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Temprees, The - 3 (LP)

Temprees, The - 3 (LP)

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Genre: soul
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Three
Company: We Produce
Catalog: XPS-1905
Year: 1974
Country/State: Memphis, Tennessee
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: embossed cover
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6209
Price: $20.00

I've said it in my earlier review, but The Temprees remain one of those consistently overlooked mid-1970s soul vocal groups which is a monumental shame given their talent. It would be hard, but if I had to pick one, 1974's "Three" would probably the nod as my favorite of the three Tempress studio sets. Co-produced by Tom Nixon and Lester Snell, musically it wasn't much different from the earlier sets, offering up a mixture of the group's patented ballads and isolated up-tempo numbers. That said, this time out William Johnson, Jasper Phillips, and Harold 'Scott seemed effortlessly comfortable in the studio, willing to take occasional risks with the material, including a couple of stabs at more dance oriented numbers (''I Love, I Love'). Maybe I've just been listening to too much Al Green, but on a couple of tracks Phillips sure seemed to be trying to channel Green - check out his performance on ''Loving You Is So Easy'. It wasn't the perfect Temprees album, the 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight' and 'A Love Song' medley was simply dull (and way too long), but song for song this one was pretty impressive.

- For a group best known for their slow-grind ballads, personally I've always been partial to their upbeat numbers. and Mr. Cool That Ain't Coo'' was one of their best performances. About as close to a funk workout as these guys ever got, the chorus was just to-die-for. Easy to see why it got tapped as the lead-off single. rating: **** stars
- A far more typical performance, 'Your Love (Is All I Need)' was a breezy and easy going ballad that had plenty of commercial potential. Once again Johnson and Scott provided some simply impeccable backing vocals. rating: **** stars
- Another wonderful ballad, 'Loving You Is So Easy' found lead singer Jasper Phillips adding a touch of Al Green sexiness to the mix. One of my favorite performances. Great drums on this one. rating: **** stars
- The second single off the album, 'I Love, I Love' had an even stronger Al Green feel to it, though the effect was somewhat diluted by the mundane disco-flavored backing. rating: ** stars
- Another up-tempo effort, 'The Whole Bit of Love' was also side one's biggest disappointment. The song itself wasn't particularly impressive, sounding like it had been thrown together in an instant with one of those boilerplate mid-1970s arrangements. Add to that a lackluster performance and you had something completely forgettable. rating: ** stars
- Opening up side two, their cover of Redbone's 'Come and Get Your Love' was fun. Musically, other than adding some of their patented harmonies, it didn't stray too far from the original arrangement. Still, it was doubtful you'd forget the original version of the song. rating: *** stars
- At least to my ears 'You Make Me Feel So Good Baby' has always reminded me of something out of the Philadelphia International camp. It was certainly a nice enough ballad, but the arrangement and overall feel was different from their standard performance. Like it a lot ... rating: *** stars
- Their heavily orchestrated medley of 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight' and 'A Love Song' saw the trio veering into supper club soul territory. Very Barry White MOR-ish and forgettable. rating: ** stars
- Underscoring some of my earlier comments, the rapid fire 'I'll Live Her Life' was another standout performance. Fantastic melody and the up tempo arrangement seemed to inspire Phillips and company. rating: **** stars

The album was tapped for a series of three singles:

- 'Mr. Cool That Ain't Cool' b/w 'Lovin' You Is So Easy' (We Produce catalog number XPRA-1814)
- 'I Love, I Love' b/w 'Your Love (Is All I Need)' (We Produce catalog number XPRA-1815)
- 'Come and Get Your Love' b/w 'I'll Live Her Life' (We Produce catalog number XPRA-1816)

You can still find cheap copies so this one's well worth checking out.

"Three" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Mr. Cool That Ain't Cool (Bettye Crutcher - Mack Rice) - 2:53
2.) Your Love (Is All I Need) (E. Hines - R. Randolph) - 3:35
3.) Loving You Is So Easy (L. Moore) - 3:12
4.) I Love, I Love (Jasper Phillips - H. Scott M. Lee) - 4:25
5.) The Whole Bit of Love (H. Scott - M. Lee) - 3:30

(side 2)
1.) Come and Get Your Love (Lolly Vegas) - 3:14
2.) You Make Me Feel So Good Baby (H. Scott - D. Davis) - 3:15
3,) Medley: Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight / A Love Song (James Taylor / Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 7:30
4.) I'll Live Her Life (H. Scott - T. Nixon) - 2:55
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