Norm Whitfield: Rose Royce, Temptations

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Way back disco was popular: John Travolta was young, heterosexuals invaded or copied gay bars. I was among the disco sucks crowd. I listened mostly to rock. Some of it cool as they say: Velvet Underground. Some because I would've enjoyed having the singer on bottom: David Bowie.

For a time I spent many of my hours in a restaurant. Just hanging out. I didn't like to work and the manager would feed me. The catch was that I sat next to the juke box. Among the songs I came to hate the most was Car Wash by Rose Royce. The song's great crime, aside from being played too often, was that it was dance music.

Years pass, my tastes change. The first day I went to buy CDs the Temptations box set was one of my purchases (looks like a promotional tool from a vodka distiller) . My cheeks redden to confess that I discovered the Temptations while watching the Mike Douglas Show. Why was I watching something so lame? I guess I had no life. Probably had to go back home to Savannah, which amounted to the same thing.

The Temptations performed Power which won me over instantly. This was before I had any inkling how much I'd come to love gospel and gospel influenced r&b vocal harmony. The psychedelic-soul tracks produced by Norm Whitfield were clearly the best.

Much later having bough the boxed set I dug around to see what else Norm Whitfield had produced. After leaving Motown he'd created Rose Royce. Nothing on Car Wash is equal to Ball of Confusion or Psychedelic Shack but it is pretty good fun.

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Norm Whitfield: Rose Royce, Temptations
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