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Eddie Kendricks - Vintage '78

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  Eddie Kendricks' solo career began slowly; he endured two years of singles that missed the Top 40, while The Temptations continued with their string of Norman Whitfield-helmed hits (one of which, "Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)", was written as a jab towards Kendricks and Ruffin). Despite enjoying only a modicum of commercial success and radio airplay, Kendricks's 1972 album "People... Hold On" (recorded with his touring group, The Young Senators, composed of Jimi Dougans, Frank Hooker, LeRoy Fleming, Wornell Jones, David Lecraft, James Drumer Johnson and John Engram) was a cornerstone of DJ playlists in downtown New York's nascent disco scene. The expansive, eight-minute take on "Girl, You Need A Change Of Mind", which peaked at number thirteen on the soul chart, was a particular favorite at David Mancuso's Loft. The single was later remade by R&B singer D'Angelo for the Get On the Bus Soundtrack. As the dance craze seeped through into other cities, Kendricks scored a #1 pop hit in 1973 with the Frank Wilson-produced "Keep On Truckin'". It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Future hits included "Boogie Down" (US #2) (1974) and another million selling release, "Son of Sagittarius" (US #28) (1974), "Shoeshine Boy" (US #18) (1975), and "He's a Friend" (US #36) (1976). Another notable song is "Intimate Friends" (1977), which is sampled for the Alicia Keys song "Unbreakable", "A Penny for My Thoughts" by Common, Sparkle's "Time to Move on" on her self-titled first studio album, and for Sweet Sable's "Old Time's Sake" from the soundtrack for the 1994 2pac film, "Above the Rim". Erykah Badu also sampled "Intimate Friends" for her song "Fall in Love (Your Funeral)", as well as his song "My People... Hold on" for her song "My People" on her album New Amerykah Part One (4th World War).

Exasperated by a lack of creative and financial control, Kendricks left Motown in 1978, with the requirement of signing away the rights to his royalties. He moved first to Arista Records, and later to Atlantic Records. By this time, his popularity had waned, and he was also gradually losing his voice as a result of excess smoking.

He and David Ruffin briefly re-joined the Temptations for a 1982 reunion tour. In an interview with Tom Meros, Dennis Edwards, Kendricks's former Temptations band mate, claimed that Kendricks had issues hitting his falsetto notes during recording sessions for the reunion album. Because of his singing difficulty, Edwards said that Kendricks went to a physician to examine his vocal ability. The physician discovered a "pin drop" of cancer on one of his lungs. However, Kendricks reportedly refused to undergo chemotherapy at the time because of fear that he would lose his hair.

Ruffin and Kendrick (Kendricks dropped the "s" from his stage name during the 1980s) reportedly met up one night when Ruffin went to watch Kendrick perform in a nightclub; Kendrick spotted Ruffin in the crowd, pointed him out, and invited him to come up on stage and perform with him. Afterward they talked about touring on their own and recorded an album as a duo for RCA in 1988.


Eddie Kendrick and David Ruffin with Hall and Oates circa 1985.

Earlier, in 1985, they participated in the Hall and Oates live album "Live at The Apollo" recorded at a benefit at New York City's Apollo Theater; and sang with the duo at Live Aid in Philadelphia and the MTV Music Video Awards in New York. Hall & Oates have cited Kendrick and Ruffin specifically, and the Temptations in general, as a major influence.

In 1989, Kendrick, Ruffin, and their Temptations bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There, Kendrick and Ruffin made plans with fellow former Temptation Dennis Edwards to tour and record as "Ruffin/Kendrick/Edwards, Former Leads of The Temptations." The Ruffin/Kendrick/ Edwards project was cut short in 1991, when Kendrick was diagnosed with lung cancer and David Ruffin died of a drug overdose, although Kendrick and Edwards continued to tour for the remainder of 1991.


Solo discography


as Eddie Kendricks

Tamla (Motown) releases
  • 1971: All By Myself
  • 1972: People ... Hold On
  • 1973: Eddie Kendricks
  • 1974: Boogie Down!
  • 1974: For You
  • 1975: The Hit Man
  • 1975: He's a Friend
  • 1976: Goin' Up In Smoke
  • 1977: Slick
Arista releases
  • 1978: Vintage '78
  • 1979: Something More


Eddie Kendricks - Vintage 78's

Album produced by Jeff Lane

U.S. pressing on Arista records (AB 4170) 1978.

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

The album cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minimal signs of wear.

The album cover has a strong spine, displaying clear, printed script.

The original inner sleeve is excellently presented.

For full track listing see Own tab.

Browse this category: Funk-Soul & Motown Albums
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