Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)

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"Ball of Confusion
(That's What the World is Today)"
Single by The Temptations
from the album Greatest Hits II
B-side "It's Summer"
Released May 7, 1970
Format 7" single
Recorded Hitsville USA (Studio A); April 12 and April 14, 1970
Genre Psychedelic soul
Length 4:06
Label Gordy
G 7099
Writer(s) Norman Whitfield
Barrett Strong
Producer(s) Norman Whitfield
The Temptations singles chronology
"Psychedelic Shack"
"Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)"
"Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite the World)"
UK single cover
"Ball of Confusion"
Single by Tina Turner
from the album B.E.F.: Music of Quality And Distinction Volume One
B-side "Ball of Confusion"
Released 1982
Format 7"
Recorded 1982
Genre Pop/R&B
Length 3:50
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Norman Whitfield
Barrett Strong
Producer(s) Martyn Ware
Tina Turner singles chronology
"Music Keeps Me Dancin'"
"Ball of Confusion"
"Let's Stay Together"
"Ball of Confusion"
Single by Love and Rockets
B-side "Inside the Outside"
Released 1985
Format 7 and 12" vinyl
Genre Alternative rock
Label Beggars Banquet
Love and Rockets singles chronology
"If There's a Heaven Above"
"Ball of Confusion"
"Kundalini Express"

"Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)" is a 1970 hit single for The Temptations. It was released on the Gordy (Motown) label, and written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong.

The song was used to anchor the 1970 Greatest Hits II LP. The song reached #3 on the US pop charts and #2 on the US R&B charts. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 24 song of 1970.[1]


Tina Turner version[edit]

The song "Ball of Confusion" plays an important part in the career of Tina Turner - if only indirectly. Her recording of the track was included on 1982 album Music of Quality And Distinction Volume One, a tribute by the B.E.F. (British Electric Foundation) featuring members of the New Romantic band Heaven 17 and a number of guest vocalists covering 1960s and 1970s hits, among them Sandie Shaw, Paul Jones, Billy Mackenzie, Paula Yates and Gary Glitter.

Turner's synth-driven interpretation of "Ball of Confusion" opened the album and was also issued as a single - and in fact a Top 5 hit in Norway - which led to Capitol Records signing Turner and Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh recording another 1970s cover with her in late 1983. The track was Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" which became a surprise hit single on both sides of the Atlantic and the starting point of Turner's comeback, with the following album Private Dancer going multiplatinum in 1984.

Turner recorded several other cover versions with the Heaven 17/B.E.F. team, including David Bowie's "1984" (included on Private Dancer), Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" (included on Music of Quality And Distinction Volume Two), Cooke's "Having A Party" and Al Green's "Take Me To The River".

When the album Music of Quality And Distinction Volume One was re-released on CD in the early 1990s it included an updated remix of Turner's "Ball of Confusion". This version was later included on the rarities disc of her 1994-CD box set The Collected Recordings - Sixties to Nineties.

Versions and mixes[edit]

  • Album Version/7" Mix - 3:20
  • 7" Instrumental - 3:20
  • 1991 B.E.F. Remix - 4:11


Chart Peak
Norway 5[2]


  1. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1970
  2. ^ "Song Artist Tina Turner". Retrieved 4 February 2012.