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on November 24, 2003
I love this book and I am grateful that Otis Williams wrote it. But I strongly suggest to all Motown fans to do your own research and read other books because things don't add up with Otis's version of the Temptations. I am not calling the man a liar because I admire him and I think he believes his own story, but I feel that he's trying to add importance to himself by taking away from David, Paul (my favorite), Eddie, Dennis and even Melvin. I didn't like the way he protrayed any of them. Yes, its true that David, Paul, Dennis and Eddie had both ego and personal problems, but I am sure that Otis had his demons too. In fact, from what I hear he wasn't the best person either. But he doesn't show that side to you in his book. The only bad thing he admits to is cheating on his wife and at times, I felt like he was bragging about his relationships with certain women. Although he was kinder to his friend Melvin, he protrayed Melvin as a follower and not a leader. I wonder why? One of the most disturbing tales in his book is about Paul's drinking problem. Its true that he had a problem, but Otis doesn't really talk about Paul's bout with Sickle Cell which made his problem even worst. Also Paul's "suicide" his rather strange and things don't add up (but do the research). I also found it odd that he didn't talk alot about how Berry G. ran Motown and why alot of the artists lived terrible lives after their Motown's glory years and why most died broke. By now, everyone knows that Berry was a cheat, but Otis seems to forgive him more than he forgives his brothers. Part of the reason why they died so young has something to do with Berry. Now, I am not blaming Berry for everything. I have read books that put all the blame on Berry (which I don't agree with), but its doesn't take an expert to realize that the Motown story is mostly sad. We will never hear David, Paul, Eddie, and Melvin's side of the story...and that is why you shouldn't take this book as 100% fact. Maybe the still living Dennis will write his own version. Excellent book, but not perfect.
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on October 12, 2006
I thought the book was exceptionally short for a body of work lasting 45 years. Great pictures though.

I had some major problems with the writing itself. It's like 45 years went by in a blur and he was an observer and not a participant.

He didn't seem to take much interest in his bandmates, there's very little known about Eddie, Paul, David and Melvin. For a man with the inside track, very little is revealed. The book seems to be more about him and not the Temptations.

He seemed also to forget certain facts, like, David was indeed married when he started seeing Tammi Terrell. When she announced that she and David were engaged back in the early sixties, is when she found out David was already married and couldn't marry her. (This also around the time her headaches started.) I don't what the relationship between Geena and Otis is/was, but for him to leave her and Davids' son out of the book was wrong, totally wrong. He acknowledged the others' wives, why not Geena?

Another thing that disturbed me was Otis' "my way or the highway" attitude toward his group members. Truly adolescent behavior. When he wasn't scouting out women, he was scouting out new talent. (But I guess in his mind it's the same thing). ,"just in case so and so doesn't work out", seems to me, he was waiting on the inevitable. He comes off as arrogant and overbearing. "No one man's bigger than the group." Like Eddie said in the movie, "Who is the group for, who did "it" make sacrifies for?"

OTIS, knows good and well, that he and Melvin could not have carried the group on their own. Eddie, Paul, and David didn't need "the group", as much as "the group" needed them. David and Eddie saw the writing on the wall between Barry and Otis, well before hand and did the smart thing and got out. I wish Paul had as well, alive. Otis should have thought more of his "brothers" and fought for them. He waited too long. Too bad he used the book to trash them when they're not here to defend themselves.

With three ex-wives and 15 ex-Temps on the roster, maybe it would do Otis good to look inside himself and not place blame everywhere or to everyone.

Paul and Eddie brought style and sophistication and experience. As well as their voices. David, brought the fire and raw sex appeal they needed. (They were their most productive after David's arrival. And last, but not least, Melvin, with that bottom drawer, under the floor bass. There's no one else like him. Have to give Dennis his "props" too. He may not be an original Temp, but because of him, they got their first of many Grammys to come.

Otis should be more greatful, he and Eddie forged a supergroup we'll never see again. He's not one-fifth as talented as his current or original band-mates. If he could sing, we'd know about it. His inflated ego wouldn't let us forget. He's a man that needed a group and he got one. Each man brought with him his own set of baggage, but they were the best.

They will be missed through out time.

Thanks for the music, guys, Where ever you are, (we know you're together) take a bow. We love you.

Update:Everybody, check out YouTube. There is long lost interview with Eddie Kendricks, a few months before his death. He looks great. He talks about his experiences with the group, Motown, his final decision to leave the Tempts. I hadn't realized he desired to leave the group in 1965, when they were still the "hitless Tempts", because of things he found improper(probably Berrys' accounting practices). Eddie Kendricks fans will find the interview interesting because you can hear it in his own voice. What a voice.
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on August 7, 2002
I have been a fan of the Temptations for years, but I have to admit that my loyalty is really to the classic lineup that made the Tempts a household name: Eddie Kendrick, David Ruffin, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin and Otis Williams. Not to slight the other singers who have been a part of the group, but these guys always have been my favorites.

