THE TEMPTATIONS The Temps In The Motown Studios (1965-1972)

The Temps In The Motown Studios (1965-72)
A Cappella Temps

Maybe it’s not as classic as our Beach Boys Pet Sounds a cappella post (HERE), but it’s cool, nonetheless. 15 original performances from 1965 to 1972, stripped of all instrumentation, leaving only the vocal mastery of The Temptations. There’s the occasional can leakage and some primitive technique, but overall it’s a pretty clean vocals-only album that just might hit the spot. Unreleased rip from the Get Ready DVD, HERE. We’ve got more Temps in the archives, including a great 2CD comp, Psychedelic Soul (HERE), and two classics, Puzzle People and Psychedelic Shack (HERE).

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)
Cloud Nine
I Can’t Get Next To You
Runaway Child, Running Wild
I Wish It Would Rain
(I Know) I’m Losing You
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
You’re My Everything
Get Ready
My Girl
Don’t Look Back
My Baby
The Way You Do The Things You Do


  • James
    January 3, 2011 - 14:05 | Permalink

    Oh man, this is gonna be GREAT! I have an a capella version of them doing "My Girl," from their box set, and it's a prized performance. Thanks Willard.

  • W
    January 3, 2011 - 13:46 | Permalink

    Find it HERE.

    As with ALL Mediafire links, try it more than once. They sometimes give false negatives.

  • G
    January 3, 2011 - 23:16 | Permalink

    Thanks for this Captain
    Years ago – I managed to convince my parents that for a Birthday Present we should go to the Latin Casino, in the Philadelphia area, to see The Temptations – we did and still remember the sounds and their moves around that microphone stand. Philadelphia was also the last stop, sad as it was, for David Ruffin – he passed away near what some might know as The Mann Music Center. One of the first 'underground radio stations' in the Philadelphia area was WDAS-FM – and one of the DJ's – Harve Holiday – on Sunday Nights used to host an "oldies" show – anytime he would play something by The Temptin' Temps or play one of David Ruffin's singles – he never mentioned Ruffin by name – always spoke of him as "The Man With The Glasses"
    All the best

  • Pete
    January 4, 2011 - 05:50 | Permalink

    I found this a revelation, even more than the Beach Boys (or Beatles) because the sound was in a way less about classic harmony than about multiple coordinated leads. Also, the backing tracks on their greatest material (Papa … for instance, which I wouldn't mind hearing without the singing) are so good that they distract from the vocals (and that ain't right). Listening this way made it clear to me just how well I know each of those voices, even if I'm not good at putting names to them. And it gave me appreciative access to "Ball of Confusion" which for some reason never really grabbed me before. So thanks!

  • W
    January 4, 2011 - 06:28 | Permalink

    Very cool. Thanks for the comment.

    Sorry, Frankie. Only know Sanford-Townsend by name.

  • Blank Frank
    January 4, 2011 - 14:02 | Permalink

    Good one, W!! The Temps were THE singers in the Motown stable. I also gotta agree with Pete. The instrumental backing would be a revelation too.

  • W
    January 4, 2011 - 16:08 | Permalink

    Wish I had it. The a cappella stuff is a bonus extra from the Get Ready DVD of Temps videos.

  • Johnny Pierre
    January 4, 2011 - 20:23 | Permalink

    There's some tasty cakes here…for example, "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" stands up without the instrumentation fer sure…

  • W
    January 4, 2011 - 20:25 | Permalink

    Even when they don't, it's always fun to hear old songs in new ways. Thanks for the comments.

  • Iggy
    October 31, 2012 - 16:18 | Permalink

    Quite simply, one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard. No way to thank you enough!


  • buzzbabyjesus
    May 31, 2014 - 08:56 | Permalink

    I’m going to sample the shit out of this. Thanks.

  • Mike
    May 31, 2014 - 09:17 | Permalink

    Link seems to be down. Can’t wait to hear this great stuff. Thanks

  • Nick
    May 31, 2014 - 11:03 | Permalink

    Many thanks for this

  • Hugh Candyside
    June 1, 2014 - 01:23 | Permalink

    I saw the Temps at the Motor Town Review in Detroit, December 1965. It was the first year that The Supremes were too big to perform. I didn’t care, I didn’t really care for The Supremes. I was there for The Temptations. They didn’t disappoint. This is wonderful. Thanks!

  • Eremenko
    June 1, 2014 - 03:50 | Permalink

    Thanks. Really looking forward to hearing this.

  • Miles
    June 3, 2014 - 22:07 | Permalink

    An outstanding share, Willard! The Temps (along with Marvin Gaye) were always one of my favorite Motown acts.

    I’ll never forget the day when I visited the Motown complex on West Grand Blvd. in Detroit. It was a rainy day and we arrived late in the afternoon, close to closing time. Being the only visitors, the attendant gave us free reign to just have the place to ourselves. The studio was on the lower level, a simple, non-assuming room, but if the walls could speak… what a story they could’ve told. I sat there at the piano, thrilled to be in the very room where so many wonderful and timeless recordings were created – Stevie Wonder, Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Smokey Robinson, on down the line.

    The control booth was a mere closet space. Their crude echo chamber consisted of a hole in the ceiling with a sort of metal garbage can situated over top and speakers mounted below. They’d feed the sound into the can and recapture the distinct echo it created. So simple, yet so effective. There was a lounge area adjacent to the studio with a soda machine (bottles), and candy dispenser, and a time punch for clocking in and out!

    That visit remains as a memorable highlight in my life – a sojourn to the source, as it were. Unforgettable.

    Thanks, Willard.

    • Willard
      June 3, 2014 - 22:23 | Permalink

      Very cool story, thanks Miles.

  • Reginald L Chaison
    October 8, 2014 - 00:35 | Permalink

    Is there anyway this can be transferred 2 disc with the cover The Accapella coved above.

    • Willard
      October 8, 2014 - 01:05 | Permalink

      Not sure what you mean. These are MP3s, which you can burn to a disc. If you don’t know how to do that, just ask Google and tell it what your system is and you should find the answer. As for the “cover” – I guess you can pull it off the page and insert it into the MP3s if you want to, if that’s what you mean.

  • Anonymous
    February 17, 2016 - 18:22 | Permalink

    Thank you Willard. Looking forward to this. Funny, MF never gives me any trouble except when they refuse to provide a download due to (possible) commercial availability.

    • Willard
      February 17, 2016 - 18:37 | Permalink

      That’s the point… that “commercial availability” page is often (not always) just a smokescreen, and if you re-click a few times (sometimes up to 5 or 6 times) it will go away and give you the download page.

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