As all of The Temptations’ “psychedelic soul”-era albums,
Masterpiece was produced by Norman Whitfield. Having already produced songs for the Temptations such as “Smiling
Faces Sometimes” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, which emphasized his instrumental tracks over the group’s vocals, Whitfield went here one step further. The title track, at nearly fourteen minutes long, includes just three minutes of group vocals. Many critics, and The Temptations themselves, remarked that much of Masterpiece, and especially its title track, sounds more like a Norman Whitfield/Funk Brothers solo recording featuring supporting vocals
by The Temptations than as a song by the group.
Masterpiece reached #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart,
and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)” also
became a Top 40 hit in the late summer/early fall of 1973, and “Law
of the Land” was released as a UK-only single by Tamla Motown, and
just missed the UK Top 40, peaking at #41 in late 1973.
01.HEY GIRL (I LIKE YOUR STYLE)
03. MA 4:45
04. LAW OF THE LAND
05. PLASTIC MAN
06. HURRY TOMORROW
(Track 1: Lead singer: Richard Street; Track 2: Lead singers: DENNIS EDWARDS, OTIS WILLIAMS, RICHARD STREET, DAMON HARRIS; Track 3: LEAD SINGERS: RICHARD STREET, DAMON HARRIS & MELVIN F RANKLIN; Track 4: Lead Singers: DENNIS EDWARDS, DAMON HARRIS & RICHARD STREET; Track 5: Lead
Singers: DENNIS EDWARDS, DAMON HARRIS, MELVIN FRANKLIN & RICHARD STREET; Track 6: Lead Singer INGER: DAMON HARRIS).
All selections written and produced by Norman Whitfield
Recorded in Hitsville U.S.A. Studio A, Detroit, Michigan, between
September 1972 and January 1973.