The Temptations Wish It Would Rain
- Released: March 29, 2019
2 LPs on 1 CD: WISH IT WOULD RAIN (1968)/IN A MELLOW MOOD (1967).
Both are available separately on CD and cassette.
The Temptations were at the peak of their popularity as Motown's flagship act (well, if it wasn't The Supremes, it was The Temps) in 1968 when they cut Wish It Would Rain, and if the album doesn't hold any great surprises in terms of material, production, or performance, it's also a consistently strong set which demonstrates just what made this group so popular. The Temptations were on the cusp of a number of changes when these sessions were recorded -- a year later, David Ruffin would be out of the group, Dennis Edwards would take his place, and Norman Whitfield would nudge the group into the direction of rock-oriented guitars and neo-"protest" lyrics -- and so Wish It Would Rain unwittingly became one of the group's last proper gestures toward sweet soul. And The Temptations certainly gave it a beautiful send-off; "I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)", "Please Return Your Love To Me" and the title cut are all musical heartache at its most satisfying, with keening string charts and heart-wrenching harmonies, and "Fan The Flame" and "He Who Picks The Rose" showed the group could put the same emotional power into uptempo dance-friendly material. Wish It Would Rain never quite sounds like one of The Temptations' most ambitious albums, but it does capture a group of gifted professionals (both in front of the microphones and behind the scenes) working at the peak of their skills, and the results are impassioned, satisfying, and beautifully crafted; if you like The Temptations at all, this is an album you'll cherish. ~ Mark Deming
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