Norman Whitfield's The Temptations
The Chambers Brothers in 1970

He has been credited as one of the creators of the Motown Sound and of the late-1960s subgenre of psychedelic soul.

- Norman Whitfield

Also important were the Temptations and their producer Norman Whitfield, who moved from a relatively light vocal group into more hard-edged and topical material like "Cloud Nine" (1968), "Runaway Child, Running Wild" (1969), and "Psychedelic Shack" (1969).

- Psychedelic soul
Norman Whitfield's The Temptations

7 related topics

Alpha

The "Classic 5" lineup of the Temptations in 1967. Clockwise from top: David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams.

The Temptations

American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s.

American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s.

The "Classic 5" lineup of the Temptations in 1967. Clockwise from top: David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams.
A promotional image of the original early 1960s Temptations lineup. Clockwise from top right: Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, and Elbridge "Al" Bryant.
The Temptations perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1969. Left to right: Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, and Dennis Edwards.
The Temptations on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall, November 2005. Pictured L-R: Joe Herndon, Otis Williams, G.C. Cameron, Terry Weeks, and Ron Tyson.

The group's work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music.

James Brown, a pioneer of funk, in 1973

Funk

For other uses, see Funk (disambiguation).

For other uses, see Funk (disambiguation).

James Brown, a pioneer of funk, in 1973
The rhythm section of a funk band—the electric bass, drums, electric guitar and keyboards--is the heartbeat of the funk sound. Pictured here is the Meters.
Simple kick and snare funk motif. The kick first sounds two onbeats, which are then answered by two offbeats. The snare sounds the backbeat.
A thirteenth chord (E 13, which also contains a flat 7th and a 9th)
Bootsy Collins performing in 1996 with a star-shaped bass
The drum groove from "Cissy Strut"
Guitarist Nile Rodgers is best known for his performances with Chic.
Isaac Hayes playing keyboards in 1973
Singer Charlie Wilson
Funk horn sections typically include saxophones and trumpets. Larger horn sections often add a second instrument for one of the saxes or trumpets, and a trombone or bari sax may also be used. Pictured is the Earth, Wind and Fire horn section.
James Brown, a progenitor of funk music
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in 2006
The Original Family Stone live, 2006. Jerry Martini, Rose Stone, and Cynthia Robinson
Prince was an influential multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, singer and songwriter.
Me'shell Ndegeocello playing electric bass
Talking Heads combined funk with elements of art rock.
Dr. Dre (pictured in 2011) was one of the influential creators of G-funk.
Chaka Khan (born 1953) has been called the "Queen of Funk".
Janelle Monáe (born 1985) is part of a new wave of female funk artists.

The Temptations, who had previously helped to define the "Motown Sound" – a distinct blend of pop-soul – adopted this new psychedelic sound towards the end of the 1960s as well.

Their producer, Norman Whitfield, became an innovator in the field of psychedelic soul, creating hits with a newer, funkier sound for many Motown acts, including "War" by Edwin Starr, "Smiling Faces Sometimes" by the Undisputed Truth and "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" by the Temptations.

Sly and the Family Stone in 1968. Left to right: Freddie Stone, Sly Stone, Rose Stone, Larry Graham, Cynthia Robinson, Jerry Martini, and Greg Errico.

Sly and the Family Stone

American band from San Francisco.

American band from San Francisco.

Sly and the Family Stone in 1968. Left to right: Freddie Stone, Sly Stone, Rose Stone, Larry Graham, Cynthia Robinson, Jerry Martini, and Greg Errico.
The Woodstock Music and Art Festival, at which Sly and the Family Stone performed on August 17, 1969.
The band's 1975 performance at Radio City Music Hall (shown 2003) was only one-eighth filled
Sly Stone performing with the Family Stone in 2007.

Formed in 1966, the group's music synthesized a variety of disparate musical genres to help pioneer the emerging "psychedelic soul" sound.

Some musicians changed their sound completely to co-opt that of Sly and the Family Stone, most notably Motown in-house producer Norman Whitfield, who took his main act The Temptations into "psychedelic soul" territory starting with the Grammy-winning "Cloud Nine" in 1968.

"Swinging London", Carnaby Street, circa 1966

Psychedelic rock

Rock music genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs.

Rock music genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs.

"Swinging London", Carnaby Street, circa 1966
Producer Terry Melcher in the studio with the Byrds' Gene Clark and David Crosby, 1965
The Beatles on tour, July 1965
The Fillmore, San Francisco (pictured in 2010)
Poster for the Mantra-Rock Dance event held at San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom in January 1967. The headline acts included the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Moby Grape.
Poster for Jefferson Airplane's song "White Rabbit", which describes the surreal world of Alice in Wonderland
The stage at the Woodstock Festival in 1969
Primal Scream performing live with the cover of their album Screamadelica in the back

This psychedelic soul was influenced by the civil rights movement, giving it a darker and more political edge than much psychedelic rock.

Songwriter Norman Whitfield wrote psychedelic soul songs for The Temptations and Marvin Gaye.

John Lennon rehearses "Give Peace a Chance", 1969.

Runaway Child, Running Wild

John Lennon rehearses "Give Peace a Chance", 1969.

"Runaway Child, Running Wild" (shown as "Run Away Child, Running Wild" on the label of the original single) is a 1969 hit single for the Gordy (Motown) label, performed by The Temptations and produced by Norman Whitfield.

The single was both the second from their landmark Cloud Nine LP, and the second of their "psychedelic soul" tracks penned by Whitfield and former Motown artist Barrett Strong.

The Undisputed Truth

The Undisputed Truth was an American Motown recording act, assembled by record producer Norman Whitfield as a means for being able to experiment with his psychedelic soul production techniques.

The Doors in 1968

Cloud Nine (The Temptations song)

1968 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Motown label.

1968 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Motown label.

The Doors in 1968

It was the first of their singles to feature Dennis Edwards instead of David Ruffin in the lineup, was the first of producer Norman Whitfield's psychedelic soul tracks, and won Motown its first Grammy Award.