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Encyclopedia > I Can't Get Next to You
"I Can't Get Next to You"
Single cover
Single by The Temptations
from the album Puzzle People
Released July 30, 1969
Format 7" single
Recorded Hitsville USA (Studio A); June 23, June 24, June 27, June 30, July 2, and July 3, 1969
Genre Psychedelic soul
Length 2:51
Label Gordy
G 7093
Writer(s) Norman Whitfield
Barrett Strong
Producer(s) Norman Whitfield
Chart positions
The Temptations singles chronology
"Don't Let the Joneses Get You Down"
(1969)
"I Can't Get Next to You"
(1969)
"Psychedelic Shack"
(1969)
"I Can't Get Next to You"
Single by Al Green
from the album Al Green Gets Next to You
Released 1970
Format 7" single
Recorded Memphis, Tennessee; 1970
Genre Soul
Length 3:48
Label Hi
2182
Producer(s) Willie Mitchell
Chart positions
Al Green singles chronology
"Right Now, Right Now"
(1970)
"I Can't Get Next to You"
(1970)
"Driving Wheel"
(1971)

"I Can't Get Next to You" is a 1969 number-one single recorded by The Temptations and produced by Norman Whitfield for the Gordy (Motown) label. The song was the number-one single on the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart for two weeks in 1969, from October 11 to October 25, replacing "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies and replaced by "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley. The single was also a number-one hit on the Billboard Top R&B Singles for five weeks, from September 27 to November 1, replacing "Oh What a Night" by The Dells, and replaced by another Motown song, "Baby I'm For Real" by The Originals. Image File history File links Tempts-cant-get-next-1969. ... In music, a single is a short (usually ten minutes or less*) record, usually featuring one or two tracks as A-side, often accompanied by several B-sides, usually remixes or other songs. ... The Temptations (also abbreviated as The Tempts or The Temps) are an American Motown singing group whose repertoire has included doo-wop, soul, psychedelia, funk, disco, R&B, and adult contemporary. ... Puzzle People is a 1969 album recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. ... July 30 is the 211th day (212th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 154 days remaining. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... Hitsville U.S.A. was the nickname given to Motown Records first headquarters. ... June 23 is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 191 days remaining. ... June 24 is the 175th day of the year (176th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 190 days remaining. ... June 27 is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 187 days remaining. ... June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... July 2 is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 182 days remaining. ... July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... A music genre is a category (or genre) of pieces of music that share a certain style or basic musical language (van der Merwe 1989, p. ... Psychedelic soul is a subgenre of soul music that thrived during the late 1960s and early 1970s. ... A record label is a brand created by companies that specialize in producing, manufacturing, distributing and promoting audio and sometimes video recordings (especially music videos), on various formats including compact discs, LPs, DVD-Audio, SACDs, and cassettes. ... Motown Records, Inc. ... A songwriter is someone who writes the lyrics to songs, the musical composition or melody to songs, or both. ... Norman Whitfield Norman Jesse Whitfield (born in Harlem, New York in 1943) was a songwriter and producer for Berry Gordys Motown label during the 1960s. ... Barrett Strong (born February 5, 1941 in West Point, Mississippi) is an African-American singer and songwriter. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the performers, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... Top 40 is a radio format based on frequent repetition of songs from a constantly-updated list of the forty best-selling singles. ... The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. ... The Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, formerly known as Top Soul Singles, Top Black Singles, and Top R&B Singles (before the hip-hop term was added in the late 1990s), is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States. ... The Temptations (also abbreviated as The Tempts or The Temps) are an American Motown singing group whose repertoire has included doo-wop, soul, psychedelia, funk, disco, R&B, and adult contemporary. ... Psychedelic Shack, released December 28, 1969, is the name of a 1970 hit single for the Motown label performed by The Temptations and produced by Norman Whitfield. ... In music, a single is a short (usually ten minutes or less*) record, usually featuring one or two tracks as A-side, often accompanied by several B-sides, usually remixes or other songs. ... Al Green may refer to: Al Green (musician) Al Green (politician) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... All Green Gets Next To You is an album by Al Green, released in 1971. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... Nickname: The River City, The Bluff City Official website: http://www. ... A music genre is a category (or genre) of pieces of music that share a certain style or basic musical language (van der Merwe 1989, p. ... Soul music is a combination of rhythm and blues and gospel which began in the late 1950s in the United States. ... A record label is a brand created by companies that specialize in producing, manufacturing, distributing and promoting audio and sometimes video recordings (especially music videos), on various formats including compact discs, LPs, DVD-Audio, SACDs, and cassettes. ... Hi Records was a very successful Memphis soul label in the 1960s and 1970s, releasing albums for internationally known acts like Al Green and Ann Peebles. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the performers, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... Willie Mitchell is a soul, r&b, rock and roll, pop and funk music producer and arranger who runs Royal Recording in Memphis, Tennessee. ... Top 40 is a radio format based on frequent repetition of songs from a constantly-updated list of the forty best-selling singles. ... The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. ... The Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, formerly known as Top Soul Singles, Top Black Singles, and Top R&B Singles (before the hip-hop term was added in the late 1990s), is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States. ... Al Green may refer to: Al Green (musician) Al Green (politician) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... In music, a single is a short (usually ten minutes or less*) record, usually featuring one or two tracks as A-side, often accompanied by several B-sides, usually remixes or other songs. ... The Temptations (also abbreviated as The Tempts or The Temps) are an American Motown singing group whose repertoire has included doo-wop, soul, psychedelia, funk, disco, R&B, and adult contemporary. ... Norman Whitfield Norman Jesse Whitfield (born in Harlem, New York in 1943) was a songwriter and producer for Berry Gordys Motown label during the 1960s. ... Motown Records, Inc. ... The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. ... October 11 is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years). ... October 25 is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 67 days remaining. ... Sugar, Sugar was a 1969 hit song, supposedly by fictional characters The Archies, actually the product of a group of studio musicians managed by Don Kirschner, with vocals by Ron Dante. ... The Archies are a group of adolescent fictional characters of the Archie universe, a garage band founded by Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones. ... Suspicious Minds was a song performed most notably by Elvis Presley, and was widely regarded as the single that jumpstarted his career after his successful 68 Comeback Special. ... Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known as The King of Rock n Roll was an American singer, music producer and actor, a giant in the modern entertainment industry. ... The Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, formerly known as Top Soul Singles, Top Black Singles, and Top R&B Singles (before the hip-hop term was added in the late 1990s), is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States. ... September 27 is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 95 days remaining. ... November 1 is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 60 days remaining. ... The Dells are one of the longest standing R&B groups; formed in 1952 in Chicago, Illinois, and still going as of 2005. ... The Originals in a 1960s promotional shoot The Originals were a successful Motown R&B and soul group during the 1960s and 1970s. ...


