The Ultimate Collection (The Temptations album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Ultimate Collection
Compilation album by
ReleasedMarch 25, 1997
GenreSoul music
LabelMotown Records
ProducerHarry Weinger
The Temptations chronology
Anthology (version 3)
The Ultimate Collection
Lost and Found: You've Got to Earn It (1962-1968)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[1]

The Ultimate Collection is a compact disc by The Temptations, released on Motown Records, catalogue 314530562-2, in March 1997. It is a collection of singles comprising many of the group's greatest hits, with liner notes written by producer Harry Weinger.


The disc was part of an "Ultimate Collection" series initiated in 1997 by Motown for many of their top-selling classic artists, but unlike many of its companions it doesn't limit itself to the "classic era" when Motown was located in Detroit, but includes songs from later eras up to the 1990s. The Temptations went through personnel changes themselves, the first twelve tracks on the disc comprising songs from their "classic line-up" of David Ruffin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, Otis Williams, and Melvin Franklin. The disc contains sixteen top ten Rhythm and Blues singles chart hits, and seventeen Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 enjoyed by the Temptations and released on the Motown associate label Gordy Records imprint. One track is a b-side, "Don't Look Back" which registered on both the Pop and R&B singles charts independently of its A-side "My Baby," not included on this set. "Angel Doll," an outtake recorded in the winter of 1967 during sessions for the Temptations with A Lot O' Soul album, and the a cappella excerpt of "My Girl" that closes the disc, were both released in 1994 on the Emperors of Soul box set. Included as well is a track recorded for the box set and issued a week after its release as a single, "Error of Our Ways," co-written by long-standing members Melvin Franklin and Otis Williams, and making the lower reaches of the R&B chart three decades after "The Way You Do the Things You Do."

Starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s, standard industry practice shifted to a focus on album sales, where a single became less a separate entity and more simply an advertisement for an LP, and a lead single would be pulled off an album as a promotional tool. Prior to this, singles were concentrated upon as a profitable commodity, especially for smaller record labels, and albums were often built around already successful singles. Since Motown fixated on the hit single until the very end of its stay in Detroit, single versions of songs often featured different mixes than versions that would be later placed on albums. Singles were usually mixed "punchier" and "hotter" to sound better on car radios receiving AM broadcast.[2] The single versions are the ones appearing here.


Track listing[edit]

Singles chart peak positions from Billboard charts; no R&B chart existed from November 30, 1963, through January 23, 1965.

Track Catalogue Release Date Pop Chart R&B Chart Song Title Writer(s) Time
1. Gordy 7028 1/23/64 #11 "The Way You Do the Things You Do" Smokey Robinson and Robert Rogers 2:39
2. Gordy 7038 12/21/64 #1 #1 "My Girl" Smokey Robinson and Ronald White 2:40
3. Gordy 7040 3/18/65 #18 #3 "It's Growing" Smokey Robinson and Warren Moore 2:57
4. Gordy 7043 6/1/65 #17 #4 "Since I Lost My Baby" Smokey Robinson and Warren Moore 2:49
5. Gordy 7047b 9/30/65 #83 #15 "Don't Look Back" Smokey Robinson and Ronald White 2:53
6. Gordy 7049 2/7/66 #29 #1 "Get Ready" Smokey Robinson 2:35
7. Gordy 7054 5/3/66 #13 #1 "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" Edward Holland, Jr. and Norman Whitfield 2:32
8. Gordy 7057 11/2/66 #8 #1 "(I Know) I'm Losing You" Edward Holland, Jr., Norman Whitfield, Cornelius Grant 2:26
9. Gordy 7061 4/13/67 #8 #2 "All I Need" Edward Holland Jr., R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson 3:17
10. Gordy 7063 6/13/67 #6 #3 "You're My Everything" Norman Whitfield, Roger Penzabene, Cornelius Grant 3:12
11. Motown 530338 9/20/94 "Angel Doll" Stevie Wonder, Clarence Paul, Morris Broadnax 2:29
12. Gordy 7068 12/21/67 #4 #1 "I Wish It Would Rain" Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong, Roger Penzabene 2:53
13. Gordy 7081 10/25/68 #6 #2 "Cloud Nine" Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong 3:35
14. Gordy 7093 7/30/69 #1 #1 "I Can't Get Next to You" Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong 2:52
15. Gordy 7099 5/7/70 #3 #2 "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)" Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong 4:01
16. Gordy 7105 1/14/71 #1 #1 "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong 3:52
17. Gordy 7121 7/28/72 #1 #5 "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong 6:57
18. Gordy 7142 2/17/75 #26 #1 "Shakey Ground" Jeffrey Bowen, Eddie Hazel, Al Boyd 4:02
19. Gordy 1765 10/1/84 #48 #2 "Treat Her Like a Lady" Otis Williams and Ali-Ollie Woodson 4:16
20. Motown 2269 9/27/94 #86 "Error of Our Ways" Otis Williams, Dennis Nelson, Melvin Franklin 2:18
21. Motown 530338 9/20/94 "My Girl" Smokey Robinson and Ronald White 1:20


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ George, Nelson. Where Did Our Love Go? The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. ISBN 0-312-86698-4, pp. 113-114.