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Dennis Edwards

"The Temptation Years"

Dennis Edwards came to Motown in search of a solo career. Motown signed him on a retainer, in order to keep him from signing with another label, and he was eventually slotted into the rough and rowdy Contours. Meanwhile, Otis Williams and Eddie Kendricks, having seen him as he dominated a Contours performance, figured he would be a perfect replacement for David Ruffin, whose showboating had gotten on the final nerve of the group.

With the addition of Dennis came a whole new sound, thanks to the genius of Norman Whitfield. "Cloud Nine" would give Motown and the Tempts their first grammy. For the next six years Dennis' soulful shout would be heard on hit after hit, including "I Can't Get Next To You", "Don't Let The Jonses Get You Down", "Ball Of Confusion", and of course, grammy winner "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone".

By 1975, the group became tired of the social conscious "message" songs, and wanted to return to the love songs they so enjoyed. They left Motown for Atlantic and Jeffrey Bowen took over production, and as a result, A Song For You, would turn out to be one of the group's most satisfying albums, as well as proving the versatility of Edwards.

Dennis, always having really wanted a solo career, left the group and cut a solo album for Motown. The album never materialized and after a short and humbling stint as a construction worker, Dennis rejoined the group, who had returned to Motown, for the triumphant release of Power, a Berry Gordy produced album.

During all this, Dennis finally did release his first solo album, Don't Look Any Further, in 1984. It was a great album, the title song with Siedah Garrett being one of the great duets of the decade, but Dennis began having problems with drugs, and a second album, Coolin' Out, was released the next year, but proved to be far inferior to the first. The title track was a moving and autobiographical piece on which Dennis sings about trying to put his life back together.

In 1987, Dennis would again return to Motown for the appropriately titled, Together Again. But in 1988, embattled by personal crisis, he left the group for good.

"Beyond Temptations"

In 1989, Edwards, after talking with friends and former groupmates Ruffin and Kendrick at the Temptations R&R Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, united with the pair, and the trio set off on a historical US tour. A couple of years later, the unexpected deaths of his good friends, Ruffin and Kendrick, left Dennis alone. He has since formed several groups, attempting to use varying forms of the name "Temptations". He has battled in and out of court for use of some form of the name.

No matter what the result, Dennis Edwards is a true "Soul Survivor", and one of the most gifted singers of our time. He still has his sensuous and soulful voice, and no one can take that away. By the merciful grace of God, he is the only one of the classic Temptations lead singers alive to continue the legacy.

A Dennis Edwards Information Website

A David Sea Fan Page


The Temptations Review feat. Dennis Edwards

imusic Dennis Edwards Message Board

Cruisin' With Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue

Eddie Kendricks

David Ruffin

Paul Williams

Melvin Franklin

Otis Williams