12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With the inclusion of pop standards, many considered this 1967 set a sell-out grab for a wider white audience. (The tone-setting opener “Hello Young Lovers,” with its bouncy, big-band cadence, was all but irrelevant to black culture upon this album’s release.) But the singing and feel behind the performances make this an unsung classic. Eddie Kendrick’s smoldering falsetto blankets both “Try to Remember” and “A Taste of Honey” with uncanny warmth, and “What Now My Love” and “Ol' Man River” bottom out beautifully on Melvin Franklin’s weighty, rafter-rattling bass vocal. David Ruffin’s salty performances completely own both “Somewhere” and the jaw-dropping finale, “The Impossible Dream.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

With the inclusion of pop standards, many considered this 1967 set a sell-out grab for a wider white audience. (The tone-setting opener “Hello Young Lovers,” with its bouncy, big-band cadence, was all but irrelevant to black culture upon this album’s release.) But the singing and feel behind the performances make this an unsung classic. Eddie Kendrick’s smoldering falsetto blankets both “Try to Remember” and “A Taste of Honey” with uncanny warmth, and “What Now My Love” and “Ol' Man River” bottom out beautifully on Melvin Franklin’s weighty, rafter-rattling bass vocal. David Ruffin’s salty performances completely own both “Somewhere” and the jaw-dropping finale, “The Impossible Dream.”

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