I’m pleased that I made my swim this morning (3200m) given early morning starts haven’t necessary been my “thing” in recent weeks. No, sir. I loves me my lie-in’s. But today, I was up, awake and focused in the pool and I’m pleased. And later (weather permitting) I’ll go ride my bike. For the time being though, I’m trapped at my desk here at Ground Zero of Corporate Hell so I may as well make the best of it with some tunage, beginning with the ‘Sky’s the Limit‘ album by The Temptations.
‘Sky’s the Limit‘ is the 14th studio album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label released in 1971. The album includes the #1 hit ‘Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)‘, the Top 40 hit ‘Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite the World)‘, and the original version of ‘Smiling Faces Sometimes‘, later a Top 5 hit for The Undisputed Truth.
In addition, the album features the final Temptations recordings for founding member Eddie Kendricks, the main lead vocalist on ‘Just My Imagination‘. During the recording of the album, Kendricks departed the group for a solo career. His best friend Paul Williams would soon follow him out of the group due mainly to health issues brought on by alcoholism.
So, really, many fans of the band genuinely consider this to be their ultimate swan song album as the original members go.
‘Unite the World‘ (its main title ‘Ungena Za Ulimwengu‘ is a Swahili translation of its parenthetical title), the album’s 1st single, was the first Temptations single since 1964’s ‘I’ll Be in Trouble‘ not to make the Billboard Pop Singles Top 30. It’s relative failure signaled the beginning of the end of the band and Norman Whitfield’s psychedelic soul recordings; while more Sly & the Family Stone-inspired psychedelic records would turn up on the next four Temptations albums, Whitfield began, for the first time in three years, once again releasing soul ballads as singles for the group. The first of these was the album’s 2nd single, ‘Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)‘, which Whitfield and Barrett Strong had written in 1969 but shelved, and which would go on to become the group’s 3rd number-one hit. Not to be outdone, the opening tune ‘Gonna Keep On Tryin’…‘ is also one of their best featuring a trippy, lilting guitar hook.
Side Two definitely has the “side two blues”, and part of that reason is because the mellotron-soaked ‘Man‘, ‘Throw a Farewell Kiss‘ and the godawful overstuffed ‘Love Can Be Anything‘ which runs at around the nine and a half minute mark.
All together its enough to kick start the morning into something resembling productive until I can clock out of here, get my ass home, into my kit and onto my bike.
Eight hours and counting….