Otis Williams' book, TEMPTATIONS, is an interesting read, but really left me wanting to know what the other side of the coin was like. Even though Otis had his own view of what happened with the group (and I'm not implying that he wasn't entitled to that), the trouble is, with the exception of Melvin, the other members were depicted as talented men but troubled individuals with bad attitudes. According to Otis, he and Melvin were the sensible ones in the group while Eddie, Paul, David and later on, Dennis Edwards, were always the ones that were causing confusion. For every complimentary thing Otis would say about them, he'd follow it with something negative. I noticed that he did the same thing with certain members of the group that followed after the originals left as well. That mini-series that aired about four years ago that was based on this book only backed up his so-called belief that "No man is bigger than the group" (which was supposedly also Berry Gordy's belief - laughable, to say the least) and made him to look like the sane hero in a world filled with people running amok. No man is bigger than the group? Well, isn't this just what Otis has done by writing this book? Hasn't he made himself the be-all and end -all when it comes to finding out the history of the Tempts? No man is bigger than the group? Yeah, okay, whatever.

In the updated version of this book, Otis also implies that he can now say things that he couldn't write in the first edition, which was when Eddie and David were still alive. Why is that? That statement in itself makes Otis' version of events sound extremely suspect. There is only one way for me to interpret this, and that is that someone was not telling the complete truth - not then, and not now. This is why it is difficult for me to believe what Otis added in his book: that he visited Eddie in the hospital right before he died and that the two of them made their peace with each other. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't - but we'll never know.

This is the Temptations' story through the eyes of Otis Williams, the remaining surviving original group member who seems to revel in that distinction. It's obvious that he now uses this to his advantage as his claim to fame, since he didn't possess anywhere near the talent of his so-called "brothers". Yes, it's his story, and yes, he was there but it's not THE story. I'm tired of hearing about how the Tempts was "Otis' group". It does well to remember that the formation and achievements of this legendary group was the dream and brainchild of FIVE men, not just ONE, so it's only logical that they ALL had a stake in their success. Otis seemingly has trouble recalling exactly how things transpired, and not only with the Temptations, either - after reading this, check out Patti Labelle's book "Don't Block the Blessings" where she talks about Otis, and you'll get the idea.

Unfortunately Ruffin, Kendrick, Franklin and Paul Williams are no longer here to tell their side, but I feel someone will be able to write a truly unbiased story about this legendary group one day. (Dennis, are you listening??) But I still do recommend this, but don't accept it as the gospel truth. Remember, there is more than one side to a story. At the time it was written, Ruffin and Kendrick were still with us, and I wish we could've known what their opinions were of this book, and how they felt about it.
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on August 29, 2005
To the reader who was upset about the photo in the book of Paul Williams and the unidentified woman sitting on his lap: that was Paul's wife in the picture with him, not just some groupie. The real shame of it all is that Otis did not have the decency to identify her as such, but only as "a friend". If Otis was as close to Paul as he claimed to be, I'm quite sure he would have known what his wife looked like.
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on September 3, 2004
Read the book, saw the movie. Otis has memories that have probably been clouded with the passage of time. I do remember watching Eddie and Dennis Edwards on Donny Simpson's BET show a number of years ago shortly after Otis' book was first published. Donny asked Eddie about Otis' memories of Paul's spirit visiting him one night and the subsequent discussion Otis had with Eddie regarding Paul's spirit. Not only had Eddie not read the book, Eddie said the conversation with Otis never took place. If Paul's spirit was to have visited anyone, it would have been Eddie given that they had been best friends since childhood and Eddie named his son after Paul. Just food for thought.
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on August 17, 1999
The video stores can't keep the movie in stock. I purchased the last copy just yesterday from one of our Blockbusters. Prior to that I've repeatedly rented the movie. I've viewed it atleast 30 times and could watch it once every day. All of the actors were excellent! But LEON's performance as David Ruffin totally blew me away. I had to look at an actual photo of Ruffin to remember what he looked like after LEON's performance. I actually saw the Temps perform at Western University in Illinois just after Dennis Edwards joined the group (1969/70). For me, there are only 5 that I consider Temps--Paul, Otis, David, Eddie & Melvin. I wish the movie had given more attention to Eddie Kendricks, especially his death from lung cancer. Now I am in search of the book by Williams and Romanowski. It needs to be put back in print.
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on March 13, 2006
I just want to start out by saying that I'm not trying to pass any judgment on Otis Williams, however I was a little disappointed with how his book about the Temptations was written.

