1973 The Temptations – 1990

1990 is a 1973 album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label, their final LP written and produced by Norman Whitfield.

The LP was the center of a number of problems. The Temptations were dissatisfied with Whitfield’s socially conscious message tracks, which were by now failing commercially, and desired to get back to singing ballads. Whitfield relented some here, placing message tracks such as “1990” and “Ain’t No Justice” alongside love songs such as “Heavenly” and “You’ve Got My Soul on Fire”.

The album’s first single, the Rose Royce-backed and Dennis Edwards-led funk track “Let Your Hair Down”, was its only Top 40 hit. The ballad “Heavenly”, sung by Richard Street and Damon Harris, was caught in the center of a disc jockey boycott against Motown. A Motown executive did not thank the United States’ DJs while accepting an award for the Temptations at the 1974 American Music Awards, and, as a result, the DJs refused to play “Heavenly”. “You’ve Got My Soul on Fire”, another Edwards-led funk track, also stalled out on the pop charts.

The Temptations remained dissatisfied with Whitfield’s “slave-driver” like production mentality and his tendency to overshadow the Temptations’ contributions to their own records by emphasising his production techniques and creating extended instrumental tracks with only a few verses of vocals. Group leader Otis Williams complained to Motown chief Berry Gordy, who replaced Whitfield with Jeffrey Bowen for their next LP, 1975’s A Song for You. Whitfield left Motown soon afterward, and started his own label, Whitfield Records, which released several hits from Rose Royce.

Tracks

Let Your Hair Down (Norman Whitfield) 2:40
2  I Need You (Norman Whitfield) 3:05
Heavenly (Norman Whitfield) 3:57
You’ve Got My Soul On Fire (Norman Whitfield) 3:53
5  Ain’t No Justice (Norman Whitfield) 6:08
6  1990 (Norman Whitfield) 4:07
7  Zoom (Norman Whitfield) 13:42

Musicians

BassJames Jamerson Sr
BassLequeint Jobe
BassRon Brown
DrumsEd Greene
DrumsJames Gadson
DrumsHenry Garner Jr
DrumsAaron Smith
GuitarDennis Coffey
GuitarEddie Willis
GuitarKenji Brown
GuitarWah Wah Watson
KeyboardsEarl van Dyke
KeyboardsMark Davis
KeyboardsVictor Nix
SaxMichael Moore
TromboneGeorge Bohanon
PercussionJack Ashford
TrumpetFreddie Dunn
TrumpetKenny Copeland
PercussionBobbye Hall
PercussionTerral Santiel

Liner Notes

Producer – Norman Whitfield
Arranged By – Paul Riser
Assistant – Asari Graham
Engineer (Mastering) – Norman Whitfield, Russ Terrana
Engineer (Recording) – Art Stewart, Cal Harris, Larry Miles, Russ Terrana

Cover (Cover Concept), Photography By – Jim Britt
Design – Desmond Strobel, John Cabalka, Terry Squire

Phonographic Copyright (p) – Motown Record Corporation
Copyright (c) – Motown Record Corporation
Published By – Stone Diamond Music Corp.