“Camouflage” – Performed by The Temptations (1962 & 1967)

The Original Temptations

The Original Temptations

The Temptations – Camouflage (Recorded February 1962)

The Classic Temptations

The Classic Temptations

The Temptations – Camouflage (Recorded March 1967)

This month’s posting theme here at OSML has been “Motown Covers Motown.” I am still keeping within this theme, but have made it even more specific for the rest of this month,  posting on The Temptations covering The Temptations. Yes you read it right.  The Tempts have re-recorded songs they made in one incarnation and redone them with a slightly different group line up during their Motown tenure.

you-got-to-earn-it

This first example is one that you may not be familiar with since BOTH of these songs languished in the “Vault” of unreleased material until the release of the “Motown Lost and Found Series” in 1999.  These two songs come from the marvelous 1999 CD release entitled “Lost and Found:You’ve Got to Earn It (1962-1968)” which contains 19 previously unreleased Temptations studio tracks and one live track. If you don’t own this set and are a classic Temptations fan you must get a copy. When I first played it I felt like I had gone back in time and was listening to a new Temptations LP in the sixties.  IMHO all of these studio cuts could have been hits!

Of course I hate to sound like a broken record on this issue but I just don’t understand the “Motown Vault’s” existence: this music should ALL be released to the public. A few years back we fans had to get together a petition to get Eddie Kendrick’s Motown/Tamla  solo music re-released on CD and our efforts paid off — plus we received some bonus “Vault” material that was simple superb! (A sincere thank you to Mr. Harry Weinger – Mr. Weinger you are a Prince!)  But I digress (Can you tell how much I live Eddie K.? )  😉

In addition to the Temptations’ Lost and Found set there were also CDs released on Smokey Robinson & The Miracles; The Four Tops;  Martha & The Vandellas in the series.  But more often than not after release these gems go out of print so I always grab vault releases as soon after they come out as I can afford to buy them —  and I recommend you do the same.

This song “Camouflage” was written by Berry Gordy.  In fact both versions were produced by Berry Gordy. But alas they remained unheard by the public for forty years!? Wonder why? What do you think? Let’s discuss it after you vote.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A lil off topic but…I so agree wit you on the whole Motown Vault thing! Today i was watching some motown clips in celebration of “Motown 50” on freep.com and they had a clip on the “Motown Archive Vault” and im thinkin wat is the point of holding all this music? We know it was all about making hits but there’s probably hundreds or thousands of unreleased material that we could be listening to right now! Hit or not, i wanna hear it! especially if its by the Classic 5 Tempts(and Dennis). Paul is my favorite Tempt and I could imagine how many Paul led song i could be listening to right now that were probably shelved because it wasnt a hit. Also some of his solo songs were shelved. I got to hear two of them though there is one (that i know of)that i have yet to hear.

    • Hi SupaS,

      Hey you are on topic – it’s all about the music. Even though it was all about the hits I am sure it was also all about what Berry Gordy wanted and the”politics” of it all. I guarantee you that there are Temptation songs with “Paul Williams” leads that were hit worthy but never got released because Ruffin was considered the”star” at a point in time. Then when Ruffin became persona non gratis at Motown there were entire albums worth of material that was recorded but not released.

      The same holds true about my favorite Temptation — Sweet Eddie! After petitioning Motown to re-release Eddie’s solo work on CD we fans were surprised that virtually a whole albums worth of songs had been recorded but never released and IMHO every song was a hit.

      Anyway — because of those games — we, the listening public got short-changed of some great music over the years. I just hope and pray that eventually everything will come to light to for to enjoy.

      Thanks again SupaS for you participation. It is most appreciated.

  2. I think its unfair how motown is keeping all this amazing music away from us. I am in loved with the tempts and how their voices blended so well. My favorite tempt was ruffin his voice is unlike any i ever heard its just different and makes you want to forget all your problems. He has made his fair share of mistakes but I still dont think that it was fair to shelve other tempts music and solos. I think that it shuld not have been all about david thats where the group friction was. Each tempt was uniquely blessed with heaven sent voices. Maybe if things would have been different and egos as big as the earth things wuld have been different for the tempts. God bless the all.

    • Well said Amber. I do agree with you 200 per cent about the evilness of keeping so much unreleased music the the Motown “Vault” — but what can be done about it? That is the big question. I just hope that it doesn’t get destroyed before the public gets a chance to hear it all.

      I just did a post this week on the Four Tops and mentioned that they set the bar for how a musical group should behave. No egos — just talented men that loved to sing. If only the Tempts could have done the same, just think of all the great music that those men could have made together. Even Otis could have had more solos (LOL).

      I am a Cornbread woman myself. There is no reason that Eddie, David and Paul could not have put their egos aside and alternated leads. Oh well — woulda, coulda, shoulda — didn’t. I guess we will have to take the crumbs that fall out of the vault for now.

      I am so glad to hear from you. Keep those comments coming and thanks for visiting OSML.


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