While The Temptations miniseries is a classic, one of my most significant issues with the film was the lack of attention given to Dennis Edwards, who was the voice of one of the group’s biggest hits in the seventies. That said, I decided to give Mr. Edwards his flowers this week.
Edwards auditioned for Motown Records in 1966, and he was signed, but the company placed him on retainer. In February of this year, he joined The Contours after Billy Gordon, the band’s lead singer, became ill, and he couldn’t continue playing. The Contours performed as the opening act for several concerts that the Temptations performed in 1967.
When the Temptations were considering replacing their singer around this time, David Ruffin (a personal friend of Edwards) took notice of Edwards and made his acquaintance at this point. Having officially joined the Tempts in 1968, Edwards remained with the group until 1977, when the group left Motown Records and signed with Atlantic Records.
When the group returned to Motown three years later, Edwards assumed the role of lead singer yet again for the group. He remained there intermittently until his final exit in 1989. Throughout that time, Edwards released two solo albums, one of which is this week’s pick for Second Listen Sunday.
The first time Dennis left the Tempts in 1977, he recorded a solo album that never made it to the market. It remains unreleased to this day. Producer Dennis Lambert, who worked with the Temptations on Surface Thrill in 1983, teamed with Edwards on this album. The lead single from Edwards’ sophomore album, “Don’t Look Any Further,” had a reggae feel that came out of the gate on fire.
“(You’re My) Aphrodisiac,” the second single on the album, was a smooth, slow jam, while the third single, “Just Like You,” harkened back to the seventies soul movement. The rest of the album is filler, but Edwards’s voice is in top form throughout and makes up for the production.
Final Grade: B
Don’t Look Any Further is available on all streaming platforms.
You must be logged in to post a comment.