First all no one is perfect and we all make mistakes, not to condone the negative actions of some of the members of the group, but I feel like Otis tries to make himself and Melvin seem so perfect.

I don't care what anyone says it took all five of them to make that group as successful as it is. I feel that Otis takes way too much credit for the groups success.

Just like David says in the movie "Nobody was coming to the concerts to see Otis" Let's keep it real. I know if I was able to see the Temptations back then I wouldn't have been going to see Otis. Nobody can touch the classic Five, that line up were the true temptations, the replacements are not the real thing in my opinion.

Also I would like to point out that I read an interview where someone interviewed David Ruffin's Older brother Jimmy, and according to Jimmy he himself was originally asked to be in the group but Jimmy declined and he talked David into joining the group. In the movie David asks to be in the group.

The book was interesting but I don't understand why there were so many things different in the book verses the movie. However even in the movie Otis and Melvin come across as the "Good guys"

Another thing that I didn't like about the book was how Otis felt the need to change certain things he said about David and Eddie in the book after David and Eddie died. The way I see it is if you could not say it when they were alive then you shouldn't be saying it now, it's so unfair.

So in closing I just want to tell people to take this book with a grain of salt because this book doesn't seem to be totally true and the rest of the classic members are not here to defend themselves.
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on July 22, 2013
I have read the book, watched the miniseries and now have read {the extended version} on my Kindle. The Temptations were one of several stellar groups that were the musical backdrop to my teenage and young adult years, I adored them. I found the book to be very informative, entertaining and enjoyed it very much. Otis went into quite a bit of detail for so many characters and so many years. I thought the book superb.

I read some of the reviews and I had to wonder if some of them came from readers who knew the members of the Tempts personally. I can only say as a fan and a disinterested party that those reviews rather smacked of sour grapes. Otis Williams wrote this memoir from his point of view, his personal recollections, not David or Eddie's point of view. Had they wriiten their story I'm certain it would have been quite a different tale. Everyone has a unique perspective. If every detail was not the gospel according to all parties the book probably never would have made it to press! I thought Otis was pretty gracious toward his fellow Tempts. Fans in general don't care about "he said, she said".

I highly recommend!
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on December 21, 2014
I am rendered speechless. People may have their feelings about Otis but someone had to tell the story. When I read the reviews some people said he left out a lot of information and tried to make himself look like the sanest one in the group. I understand that this book from his eyes/point of view but lets face it....who in the "classic five" had the capacity to write a book. I've done my reading around the net and I learned with any group, there will be egos and outside influences that would tear up a good thing. We are lucky to have had the Temps as long as we did especially the "classic five" and "classic four plus Dennis" eras (which I have strong preference for). This book in an easy read. I wanted more details but I feel Otis was looking out for his classic five temp brothers and honoring the families buy NOT putting allllllllll the business (the highs and extreme lows) out in the streets. He gave us just enough to enjoy. And i'm glad he did. Class act.

At times I wonder how Mr. Williams is doing. I'm sure he relishes in the memories of so many years with such a talented group of men. I'm just glad he decided to write a book. If he did'nt, what would we have? If you are a Temptations fan, you need to own this book before the available copies get bought up.
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on August 30, 2012
First and foremost...

I read some of the unfavorable reviews posted about this book before I ordered it. Here, as well as on several Youtube videos of the performances of this remarkable group, the Otis-Haters come in droves attacking Otis. Accusing him of slandering his bandmates. Of ruthlessly lying against them. Of being hateful and jealous because he, supposedly, isn't as exceptional of a singer as David and Eddie. Blah, blah, BLAH. I HAD to read the book for myself. I just completed this book in 3 afternoons, and I must say that the Otis-haters are either petty little liars or they posses a GROSSLY inept reading comprehension. This book was NOT slanderous in any way. In fact, Otis left out a lot of personal information about his bandmates who I feel he genuinely cared for. I recall one of these reviewers stating that he talked badly against Paul, among others. Oh really? From what I've read, Paul was the one who he spoke the highest of, next to Melvin. Otis really admired Paul and it was very evident in the book. He praised his skill as a great showman and shed a lot of light and detail on that, which was overshadowed when David was pushed to the forefront of the group and sung lead on most songs. Otis himself said that Paul did not get the songs and highlights that he deserved. He credited him with being the "soul" of the group and of course, for The Temptations rememberable choreography in their beginning years. I didn't get why folks claim that he talked badly about him. Of course Otis had to mention his alcohol abuse; that was necessary to note because it aided in his decline, in his depression, and in his eventual suicide. Another reviewer states that Otis solely focuses on Paul's alcohol abuse and makes no mention of his other health problems. Oh really? While Otis never specifically identifies that Paul had sickel cell anemia, Otis DOES identify that Paul had a sickness in his body and that they urged him to see a doctor, which he finally did after a few YEARS. I also realized that Otis did not go into the full extent of Paul's "other" issues, like Paul having atleast 2 illegitimate children. If you asked me, Otis spared him. Also, a reviewer claims that he talked badly about David. Now I declare!! Otis, even in his updated version where he adds chapter 10, spared David the most if you ask me! He COULD have spoken about David's VERY COLORFUL history of domestic abuse. He lightly brushed over his drug use in chapter 10. David being a full-blown crackhead could have been a chapter by itself, but Otis only wrote a paragraph or two about it. David's "godson" Tony Turner goes into full detail about David the crackhead, among many other scandalous things about the Tempts and other Motown stars, in his tell-all book Deliver Us From Temptation. Yes, Otis left out A LOT about his friends. I think that the Otis-haters will appreciate Otis' book a lot more for sparing his friends, unlike Tony Turner who spared no one's reputation. One last lie that a reviewer told that I'd like to counter...they claim that Otis tried to make even his best friend Melvin look bad by noting, or hinting, how passive and submissive he was. I read that NOWHERE in the book. It was the other bandmates who referred to Melvin as that, not Otis.

