Band members Related acts
line up 1
- David Ruffin (RIP 1991) -- vocals
supporting musicians (1974)
- Eddie Brown -- percussion
- Ron brown -- bass
- Dennis Coffey -- lead guitar
- Kenny Copeland -- trumpet
- Henry Davis -- bass
- Mark Davis -- keyboards
- Freddie Dunn -- trumpet
- James Gadson -- drums, percussion
- Ed Greene -- drums, percussion
- Joe Greene -- background vocals
- Jessie Kirkland -- background vocals
- Johnny McGlee -- lead guitar
- Mykal Moore -- sax
- Melvin Ragin -- lead guitar
- Lisa Roberts -- background vocals
- Aaron Smith --- drums, percussion
- Stephanie Spruill -- percussion
- Earl Van Dyke -- keyboards
- Julia Waters -- background vocals
- Luther Waters -- background vocals
- Maxine Waters -- background vocals
- Oren Waters -- background vocals
- Carolyn Willis -- background vocals
- Eddie Willis -- lead guitar
- The Ruffin Brothers
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Me 'n Rock 'n Roll are Here To Stay
Country/State: Whynot, Mississippi
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: original inner sleeve
Catalog ID: 1800
Today David Ruffin's post-Temptations catalog is criminally overlooked . That's a major crime, as is the fact 1974's Norman Whitefield produced "Me 'n Rock 'n Roll are Here To Stay" is an all but unknown outside of hardcore collecting circles.
Ruffin's fourth solo album, the collection served to bring Whitefield's instantly recognizable product sound to the table. Tunes like I Saw Here When You Met Her'', 'Smiling Faces Sometimes' and 'Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are) ' would not have sounded out of place on an early-'70s Temptations release (in fact the latter was previously recorded by The Temptations). While it wasn't a classic release, song--for-song, this may have been Ruffin's most consistence and satisfying release. Ruffin's instantly recognizable voice was still in fine form (Ruffin had to have one of music's most effective pleasing deliveries), and meshed well with Whitfield's production style, giving the collection a nice feel - perhaps a bit old school for a mid-'70s audience that was increasingly turning its attention to dance music, but still a fun listen. Lots of highlights on this one, among them the breezy 'No Matter Where' (which would have been a dandy single, the Dobie Gray co-written 'City Stars' and 'Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)'.
The album hit # 37 on the R&B charts, but did little on the pop charts.
'n Rock 'n Roll are Here To Stay" track listing:
1.) I Saw Here When You Met Her (Norman Whitfield) - 6:50 rating: **** stars
Admittedly the synthesizer opening was a surprise and a bit disconcerting ... I remember thinking did I put a Michael Oldfield album on my mistake ? But then that patented Norman Whitfield sound and Ruffin's immediately recognizable voice kicked in and you knew you were in the right place. Musically this dark and ominous ballad was on a par with Whitfield's best work with The Temptations. Nice way to start the album.
2.) Take Me Clear from Here (Vincent DeMirco) - 3:35 rating: **** stars
The breezy 'Take Me Clear from Here' was a near perfect groove for Ruffin. Kicked along by a devastatingly tuneful bass line you had to wonder how Motown managed to miss releasing this one as a single. Interestingly, the tune was tapped as a Dutch 45:
1974's 'Take Me Clear From Here' b/w 'Blood Donors Needed (Give All You Can)' (Motown catalog number 5C 006-96 273)
3.) Smiling Faces Sometimes (Barrett Strong) - 5:32 rating: *** stars
Interesting choice for a cover - you had to wonder if Ruffin felt a certain connection with the lyrics given his difficult relationship with Motown. Ruffin's spoken word introduction may have been intended to give the song a certain degree of gavials (always wanted to use that word in a review),, but it just sounded silly to me. Slowing the tune's original arrangement didn't do it any favors. Stick with The Undisputed Truth's hit version.
4.) Me 'n Rock 'n Roll Are Here To Stay (Norman Whitfield) - 3:02 rating: **** stars
The title left me fearing this was going to be a gimmick, '50s-styled rock homage. Thankfully those fears were misplaced with Whitfield surrounding Ruffin with a surprisingly tough slice of soul. Not exactly rock and roll, but still one of the toughest things he ever recorded. Ruffin seldom sounded like he was having as much fun. Motown tapped it as the leadoff single:
- 1974's 'Me and Rock 'n Roll (Are Here to Stay)' b/w 'Smiling Faces Sometimes' (Motown catalog number M 1327F)
With Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams on lead vocals, The Temptations originally recorded the tune in 1972 for their "Solid Rock" album. The song was rumored to have been written as a slam against another Motown producer who'd managed to piss off Whitfield and Strong, but by the time the tune was completed the lyrics were clearly aimed at Ruffin (who 'd been fired from the group in 1968) and Eddie Kendricks (who left for a solo career in 1971). The Temptations' version was better, though Ruffin didn't do bad cover - you had to wonder if he knew the tune was aimed at him.. Docked a star for the irritating crowd noises that were dubbed on the arrangement. Motown tapped it as another single:
- 1973's 'Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)' b/w 'No Matter What' (Motown catalog number M 1336F)
2.) No Matter Where (Clarence Drayton - Terry Smith) - 3:31 rating: **** stars
Great acoustic guitar powered opening and one of the most readily commercial tunes Ruffin ever recorded. Another tune where you had to wonder how Motown managed to miss the boat by not releasing it as a single. Supposedly the song was going to be released as a 45, but Motown elected to withdraw it from the release schedule.
3.) City Stars (Charles Higgins, Jr - Dobie Gray) - 3:21 rating: **** stars
With a charming country-soul edge and a patented life-in-the-city-is-tough lyric, 'City Stars' was one of the album's highlights.
4.) I Just Want To Celebrate (Dino Fekaris - Nick Zesses) - 2:39 rating; ** stars
The version most folks will know comes from Rare Earth and Ruffin's cover didn't differ drastically. Once again you were left to wonder what the added audience noise was supposed to accomplish.
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