Speakers Corner – (Vinyl)
By Paul Rigby
Released in 1968, this is a bit of an oddity of a recording that works very well as a final album. The main protagonists, to that point had, of course, successful careers of their own.
Diana Ross & The Supremes (renamed from plain old The Supremes in 1967) would go on to tot up 12 No.1 hits by the time Ross entered her solo career in 1969. There were even periods, in the sixties, when The Supremes were a more successful group than The Beatles with tracks such as Baby Love, Stop! In the Name of Love and You Keep Me Hangin’ On.
As for The Temptations? They were a highly successful male vocal group with sweet harmonies and a fine set of dance moves to boot. The outfit suffered a stream of line-up changes but took each in their stride accumulating signature hits such as My Girl, along the way. In fact, when this record was released, long term front man, David Ruffin, had just been fired from the group because he failed to turn up to a scheduled live gig in 1968. The record saw the debut of his replacement, Dennis Edwards.
The LP itself was a sort of spin-off. Something that we are very familiar with now was more of a novelty back in the late-sixties. However, both groups had dived, head first, into the TV business, co-comparing a variety show called TCB – Taking Care of Business. The show featured the groups singing a mixture of popular show songs of the day along with many of their own Motown hits. The spin-off LP was suggested during the show’s run and was released to much acclaim. Such praise was not a brief, shallow reaction sometimes proffered to spin-off projects reflecting the parent project rather than the record, it was a genuine overview of the content.
Included were remade hits including Marvin Gaye’s Try It Baby plus Otis Williams’ easy and smooth rendition of the Bacharach & David hit, This Guy’s in Love With You.
I’ll bet that many casual fans of either group, who have seen this title in the past, have possibly sneered at or ignored the LP as a triumph of form of content. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. Packed with quality, this is a reissue that every Motown fan should grab.
Try It Baby
I Second That Emotion
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
I’m Gonna Make You Love Me
This Guy’s In Love With You
I’ll Try Something New
A Place in The Sun
The Impossible Dream
Stand-out track: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Diana Ross and The Tempations’ Dennis Edwards partner up to recreate Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s hit. This cover is full of energy and life and will push your speaker’s ability to handle vocal transitions as well as portray the emotion of each chorus.