The Otis-Haters whine that Otis presents himself as a saint throughout the book. No, he doesn't. Otis admits to being a lustful serial cheater. The man couldn't maintain a relationship/marriage to save his life. It seemed like he could never keep his manhood in his pants either. He also admits to having tried powdered cocain but deciding that it wasn't for him. It seems like Otis is hated for not self-destructing like most of the other Temptations. Like Paul. Like David. Like Eddie, who died because of his ciggarette addiction. Otis is hated for being the more disciplined Tempt and surviving. By the way, I have no animosity towards the other Temps. Paul is actually my favorite Tempt and I adore him. I like Paul's voice more than David's. But I'm not going to be an irrational, over-zelous liar like the Otis-Haters and attack Otis for living just because my favorite, Paul, died.

SOME OTHER THINGS TO ADD... So many people critisize Otis for "deviously" kicking so many members out. Well, if he didn't get rid of the troubled bandmates over the years, do you think that The Temptations would have survived all the way to the year 2012? NO. Is that what you people wanted? For The Tempts to have failed just because the others self-destructed or never could get their act together? *rolls eyes* And anothe reviewer complained that Otis didn't give enough insight on Paul David, and the others. Well, this wasn't a chronicle of just the "Classic 5" but a chronicle on the GROUP over the years. Its beginnings, its many changes and shifts in bandmates, its different struggles involving band members, Motown, etc. Detailing just the "Classic 5" or focusing mostly on them would have made this very incomplete. Additionally, Otis spared the very personal details about his friends...probably out of respect. So for those who say that Otis didn't clarify the lives of his bandmates as personally as he should have...well...Go read Tony Turner's tell-all where he dives into the personal lives of 3 Tempts and tells all of the "details" that Otis left out. And chapter 10 was not as bad as some of the Otis-Haters are claiming. I was expecting Otis to drop a horrendous bomb of juicy, hate-driven gossip by the way some of his haters described the chapter...but he didn't. Seriously. Most of that chapter was about other things. He talked about Melvin much, more more. I'm really not sure what the Otis-Haters read. Another reviewer nags that Otis does not critisize Berry Gordy in the book. REALLY?! Otis questions Gordy, or Motown in a bigger spectrum, and their shadiness in different parts of the book. Otis had MANY beefs with Motown, for instance Motown's reluctance to allow the group to write/produce their own songs. Hence why they left Motown the first time. Another reviewer was also upset at how Otis did not speak about Motown destroying its stars. Otis makes it VERY clear that he can only speak from HIS experience with Motown; he refused to speak about OTHER'S issues. And that was the just thing to do. I guess some of his critics just wanted Otis to instigate conflict. Well, Otis is more professional than that! He took a polished approach when addressing his woes with Gordy and Motown. He DID speak about them, from HIS experience. Again, what have you Otis-Haters read?

This is a great book. Very down-to-earth and heart-felt. Simple but a passionate read. I was in tears when I got to the last chapter. But read it for yourself; don't listen to the Otis-Haters. I am not saying that Otis' book is THE gospel, but some of his critics have no real basis for their attacks. And if Otis is just "so wrong" then maybe Dennis Edwards needs to come out with a book of his own to set the story straight. No one seems to counter what Otis says, not even the other Tempts did when they were alive. Ummm...I wonder why... Everyone hates Otis for living and perpetuating The Temptation's legacy - simply put. Leave him alone.

Oh, and a PAUL WILLIAMS: UNSUNG needs to be made!!!! I love that guy, his story needs to be told. RIP Paul, David, Eddie, and Melvin. XOXOXOXXO
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