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With the exception of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, one would be hard pressed to name a Motown act who went through as many creative shifts as the Temptations. While Wonder's and Gaye's changes of direction were a product of their own creative rebellion against Berry Gordy's brilliant but often formulaic vision, the Temptations seemed to be the label's official "keeping up with the times" artists, starting out as interpreters of Smokey Robinson's silky-smooth sweet soul confections and going on to embrace rock guitars, work with members of Funkadelic, and be produced by Rick James, all while holding onto their trademark vocal style. The length and breadth of the Temptations' career would make it practically impossible for a single-disc career retrospective to be truly comprehensive, and The Ultimate Collection is missing a few essential tracks (most notably "Psychedelic Shack" and "Runaway Child, Running Wild"), while two latter-day hits, "Treat Her Like a Lady" and "Error of Our Ways," don't exactly bring this set to a triumphant conclusion. But if you're only going to own one Temptations disc, The Ultimate Collection is a very good one to get; it includes the majority of the group's biggest hits, the remastering sounds great, and the chronological sequence gives a fine picture of the group's constant musical evolution. The Ultimate Collection isn't the last word on the Temptations, but it's a splendid starting point to their music, and will add a satisfying portion of sweet-and-sour soul to your next party. Special added attraction: a rare a cappella take of "My Girl" is included as a bonus.


1 The Way You Do the Things You Do (Robinson/Rogers)
2 My Girl (Robinson/White)
3 It's Growing (Moore/Robinson)
4 Since I Lost My Baby (Moore/Robinson)
5 Don't Look Back (Robinson/White)
6 Get Ready (Robinson)
7 Ain't Too Proud to Beg (Holland/Whitfield)
8 (I Know) I'm Losing You (Grant/H/W)
9 All I Need (Holland/T/W)
10 You're My Everything (Grant/P/W)
11 Angel Doll (Broadnax/P/W)
12 I Wish It Would Rain (Penzabene/S/W)
13 Cloud Nine (Strong/Whitfield)
14 I Can't Get Next to You (Strong/Whitfield)
15 Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today) (Strong/Whitfield)
16 Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)Strong/Whitfield)
17 Papa Was a Rolling Stone (Strong/Whitfield)
18 Shakey Ground (Bowen/B/H)
19 Treat Her Like a Lady (Williams/Woodson)
20 Error of Our Ways (Franklin/N/W)
21 My Girl (Acappella) (Robinson/White)


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Release Date:  March 25, 1997
Label:  Motown
Genre:  Motown
Release Date:  March 25, 1997
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review by . January 30, 2011
Very misleading title for a mediocre compilation!
Stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes!  In this day of slick marketing and advertising gimmicks you can pretty much call any product anything you want to and make just about any claim you care to. Unfortunately such is the case with Motown's single disc release dubbed "The Temptations: The Ultimate Collection". For any true Temptations fan will tell you that this disc is certainly not reflective of its title and simply does not cut the mustard.  Issued in 1997, …
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