Songs I Wish Everyone Knew: “(Loneliness Made Me Realize) It’s You That I Need” by The Temptations

Anyone would be pressed to find an entity of music more brilliant or joyous than Motown. They were so much more than a record label, they were a juggernaut hit-machine that produced some of the greatest rock, pop, and soul songs in the history of music. Their assembly-line method of writing, recording, and producing tracks has been imitated but never recreated; it took songwriting teams like Holland-Dozier-Holland, Norman Whitfield, Ashford & Simpson, Smokey Robinson, and Barrett Song, and impeccable production teams like The Funk Brothers to pull it off. It’s not so much the number of legends Motown has produced, but the sheer level of legends it has that makes it such an important landmark in history. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Martha & The Vandellas, and, of course, The Temptations, were all seminal Motown acts that defined an era of soul that has been cited as one of the most important movements in the history of rock and roll (all of the aforementioned acts are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)  The Temptations were absolutely crucial to Motown’s success. No one had tighter harmonies or cleaner dance moves than The Tempts. Additionally, they were an act that had 5 viable lead singers. They’ve had various line-ups over the years, but their “Classic 5,” David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Otis Williams, and Melvin Franklin, will always be cited as their most important. David Ruffin held down the lead on some of their biggest hits (“My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,”) while Eddie Kendrick’s impressive falsetto was also frequently highlighted (“The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “Just My Imagination,”) but all five Tempts received recognition for their voices. Probably the best example is “(Loneliness Made Me Realize) It’s You That I Need.” The song isn’t their most famous single, nor is it held on a pedestal like some of their biggest hits, but the song is absolutely brilliant. David Ruffin does handle most of the leads, but the song reaches a climax at the end where all 5 members get solo slots. Hearing each of their voices isolated like this really showcases their individual talents, but when they come together, it’s nothing short of magical. You may already know their classics, but “It’s You That I Need” is one Temptations track you need to add to your collection.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s