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David Ruffin: David (The Unreleased Album)

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US Hip-O-Select Oct-2012, originally released in 2004
The original album shelved back in 1970 by Motown
76 minutes of music!

1) Each Day Is a Lifetime 2) I Want You Back 3) Out in the Country 4) You Can Come Right Back to Me 5) I Can't Be Hurt Anymore 6) Rainy Night in Georgia 7) I've Got a Need for You 8) Anything That You Ask For 9) Let Somebody Love Me 10) For the Shelter of Your Love 11) Dinah 12) Don't Stop Lovin' Me
Bonus tracks:
13) It's Gonna Take a Whole Lot of Doin' 14) I Want Her to Say It Again 15) Your Heartaches I Can Surely Heal 16) Get Away Heartbreak (Keep on Moving) 17) You Make Me Do Things I Don't Want to Do 18) Mountain of Memories 19) Heaven Help Us All
Mono singles mixes:
20) Each Day Is a Lifetime - (Mono Single Mix) 21) Don't Stop Lovin' Me - (Mono Single Mix) 22) You Can Come Right Back to Me - (Mono Single Mix) 23) Dinah - (Mono Single Mix)

Some of those, who knew David, say that he was anything but the capricious troublemaker or the tragic figure as portrayed in the Temptations mini-series. However, he had his demons, which was one of the reasons the relationship between him and Motown's decision-makers grew tense soon after David had left the Temptations and launched his solo career. This also caused the shelving of, arguably, his best album ever, David, which was due to come out in the early summer 1971 as his third solo set. Now thanks to the compilation producer Harry Weinger and the remastering wizards, Suha Gur and Ellen Fitton, we finally get to hear that 'lost album' plus as bonus tracks seven outtakes and plus still mono mixes of the four songs that came out as two singles in the first half of '71. The limited edition of 'David' Unreleased LP & More (23 tracks, 76 min.) was issued this June by Hip-O Select (

The songs for the album were recorded between the period of August '69 and July '71, and mostly David worked with such producers as Clay McMurray, Henry Cosby, Johnny Bristol, Ivy Jo Hunter and Smokey Robinson. The two singles didn't chart. Henry Cosby produced a mid-paced pleader called Each Day Is A Lifetime (b/w an ordinary beater, Don't Stop Lovin' Me, by Duke Browner ' this side actually bubbled under at # 112-pop) and for the follow-up Smokey Robinson and Terry Johnson finished a driving mover titled You Can Come Right Back To Me, with some strange noises in instrumentation. It was backed with Smokey's and Al Cleveland's powerful ballad, Dinah, which Gene Page arranged and which was initially meant for the Miracles.

Clay's input for the album still included a cover of the Jackson 5's first hit, I Want You Back, which was turned from a teeny dancer into an adult uptempo pleader. A sunny and melodic beat ballad named Out In The Country is a cover of Bobby Taylor's recording, and on the version of Rainy Night In Georgia David forgets Brook Benton's delicate reading and instead 'ruffens' it up.

Anything That You Ask For is a catchy and richly orchestrated Motown dancer.

Already in 1969 Johnny Bristol produced a storming and energetic mover titled I've Got A Need For You, and his second collaboration is also an uptempo dancer, the catchy and melodic For The Shelter Of Your Love. Henry Cosby produced an average plodder called I Can't Be Hurt Anymore and Ivy Jo Hunter cut a beat ballad named Let Somebody Love Me, which was first recorded by Chuck Jackson.

Also among the rejects there were many gems. Clay produced a vibrant mover called It's Gonna Take A Whole Lot Of Doin', and Johnny Bristol produced a beater titled I Want Her To Say It Again, which Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded first for their '69 Nitty Gritty album. Bristol is also responsible for a catchy dancer named Your Heartaches I Can Surely Heal and a messy, psychedelic beater called Get Away Heartbreak (Keep On Moving). Henry Cosby produced another beater, You Make Me Do Things I Don't Want To Do, which originally was meant for Marvin Gaye, and Martin Cohen produced Mountain Of Memories, an impressive beat ballad with energetic singing but which sounds slightly unfinished. Personal favourite is a truly powerful and gospelly rendition of Heaven Help Us All, which is still intensified with an overwhelming orchestration and background singing.

Add the Funk Brothers, the Andantes, the Originals and the Spinners, among others, to the mix and you are into a real treat. A remarkable CD!

- Heikki Suosalo

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