The holiday season isn’t complete without the sounds of one of the most classic R&B Christmas albums ever recorded; The Temptations Give Love at Christmas. The Temptations roster for this soulful album included Otis Williams, Dennis Edwards, Glenn Leonard, Richard Street, and Melvin Franklin. The group crafted the household staple released in 1980 that is a part of America’s soundtrack. While this isn’t the Temptations first holiday themed album, it has been deemed as one of the most memorable. Ask anyone what their favorite Temptations Christmas song is and they will surely mention “Silent Night,” with Melvin Frank’s bass filled voice opens the track with “T’was the night before Christmas,” and sign’s off with infamous line “Merry Christmas from the Temptations!”
In an interview with NMAAM earlier this year, founding member of the group Otis Williams expressed that he is used to hearing that people consider the Give Love at Christmas album a classic. “People love our version of ‘Silent Night.’ I think we did a great rendition of such a fantastic song to begin with. All we did was put our imprint on it and it’s been a hugely successful record. We did that album in the 1980s and it’s still a very popular one when Christmas rolls around now,” explained Williams. The song was recorded in the 1970s on their first holiday album; The Temptations Christmas Card, but the updated six-minute version is the one most refer to as the ultimate classic as the Temptations tap into their gospel roots to conjure up the true spirit of the holidays.
The Give Love at Christmas album is filled with the Motown sound as the tempting Temptations showcase their smooth harmonies that are evident on the hits during their hey day when they ruled the charts. The album features songs such as the introduction, “Give Love on Christmas Day,” that highlights Glenn Leonard’s falsetto on lead.
“Everything for Christmas” has harmonizing background vocals with Richard Street taking the lead, making listeners want to hang the mistletoe and the stockings with care.
“The Christmas Song” features various members on lead vocals.
Dennis Edwards turns “This Christmas” into his own soulful version that shines and makes you want to two-step.
The group tackles another standard that has been recorded multiple times over the years, “The Little Drummer Boy.” The harmonies march to the beat of the drum throughout the song.
Each song on the album is a reminder of why the Temptations have reigned as one of the greatest groups of all time by putting their signature stamp of soul on every single song.
So, when you are looking to fill your stereo with ‘yuletide carols, old and new,’ The Temptations Give Love at Christmas album is the perfect soundtrack as you trim the tree and spend time with loved ones this holiday season. Happy Holidays!