Masterpiece (The Temptations song)

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Single by The Temptations
from the album Masterpiece
B-side"Masterpiece (instrumental)"
ReleasedFebruary 1973
Length4:22 (single version)
13:49 (album version)
LabelMotown Records
Songwriter(s)Norman Whitfield
Producer(s)Norman Whitfield
The Temptations singles chronology
"Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"
"Plastic Man"

"Masterpiece" is a 1973 soul single by American vocal group The Temptations. The song's architect, Norman Whitfield, titled the song "Masterpiece" because he felt it was a perfect blending of strings, horns, rhythm players, voices, studio tricks, and sweetening elements.[1] However, the word 'masterpiece' does not appear in the song's lyrics, which do not point to anything obvious from which to draw a title. As with their Whitfield-produced hit from the previous year, "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", the Temptations do not make their first appearance until after a long instrumental section. This added to already building tension between the group and Whitfield and led some music writers to start referring to the Temps as "the Norman Whitfield Choral Singers".[2] Released from the album of the same title, it reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and spent two weeks at number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart.[3] It would be their last Top Ten pop hit with Motown Records, and, not counting their collaboration with Rod Stewart in 1991, their last Top Ten pop hit at all.


Chart positions[edit]

Charts Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 7
U.S. Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles 1


It was covered the same year by Grover Washington, Jr. on his album Soul Box.


  1. ^ allmusic
  2. ^ Temptations, The Biography
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 572.