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  1. #1

    Temptin' Temptations Album Cover - Making a Statement?

    I love the album cover for the US release of the Temptin' Temptations LP. The more I look at it, the more I ask myself, "Was Motown trying to make a statement, political or otherwise?"

    Thoughts?

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  2. #2
    What statement?

    As the Temptin' Temptations is among my favorite Temptations albums, essentially because it is telling nothing than back-to-back-to-back good music, happy music, danceable good-times music, feel-good music. A mini-Greatest Hits album of sorts (other than "The Way You Do The Things You Do" and "My Girl", which was in "Sings Smokey" album) with a cover of the Tempts, other than Eddie's "serious" pose, but I suppose no member, unless the group is the Four Tops, makes the same pose than the other, posing comfortably. Why, just look at happy Otis and Melvin! "Simply Temptations", posing for the camera, for all I know the background just a white screen.

    And that would be enough, for the purpose of if there was a political statement to make, I'd interpret it, as during a time period when by then integration was just gradually progressing, a few years prior, paintings of whites had to cover many black acts' records to sell, be on the displaying end of the stack of white households, The male pop-soul crossover act, has arrived.
    Last edited by Ngroove; 07-03-2019 at 02:50 PM.

  3. #3
    yeah - what are you proposing was the statement they/motown was trying to make?

    Motown as NOT known for making statements, at least during this period of their history. For instance, they still used cartoons and non-group pics on album covers as late as 1966. The Isley album "This old heart of mine" has a pic of white people on the cover. and the '66 Elgin's album didn't have their pic on it either.

    Love Child was one of the first "statements" made by motown. As was DRATS revised Somewhere, where they acknowledged Dr King. You also had Stevie making Heaven Help Us All in 70, Friendship Train in 69, Cloud Nine and other Tempts songs in 68 and 69.

  4. #4
    Haaaaaaaaaa...not only is[temptin]my favorite temps lp,it is also my favorite album jacket,as for statement not in[1965]the only thing controversial about it as otis stated was that they didn't wear white shoes...temptations forever!!!

  5. #5
    ^ lolol was just getting ready to mention that too. recently was flipping through his book and he laughed about that. it is a bit jarring to see the dark shows lolol

    he also talks about some wild purple suits Eddie convinced the group to wear. Otis described them as "pimp purple" lol and was sure they'd look awful. but when they went out on stage the audience loved it

    anyone have a pic of the purple suits?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ngroove View Post
    What statement?

    As the Temptin' Temptations is among my favorite Temptations albums, essentially because it is telling nothing than back-to-back-to-back good music, happy music, danceable good-times music, feel-good music. A mini-Greatest Hits album of sorts (other than "The Way You Do The Things You Do" and "My Girl", which was in "Sings Smokey" album) with a cover of the Tempts, other than Eddie's "serious" pose, but I suppose no member, unless the group is the Four Tops, makes the same pose than the other, posing comfortably. Why, just look at happy Otis and Melvin! "Simply Temptations", posing for the camera, for all I know the background just a white screen.

    And that would be enough, for the purpose of if there was a political statement to make, I'd interpret it, as during a time period when by then integration was just gradually progressing, a few years prior, paintings of whites had to cover many black acts' records to sell, be on the displaying end of the stack of white households, The male pop-soul crossover act, has arrived.

    That last paragraph was what I was thinking. I know that Motown wasn't known for making political statements, or any statements in general that might be controversial or anything of the sort until a bit later. That cover just stands out to me because of the simple background.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lockhartgary View Post
    That last paragraph was what I was thinking. I know that Motown wasn't known for making political statements, or any statements in general that might be controversial or anything of the sort until a bit later. That cover just stands out to me because of the simple background.

    I just looked at the simple or plain background was Motown's album artwork was maturing and becoming classier as they were attracting a broader, older audience than the teenagers before.

  8. #8
    Such a great album and album cover!!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Such a great album and album cover!!! y
    What my friend Tom said. But I don't see a political statement.

  10. #10
    Guys, I have to admit that my mind does wander and at times goes to places no other has gone before, lol. This seems to be one of those times.

