The Temptations Albums Ranked

The Temptations are an American vocal group that released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single “Cloud Nine” in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music. As of 2020, the Temptations continue to perform with founder Otis Williams in the lineup (Williams owns the rights to the Temptations name). Here are all of The Temptations albums ranked

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8. Gettin’ Ready (1966)

“This one is another cool mid-tempo, upbeat jam. David Ruffin masters in getting the emotions to the forefront of the songs. Falsetto Eddie Kendricks leads the upbeat “Get Ready,” which some may dismiss as filler since it has more pop than soul, but I can totally groove to this one. I love to floss this song while cruising. Old school heads would love to cruise their Impala while hittin’ switches and gangsta lean in’ to it.”

7. Masterpiece (1973)

“I think this is one of the best Temptations albums and the song Masterpiece is true to its name coming in about 13 minutes. To me this is the best song on the album but not to say the other songs are not good because they are very good but the song Masterpiece is excellent as a funky jazz instrumental.”

6. Meet The Temptations (1964)

“This album showcases what a great lead singer the late Paul Williams was, a fact of which many Temptations’ fans are unaware. As someone once wrote that he had a voice for the ages. His greatest lead of the early days of the Temptations was unquestionably Robinson’s “I Want A Love I Can See.” When I first heard the song in the spring of 1963, I knew I had to buy it, which I did. It should have been a top ten hit on both the Pop and R&B charts. Their other selections should have been Top 40 hits, especially in light of what masquerades as hits today.”

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5. Anthology (1973)

“The later Temptations were and are great in their own right, but the original five plus Dennis Edwards can never be replaced. The early songs by David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Otis Williams, and Melvin Franklin, continuing with Dennis Edwards are like fine wine that only gets better with age. They got me through some difficult teen years and, now, bring back precious memories–some sweet and some bitter sweet. If I could only own one collection of their music (and thankfully I have several) this would be the one.”

4. The Temptations Sing Smokey (1965)

“is album when you look at it appears to be a greatest hits but in reality was their latest offering. Motown was such a class act back then solid meat with no filler. There is so much to love here there are the hits but then you add You’ll Lose A Precious Love along with What Love Has Joined Together. I’m glad I’m not on a desert island with only ten albums. The Tempts put out so much great music and it seems that each generation that comes discovers the lasting sounds of young America, even though we all are now a little grey.”

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3. Cloud Nine (1969)

“The title track is one of the funkiest songs ever laid to wax with it’s wah-wah guitars and the Tempts voices flowing through the sons, but the best song here is the 9 plus minute version of “Runaway Child Running Wild”. The song will by far blow you away with new lead singer Dennis Edwards dynamic vocal performance. The rhythm arrangement of this song is brilliant and Funk Brothers really get down and dirty on this one. Definitely the funkiest song of the 60’s. Side two on the original vinyl is back to business as usual with the Tempts apparently not ready to completely give total control to Whitfields newly refined production style.”

2. Temptin’ Temptations (1965)

“This is nearly flawless. In fact the performances contained therein absolutely sparkle! The problem is with the recording itself. On “Everybody Needs Love” e.g. there is audible distortion throughout. The entire album seems “hot” like that with varying degrees. Beyond that on the tune “Born to Love You” some swear Jimmy Ruffin can be heard in the background.”

1. All Directions (1972)

“Surely one of the Tempts funkiest tunes from this era. “Run Charlie Run”,driven by soulful piano and the pointed chorus,uses some…shall we say Dick Gregory/Richard Pryor type language to illustrate an awareness of total hypocrisy among the most racist people-wittily pointed out that double negative personality. “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” was,this far one of Whitfields most commercially successful songs with the Tempts-it’s Isaac Hayes/Bar Kays like mix of blacksploitation wah wah funk and orchestration showcased on a longer version here with a hard grooving Fender Rhodes piano solo.”