Love that David Ruffin. Rocking the high top long before Kid (or was it Play) ushered in the House Party.
The Temptations 1968 record The Temptations Wish It Would Rain marked the end of the "Classic Five" Temptations era. In the ensuing year after its release, lead singer David Ruffin's increasingly star behaviour would cause the rest of the band to give him his walking papers. As the album's title suggests, there's a melancholy tinge to this album. No doubt this was inspired by Roger Penzabene, a Motown label writer who penned the first two singles from the album.
Roger Penzabene worked closely with Norman Whitfield who had taken over Temps production duties from Smokey Robinson. Penzabene tackled the lyrics with Whitfield composing. Around the time of this album Penzabene found out his wife was cheating on him. It threw him into a fit of depression that would ultimately cause him to take his own life New Year's eve 1967, just a week after the first single's release.
The last song he penned was second single and album lead off I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You). Pleading and begging, the first four lines get you real tight.
"Girl I can't believe my ears/Are you really telling me goodbye/See you're taking away/My reason for living."
In many ways it is a continuation of previous Whitfield composed Temptations hit Ain't Too Proud To Beg.
The real masterpiece of Penzabene's was first single and album namesake/centerpiece I Wish It Would Rain. In the song a reserved piano intro leads into Ruffin's pained soulful voice as he/Penzabene hurt for the girl now gone, calling out for mother nature to provide rain "Cause raindrops will hide my teardrops." We could focus on the melancholy here, but the sadness is so real I can't help but smile, the song so beautiful I get tears of joy.
Find this one at your record shop.
The Temptations - I Wish It Would Rain mp3
The Temptations - I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You) mp3