Farewell My Love

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"Farewell My Love"
Single by The Temptations
from the album Meet The Temptations
B-side "May I Have This Dance"
Released June 25, 1963
Format 7" single
Recorded Hitsville USA (Studio A); May 25, 1963
Genre Soul, R&B, Doo-wop, Pop
Length 2:49
Label Gordy
G 7020
Writer(s) Berry Gordy, Jr.
Producer(s) Berry Gordy, Jr.
Smokey Robinson
The Temptations singles chronology
"I Want a Love I Can See"
(1963)
"Farewell My Love"
(1963)
"The Way You Do the Things You Do"
(1964)

"Farewell My Love" is a 1963 single by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. It was the last single that A-side was written and produced by Motown president Berry Gordy for well over a decade, and the last released during the period of the "Original 5" lineup (before member Elbridge "Al" Bryant was fired).[1] It is also noted as the group's last single to miss the Billboard pop chart's Top 40 until 1971's "It's Summer" (and the last to not make it on any U.S. music charts for the next 23 years). Up until now the group was jokingly referred to at this time as the "Hitless Temptations" by the Motown staff, much like their "sister" group, The Supremes, were called the "no-hit Supremes". However, their next single, the Smokey Robinson produced "The Way You Do the Things You Do", would chart in the Top 20 of the U.S. Pop chart, breaking the group's streak of being "hitless".

Overview[edit]

The song tells of a couple's breakup; the narrator speaks of his lover being untrue to him and that he's leaving her to find "someone who cares/ And still be there" for him. This is the third of the small handful of pre-psychedelic era songs the group recorded that had more than two members singing lead at one point; the previous were "Isn't She Pretty" and "Check Yourself". As with "Isn't She Pretty", Paul Williams is the song's main lead yet it mainly showcases another group member, in this case it's Eddie Kendricks who alternates between his famous falsetto and his natural register (first and second tenor). Bryant's voice is also prominently heard here, delivering harmony solos behind Kendricks' and Williams' leads as well as having brief lead lines - one each - on the first two choruses ("To me" and "I'm going cry"). Bass singer Melvin Franklin starts the song with do-wop harmonies and later repeats Williams' line, "Why couldn’t you be true?", at the end of the second verse.

Although it did not chart nationally, the song was a regional smash hit in the country's mid-west. This would be the group's final A-side released with Williams as the main lead (although B-side releases "Just Let Me Know", "Baby, Baby I Need You", and "Don't Look Back" would be promoted as if they were), and the final one to feature Bryant's vocals altogether (his voice however would appear on two B-sides later released). The next three singles from the group would have Kendricks on lead, and then, beginning with release of "My Girl", David Ruffin, Bryant's replacement, would become the Tempt's new main lead singer.

Personnel[edit]

"May I Have This Dance"[edit]

"May I Have This Dance"
Single by The Temptations
Released June 25, 1963
Recorded Hitsville USA (Studio A); November 2, 1962
Genre Soul
Length 2:14
Label Gordy
G 7020
Writer(s) Janie Bradford
Norman Whitfield
Producer(s) Berry Gordy, Jr.
Norman Whitfield
Smokey Robinson

The B-side to "Farewell My Love" was "May I Have This Dance".[2] (recorded on November 2, 1962). Despite speculation by some that the recorded version of this song was led by Elbridge "Al" Bryant (who performed the lead on stage and was originally credited as the track's lead), in fact it features a lead vocal from Eddie Kendricks in which he's singing mostly in his (rarely recorded) natural tenor and not his more familiar falsetto, which is only heard near the song's end. Backing him are fellow members Otis Williams, Paul Williams and Melvin Franklin; Bryant's vocals do not actually appear on this track. It would be the last time a Temptation track involving producer-songwriter Norman Whitfield would appear on a single where neither side would chart. In three years, after a few more B-sides and album fillers for the Tempts, Whitfield would produce the hit "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" and take over as the group main producer.

Personnel[edit]

  • Lead vocals by Eddie Kendricks
  • Background vocals by Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin and Otis Williams
  • Written by Norman Whitfield and Janie Bradford
  • Produced by Norman Whitfield
  • Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Williams, Otis and Romanowski, Patricia (1988, updated 2002). Temptations. Lanham, MD: Cooper Square. ISBN 0-8154-1218-5.
  2. ^ Allmusic.