Norman Whitfield (left) passed away on Tuesday September 16, 2008. Along with his writing partner, Barrett Strong, were responsible for ushering in the "psychedelic soul" era at Motown.
1966: "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" - The Temptations
1966: "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" - The Temptations
1966: "(I Know) I'm Losing You" - The Temptations
1967: "You're My Everything" - The Temptations
1967: "I Wish It Would Rain" - The Temptations
1968: "I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)" - The Temptations
1968: "Cloud Nine" - The Temptations
1968: "Ain't No Sun Since You've Been Gone" Diana Ross & The Supremes
1969: "Friendship Train" - Gladys Knight & the Pips
1969: "Runaway Child, Running Wild" - The Temptations
1969: "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" - Marvin Gaye
1969: "I Can't Get Next to You" - The Temptations
1969: "Don't Let The Joneses Get You Down" - The Temptations
1970: "Psychedelic Shack" - The Temptations
1970: "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)" - The Temptations
1971: "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" - The Temptations
1972: "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" - The Temptations
1973: "Masterpiece" - The Temptations
1973: "Let Your Hair Down" - The Temptations
1976: "I'm Going Down" - Rose Royce
1976: "I Wanna Get Next to You" - Rose Royce
1977: "Ooh Boy" - Rose Royce
1977: "Wishing on a Star" - Rose Royce
1978: "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" - Rose Royce
Some thoughts on the above lists:
1. Ain't Too Proud To Beg-This song has one of the greatest opening lines ever. Too bad most people don't know the rest of the lyrics. Eddie Murphy illustrated this talking about his pops in Raw.
2. I Wish It Would Rain-David Ruffin had one of the greatest soul voices ever. He could go from Otis Redding grit to Sam Cooke smoothe in an instant. Listen in the second verse, as he says, "cause cryin' eases the pain" as the rest of the Temptations cascade with their back vocals. Beautiful man, I tell ya.
3. I Can't Get Next To You-This song is so great. I love the lyric, "Unhappy am I, with all the powers I posses. Cause girl, your the key to my happiness." The vocal arrangement is great also.
4. Car Wash-One of the best movie themes ever.
5. I Wanna Get Next to You-This is not much more than a great chorus hook. Again, everyone knows the chorus and nobody knows the rest of the lyrics. Who cares? You know you sang this hook for someone you loved.
R.I.P Mr. Whitfield.