Written by Smokey Robinson
Released in 1963
Lead vocals by Paul Williams
Background vocals by Eddie Kendricks,
Al Bryant, and Otis Williams
Instrumentation: The Funk Brothers
How in the world this didn’t become the very first hit for ” The Temptations ” is beyond me.
Paul Williams pipes were the essence of Soul and in my opinion was always the backbone of The Temps before and after David Ruffin came on board. The first album put out was ” Meet The Temptations “. Melvin ( Blue ) Franklin was added to this line up and David Ruffin ( who replaced Elbridge “Al” Bryant ) joined the rest only 3 months before it’s release. The album featured what did become their first hit ” The Way You Do The Things You Do ” which was the only song on the album that David Ruffin sang on.
But say what you will, for me it should have been ” I Want A love You Can See “.
Original member Elbridge “Al” Bryant was on all that first albums numbers which the exception of The Temps actual first recognized hit.
Some Motown staffers referred to them as hitless Temptations. I think that is what broke Bryant’s spirit. After the group made it big I can only imagine his pain of knowing that he had been an original member of one of the most successful groups that this world ever experienced. But then he should have stuck it out because success at times doesn’t always come instantaneously. Some people want it bad enough and some don’t.
In Paul Williams case he had it all. He possessed everything that made a singer a star. And I will never believe he took his own life in Aug. of 1973.
All I do know is he had one of the most powerful baritone soul voices that ever came not only out of Motown but Music period.
And on this record you can definitely see why. To me this song will always be ” The Temps First Hit ” and I’m not alone in that assessment.
Original Temps A.K.A The Elgins.
Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, and Elbridge “Al” Bryant.
2 responses to “Motown Monday ~ I Want A Love I Can See ~ The Temptations”
I am really glad to see that someone feels the same about Paul Williams Sr. Never got to meet him but I absolutely loved his voice and the Temps were above the rest. You summed it up when you said Paul ” had one of the most powerful baritone soul voices that ever came not only out of Motown but music period.” I much preferred Paul’s voice to David and have never understood why Paul “lost” his leads after David joined. Also, I will never accept the suicide theory. Well, enough already. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your article. I agree 110% with everything you said. Thank you.
You are more than welcome Gin. I listen to this song at least once every day. Paul was it and believe me more knew it then was talked about, yet I don’t know why. Can’t say they were above the rest though. I adored Levi Stubbs and the Four Tops. Levi was another whose voice soared.
I really miss the old days of Motown and the old city itself. I was born three blocks from hitsville in 57′. Did I know when to come in? LOL
Have a lot of old Motown within this blog. Enjoy.