The Temptations, Ball of Confusion

Dennis Edwards joined the Temps about the time their sound got harder, and the content of their songs political. Also when they became their most popular selves. He died earlier this week.

There are some great videos of the band singing this one, with psychedelic video, on YouTube, but the audio part of this version is the best.

5 thoughts on “The Temptations, Ball of Confusion

  1. After David Ruffin left, the Tempts went for a vocal trade-off style that resulted in many of their biggest hits, extending from Cloud Nine all the way into the 70’s with Papa Was a Rolling Stone and beyond. At the same time they got into James Brown-influenced hard funk, and as Peter says, more political – really sociological I’d say – lyrics. As in Ball of Confusion, the lyrics are more descriptive than polemical. I like that – tell the truth and let the people make up their minds. In that run of hits I like the first and the last best. Maybe there was controversy about the lyrics to this “advocating” drug use, but I don’t remember hearing about it. The attitude is exactly the same as the VU’s Heroin. This is the shit.

  2. A month later, than my original post, and I agree more. Socially conscious, advocating free thinking, but more importantly, rocking harder. These are my favorite things that moved the Temps from the excellent vocal group that created Ain’t To Proud to Beg, to the dynamo that created Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Ball of Confusion and many more.

    Here’s the great earlier stuff:

    • I want to say great minds think alike, my father said that, but in this case, admiration for a fantastic vocal with an incredible arrangement by a band in a terrific configuration led to greatness. We complement each other. Let’s keep going as long as we want to.

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