Song of the Day: The Temptations, “Psychedelic Shack”

The other day, we had an example of "psychedelic soul," Sly & The Family Stone’s "Dance To The Music." In his effort to please Clive Davis at Columbia/Epic Records and produce music with a little more crossover appeal, kind of like what Berry Gordy was doing at Motown, Sly managed to combine soul music with elements of psychedelic rock, primarily the effects-laden sounds of the guitar (fuzz, wah-wah, chorus, phaser etc.). This proved popular with the young listeners, and by 1969 other soul acts like The Temptations, The Fifth Dimension, Diana Ross & The Supremes, and Stevie Wonder were doing the same.

The Temptations’ first foray into psychedelic soul was "Psychedelic Shack," which was released in 1969 and became a hit in 1970. The album release ended with an extended jam by The Funk Brothers, the house band at Motown. The single, shortened to around three and a half minutes, reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart in 1970.

17 thoughts on “Song of the Day: The Temptations, “Psychedelic Shack”

  1. Love the Temptations. We saw them last year and they haven’t lost a beat even though Otis Williams is the only one left. They were with the Four Tops. It was a great Motown night.

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