Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Treat Her Like a Lady" by The Temptations

Song#:  2153
Date:  12/15/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  48
Weeks:  14
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Although highly successful in the 60s and 70s, the Temptations were having a rough go of it in the 80s. Up to this point, they scored only one R&B Top 10 ("Standing on the Top (Part 1)" with Rick James) and had been unable to get inside the Pop Top 40. Internal struggles didn't help and after firing one of their lead singers, Dennis Edwards, for a second time, the Temps regrouped and forged ahead. Their next album, Truly for You, was a fresh step for them that was produced by two members of Earth, Wind and Fire. This first single kicked things off and it brought them back near the top of the R&B chart where it reached #2. It also did well at Dance getting to #13. The tune's popularity allowed it to cross over to the Pop chart, but once again they were denied entry into the Top 40. Despite the lack of Pop support, the album sold well and got to #3 at R&B.

ReduxReview:  The Temps truly join the 80s with this synthy jam and it worked well for them. The tune was a showcase for new lead singer Woodson (see below), yet it still retained the group's well-known vocal harmonies. Why this didn't do better at Pop is a mystery. There was still a lack of support for R&B at both pop radio and MTV at the time, but this song seemed like it could have transcended that. It's an overlooked gem in the group's catalog and easily one of their best efforts of the decade.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  After Dennis Edwards was forced out of the group, they brought in new member Ali-Ollie Woodson. Woodson had worked with the group on their previous album supplying lead vocals on a song due to Edwards being unable to complete the task. That got his foot in the door and after Edwards was gone, it was easy to bring Woodson in. Not only did he supply the lead vocals on this track, he also co-wrote it with original Temps member Otis Williams. Woodson would take the lead on the majority of the group's singles through the balance of the 80s.


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