman Whitfield, Barret Strong, Smokey Robinson and Holland-Dozier-Holland. Also, credit is greatly needed to be given to The Funk Brothers, who have played as the Motown Sounds backing band for almost every artist on tons of tracks. An amazing documentary about them, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, sheds light on the mysterious back-up to the great voices, such as the Temps. Fantastic pop music, indeed.

Up Next: Bowie's in space?

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