  11. #11
    One of the few times Esther (Gordy) Edwards got it right.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by lockhartgary View Post
    Guys, I have to admit that my mind does wander and at times goes to places no other has gone before, lol. This seems to be one of those times.
    Nahhh, I think you got it right.

    Think about it. 1965. Today, no big deal. Or, think about how many nineties "boy bands" made those same kind of poses in the nineties.

    But, back to 65' - The rest of the main male soul groups at the time - the Impressions - already by then, mixing 50/50 politics / gospel - and Motown's Miracles and Four Tops - already groomed for more mature tastes.

    But the Temptations - lookin' relaxed, friendly and "non-threatening", as I believe that was the term to image those white pop boys for teenage girls' screams and money - for the young ladies.

    1965 - Temptations - The major African American pop-soul boy band in a time when their albums finally probably made it to many, black, white, ect, girls' rooms.
    Last edited by Ngroove; 07-04-2019 at 12:18 AM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ngroove View Post
    Nahhh, I think you got it right.

    Think about it. 1965. Today, no big deal. Or, think about how many nineties "boy bands" made those same kind of poses in the nineties.

    But, back to 65' - The rest of the main male soul groups at the time - the Impressions - already by then, mixing 50/50 politics / gospel - and Motown's Miracles and Four Tops - already groomed for more mature tastes.

    But the Temptations - lookin' relaxed, friendly and "non-threatening", as I believe that was the term to image those white pop boys for teenage girls' screams and money - for the young ladies.

    1965 - Temptations - The major African American pop-soul boy band in a time when their albums finally probably made it to many, black, white, ect, girls' rooms.
    Very well put. Thanks.

  14. #14
    I don't see any particular statement in the front cover of the Temptin' Temptations LP. Most of Motown's album covers from the '60s were about making the artist(s) look appealing (and non-threatening) to a mass audience.

  15. #15
    As in the Isleys This Old Heart of Mine?!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    ^ lolol was just getting ready to mention that too. Recently was flipping through his book and he laughed about that. It is a bit jarring to see the dark shows lolol

    he also talks about some wild purple suits eddie convinced the group to wear. Otis described them as "pimp purple" lol and was sure they'd look awful. But when they went out on stage the audience loved it

    anyone have a pic of the purple suits?
    at the conclusion of the movie[the temptations]they wear them while singing[my girl].

  17. #17
    The only thing I would change about this album cover would have been to remove all the song titles from the front and have them on the back only. Also include the Gordy record label logo on the front.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    The only thing I would change about this album cover would have been to remove all the song titles from the front and have them on the back only. Also include the Gordy record label logo on the front.
    I have seen mono issues with no logo, but stereo issues with the logo. Weren't the stereo issues issued later? If so, maybe someone noticed the lack of the Gordy logo and rectified it for the stereo release.

  19. #19
    This could be a trivia question,but i'm gonna give this one away because there is a significant thing about this album cover,what is it....it's the last time the temps appear on an album with all wearing processes,paul and eddie started wearing their hair natural shortly after.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    This could be a trivia question,but i'm gonna give this one away because there is a significant thing about this album cover,what is it....it's the last time the temps appear on an album with all wearing processes,paul and eddie started wearing their hair natural shortly after.

    I'll take it a step further. It was the one and only Sam Cooke that began the trend of black male performers ditching the processes and wearing their hair natural.

  21. #21
    Yep,sam was da man..i think that the great jerry butler said that after a conversation with sam,he stopped conking too.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    Yep,sam was da man..i think that the great jerry butler said that after a conversation with sam,he stopped conking too.
    I remember all of the cool, older dudes going thru Hell at the barber shop on Saturdays when I was a kid getting them "Dos","Conks" and "Processes" together for the weekend LOL!

  23. #23
    There was a barber shop at the corner next to the howard,and once we saw billy stewart getting his conk on.

  24. #24
    Forget the Gordy logo. Stick a UK Tamla Motown one on instead.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    As in the Isleys This Old Heart of Mine?!
    When it comes to LP covers like that one, Motown hid the Blackness of their artists and trying to get the albums stocked in the South & Middle America. While Motown did not do this with all of their LP covers during the '60s, The Isley Bros. This Old Heart Of Mine cover is an example of this type of masking.
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 07-05-2019 at 06:16 AM.

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