RELEASE DATE: August 26th 2005
CD Edition limited to 5000 non-numbered limitied edition copies.
As Motown groups such as The Temptations and The Supremes moved into the Seventies, their lineups proved to be fluid, and members left to establish solo careers. Three years after David Ruffin was gone from the Temptations’ lineup, co-lead singer Eddie Kendricks followed him into a solo career. Kendricks’ departure was certainly less acrimonious than Ruffin’s had been, as evidenced by the fact that all the Tempts gave warm testimonials to Kendricks’ talent on the sleeve of All By Myself, his solo debut.
Keep On Truckin’: The Motown Solo Collection, Vol. 1 collects four of Kendricks’ early albums – All By Myself, People… Hold On, Eddie Kendricks, and For You – produced by Frank Wilson. All of them feature both Eddie’s classic high tenor and his natural voice in beautifully sympathetic settings. It’s part of a plan to see all of Kendricks’ catalogue reissued; these albums were digitally remastered in 2005 from the original master tapes to bring out every last measure of soul goodness. Incredibly, only People… Hold On was ever issued on CD – a disc that has long been out of print.
This set contains not only Kendricks’ pop- and R&B chart-topping “Keep On Truckin’,” but also his No.1 R&B smash “Shoeshine Boy” and the influential dance cuts “Date With The Rain” and “Girl You Need A Change Of Mind.” Other treats hidden in the middle grooves of these records are some unexpected surprises, such as covers of Bread’s classic “If,” and Jim Croce’s “Time In A Bottle,” both unexpected choices of repertoire. Less unusual, perhaps, but beautifully rendered, is his cover of Chuck Jackson’s “Any Day Now.”
Like his former Tempts partner David Ruffin, Kendricks exited the scene far too early, dying of cancer in October 1992 at the age of 52. Fortunately, he left behind a rich legacy of recordings. As liner note writer Brian Chin observes, “In these four albums, a great artist, surrounded by other great artists, is called again to greatness, and responds like a champion.”
Look for the remainder of Kendrick’s Motown albums in 2006.
In the Eighties, Kendricks dropped the “s” from his last name and recorded an album with former Temptation partner David Ruffin.