The news of a Temptation's reunion was thrilling for fans. Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin were coming home!
When the now-Los Angeles based Motown Records announced in the fall of 1981 that Ruffin and Kendricks would rejoin The Temptations for a first of it's kind nostalgic tour and spirited comeback album, hopes ran high of something perhaps more permanent.
The show opened to a sold out crowd of 900 ecstatic fans at the Premier Center in Detroit. The choreography was perfect and the repertoire of mostly love songs were instantly recogized and appreciated. The high point was a spirited rendition of "Ol' Man River", and the tribute to the late Paul Williams included "Try To Remember", "For Once In My Life," and "The Impossible Dream." The 1982 tour lasted nine months and drew sell-out crowds across the country.
Unfortunately, from behind the scenes, things weren't so good. Following the tour, it was decided that Ruffin and Kendricks were out, and the group would return to it's pre-reunion lineup. There were many reasons behind this decision, not the least of which I suppose was the fact that there was simply too much water under the bridge. Ruffins' continued shenanigans clearly didn't help either.
Manager Shelley Berger stated that he would not continue if Ruffin and Kendrick were to stay. Aside from the problems with David, Berger was quoted as saying that "Eddies voice was shot". While it is true that Kendricks voice was not as supple as in his youth, and was somewhat weakened by years of smoking, I think that to describe it as "shot" is a bit harsh, and an unfair evaluation.
Regardless of the reasons, it just didn't work out for those involved and right after Christmas of 1982, Otis called Eddie to give him the news, and the decision was officially made to return to the five Temptation line-up of Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Dennis Edwards, Richard Street, and Glenn Leonard.