Friday, June 29, 2012

Songs of Summer, #10 - "Ball of Confusion" (1970)

I was only ten years old when this song came out, but I loved it from the first time I heard it.  Anyone who thinks that the Temptations took a dive when David Ruffin left the group should just listen to this song (along with some others from the late era version of the group); it's an edgy, completely convincing performance by every singer that stands up today as well as it did when it was released, smack dab in the middle of the Vietnam War and the aftermath of the tragedy at Kent State.

When I was 10, I can't say that I paid attention that closely to the issues of the day, but it was hard to avoid the war, since Walter Cronkite was talking about it just about every evening on the news.  What I loved at the time was the song's propulsive beat, and the interplay of the singers - especially the deep bass of (I think) Otis Williams, who contributed the memorable "and the band played on..." line.

"Ball of Confusion," The Temptations, from the summer of 1970.

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