Sunday, September 15, 2019

"Lady Soul" by The Temptations

Song#:  2892
Date:  10/11/1986
Debut:  80
Peak:  47
Weeks:  11
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The 80s were a shaky time for The Temptations. There were numerous personnel changes, a label change, and a lack of hits. While they would score two R&B Top 10's in '82 and '84, they were unable to get inside the Pop Top 40. In fact, their last Pop Top 40 entry was over a decade ago in 1975 with the #37 "Glasshouse." Despite the lack of crossover hits, the group soldiered on and continued to record albums. Their 1986 effort, To Be Continued..., would end up being their third best charting of the decade at R&B getting to #4. That result came about due to the strength of this first single, which made it to #4. The song was able to cross over to the Pop chart, but like two other of their 80s singles, it got into the top half of the chart but stalled before it could crack the Top 40. It would end up being their final single on their own to reach the Pop chart. The Temps stayed active throughout the remainder of the 80s and were able to get three more R&B Top 10s. Their output in the 90s was sporadic and by 2000, their run of singles on the R&B chart came to an end. The group has continued to record and tour over the years with various line-ups. As of 2019, Otis Williams was the only surviving member of the original Temptations. He was still performing with the group.

ReduxReview:  This mid-tempo track is an easy listen. It's not too far off from some of the songs Lionel Richie was doing at the time. I could even hear Ray Parker, Jr. doing this tune. Of course the Temps and lead singer Ali-Ollie Woodson do a lovely job with the vocals. However, the record is just good, not great. It is certainly pleasant to hear, but there's nothing special that makes the song stand out. It's one of those songs that I'll listen to a few times today, but come tomorrow I won't remember it.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  In 1991, The Temptations would find themselves in the Pop Top 10 one last time. It came courtesy of Rod Stewart who enlisted them to sing on "The Motown Song," a track from his album Vagabond Heart. It would be the second single released from the LP in the US and it went to #10 at Pop while getting to #3 at AC. Oddly, even with the presence of the Motown theme along with The Temptations, the song failed to chart at R&B. Stewart's version was a remake of Larry John McNally's original that he wrote and recorded in 1986. McNally's track was included on the soundtrack to the Kevin Bacon film Quicksilver.


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