The Temptations – 1980 – Give Love At Christmas
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This is one of the most classic R&B Christmas albums ever recorded.
The Temptations come steppin’ in prime form. With a chiming introduction, “Give Love on Christmas Day” is an uplifting jingle showcasing Glenn Leonard‘s unwavering falsetto on lead. “Everything for Christmas” has mellifluous background vocals, with string and horn arrangements rounded out by Richard Street‘s indelible delivery. “The Christmas Song” and “Silent Night” are two incomparable selections featuring various members on lead, including Melvin Franklin‘s admirable bass exhibition. Dennis Edwards shines on the jubilant “This Christmas“, which also features a spirited musical interlude. In minimal words, this collection of Christmas carols ranks among the best.
When it comes to most Christmas albums, typically you’ll fast forward through a few to get to the best cuts. Not on this album tho. The quality of the recordings are excellent, sounding nothing like you’d expect a 25 year old album to sound. The soaring title track sets the tone form what’s yet to come with the soulfull harmonies that the Temps are legendary for. “The Christmas Song” masterfully lead by Dennis is truly the best rendition of the song that I’ve ever heard. “Love Comes With Christmas” is a gentle loving melody that reminds us of the true spirit of the holiday.
“Little Dummer Boy“… The song still gives me chills and the Temps harmonize in the way only the Temps could. The uplifting “This Christmas” is Motown all day. “Everything For Christmas” led by Richard Street. I’ve never beard this sony done any other way and so this is a true gem on this album. The best romantic Christmas song thas graced my ears period. I even listen to this cut on a regular basis throughout the year. Melvin’s “Christmas Everyday” written by Smokey one again will have you bounce’n and jammin’. And then, there is not enough that could be said for Silent Night. They took the most beloved Christmas song and created a version that Joseph Moore, the writter of the lyrics, and Hans Gruber, the composer, would have never expected to become of thier work back in 1818. There is no more soul stirring, joyous and masterfully sung version of this classic. Glenn Lenord’s voice soars as lead as well as Melvin’s lyrics and Dennis’s narration through this 6min song still brings tears to my eyes to this day.
Soul fan or not, Christmas spirit or Scroge, The best Chistmas album there is.