Album: All Directions
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The Temptations who put out “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” was a significantly different band from even a year prior: both Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams had left the band in a cloud of bad feelings and health/substance abuse problems respectively, leaving only Otis Williams — the through line to this very day — and Melvin Franklin, who stuck around until just before he passed away in 1995, from their classic period.
Kendricks and Paul Williams were replaced by Damon Harris and Richard Street, and you could tell the difference if you listened hard enough. The harmonies on the proto diss-track “Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)” — good lord did they love a parenthetical song title! — were definitely different, which might or might not be why it topped out at “only” #18 on the Billboard Pop Charts, and they were definitely different on “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” but the music bed created by crazed genius producer Norman Whitfield was so compelling that it didn’t matter.