The Temptations – The Best of The Temptations Christmas

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~ The Temptations recorded two albums of Christmas songs for Motown’s Gordy Records: “Christmas Card” in 1970 and “Give Love at Christmas” in 1980. In total 19 tracks were recorded: 10 for the first album and 9 for the second album (although the initial release of the album only contained 8 of those tracks). These two albums have been remastered and reissued numerous times in packages that contain some, but not all, of the 19 tracks.

~ In the decade between the recording of these two albums, musical styles changed and the personnel that comprised The Temptations changed. Consequently, any attempt to merge the two original albums into one collection results in a variety that only adds to the disc. Any combination of tracks from the two original albums presents a nice blend of traditional, contemporary, and original tunes presented in a setting of strings, brass, and percussion. The arrangements are unique and refreshing, never overly sentimental, often fun, sometimes funky. As always, the Temptation harmonies are exceptional.

Tracks
1 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 3.09
2 Silver Bells 2.11
3 The Little Drummer Boy 3.25
4 Sant Claus Is Comin’ To Town 3.23
5 White Christmas 4.26
6 Let It Snow 3.36
7 The Christmas Song (Chestnut Roasting On An Open Fire) 5.11
8 This Christmas 4.26
9 Give Love On Christmas Day3.37
10 Christmas Everyday 2.56
11 Silent Night 6.07
12 Oh Holy Night 6.19

“The Best of the Temptations: 20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection” / “The Best of the Temptations Christmas” contains 12 of the nineteen songs. The nice thing about this collection is that it contains “Oh, Holy Night“, the out-take from the 1980 sessions – a track that is usually omitted from the other compilations.

Tracks 1 to 6 are from 1970 and tracks 7 to 12 are from 1980. Every song here has the holiday spirit. My favorite tracks are Silver Bells (with the late Melvin Franklin’s deep bass voice), The Little Drummer Boy, White Christmas, This Christmas, Give Love on Christmas Day (they give the Jackson Five a run for their money) and their extended version of Silent Night, which I think is one of the best versions of this song ever recorded.

The last track, O Holy Night, was previously unreleased. Naturally, the Tempts sing it to perfection, like with every other song they’ve ever done. Did the Tempts ever do a bad song? They were always known for their great harmonies and snazzy wardrobes. Give this CD a listen and take a look at the guys on this CD cover. The songs and the picture say it all. Sadly, most of the original Tempts have passed on, but their music will live forever. This CD is Motown holiday soul at its best.

 

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