The Temptations - Wish It Would Rain

The Temptations – Wish It Would Rain (Limited Edition Vinyl Review)

During the 1960s few groups reached a height of success quite like The Temptations. A group of young guys out of Detroit, Michigan, as The Temptations they would become one of the most successful Soul/R&B bands of all-time with mega hits such as 1964’s “My Girl” and 1966’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” to name a few. A combination of vocal talents – David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams – The Temptations overall have sold tens of millions of albums.

A compelling story, The Temptations have continued to be an inspiration through the decades. This includes the release of The Temptations biopic miniseries in 1998, 2017’s Broadway production Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, but also in the form of compilation releases, and special reissues. Speaking of which, their pivotal 1968 album, Wish It Would Rain, is available on vinyl once again.

A limited-edition reissue, it became available on May 10, 2024 through Elemental Music. One of many Temptations reissues set to come throughout the year through the archival imprint label, with Wish It Would Rain, you get the twelve original recordings (in stereo) pressed to a high quality 140-gram vinyl for superior sound quality. With this, the album in a single LP layout with the original artwork, all offering a simple, yet very classic presentation.

Letting the music speak for itself, Wish It Would Rain was originally released on April 29, 1968 and marked a significant shift in the band’s world. First and foremost, it is indeed the last studio album to feature the classic 5 lineup of David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams. The tandem responsible for some of The Temptations’ biggest selling songs, months after the release of Wish It Would Rain, Ruffin was dismissed from his duties. A bit of a shock to outsiders, for years these songs would be final recordings ever heard with Ruffin on lead vocals… until 1982’s Reunion album which found him and Eddie Kendricks working together once more on Temptations music.

Additionally, Wish It Would Rain is also the final Temptations album to feature production from the legendary Smokey Robinson; who was largely responsible for their classic Motown sound throughout the ‘60s era. A point of interest, it is also significant to mention that after years co-producing with The Temptations, Norman Whitfield stepped in to take on an even larger role with Wish It Would Rain. Whitfield, an accomplished songwriter and producer, would soon help shape a new era for The Temptations on later albums such as 1969’s Cloud Nine (set for reissue on July 12th), thus ushering in their Psychedelic Soul sound that dominated much of the ‘70s.  

To the average consumer perhaps moot points, in the historical skeme of R&B/Soul music, and moreover The Temptations, Wish It Would Rain is a vital stamp in time. A strong collection of songs, of course including the well-known title-track that reached number 1 on US R&B charts, as well as 4 on Billboard Hot 100. Still to this day one of The Temptations most lovely recordings, it also has a quite somber background; with lyricist and Motown staff writer Roger Penzabene taking his own life in heartbreak just barely after the single was released. A terrible tragedy, the sorrow was most certainly sincere, and The Temptations immortalized the emotion in eternity.

All matters considered, Wish It Would Rain has a lot to offer; this includes “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)” (also written by Roger Penzabene), “Please Return Your Love to Me” (with Eddie Kendricks on lead), plus the unique “I Truly, Truly Believe” (with Melvin Franklin on lead). Truly a magnificent listen, it is highly recommended to pick up the limited-edition vinyl reissue from Elemental Music and look out for subsequential The Temptations releases to come, because Cryptic Rock gives this release of Wish it Would Rain 5 out of 5 stars.

The Temptations - Wish It Would Rain
The Temptations – Wish It Would Rain / Elemental Music (2024)

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