The single was the second of the Temptations' four number-one hits on the United States pop charts, and was also the best-selling single the group released.

Contents


Overview

Building on the foundation set by their previous "psychedelic soul" records from the Cloud Nine album, "I Can't Get Next to You" is a marked departure from with the Temptations' David Ruffin-led hits. Although it is in essence a love song like those earlier Smokey Robinson-crafted singles, "I Can't Get Next to You's" backing track features a high tempo, and a focus on piano, electric guitar, and drums that gives the song the feel of a Sly & the Family Stone recording. Psychedelic soul is a subgenre of soul music that thrived during the late 1960s and early 1970s. ... Cloud Nine is a 1969 album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. ... An album is a collection of related audio tracks, released together commercially in an audio format to the public. ... David Ruffin. ... William Smokey Robinson, Jr. ... A grand piano A piano is a musical instrument which is classified as a keyboard, percussion or string instrument, depending on the system of classification used. ... An electric guitar is a type of guitar with a solid or semi-solid body that utilizes electronic pickups to convert the vibration of the steel-cored strings into electrical current. ... A drum is a musical instrument in the percussion family , technically classified as a membranophone. ... Sly & the Family Stone were an important and influential American rock band from San Francisco, California. ...


"I Can't Get Next to You" features all five Temptations trading verses about how having all the powers in the world means nothing if a man cannot impress the woman he loves -- very similar to the lyrics of Ira Gershwin's 1935 standard "I Can't Get Started With You". Each member of the group sings a separate line of the song's verses; for example, the first verse begins: To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Dennis Edwards: "I can turn the grayest sky bluer..."
Melvin Franklin: "I can make it rain, whenever I want it to...".
Eddie Kendricks: "I can build a castle from a single grain of sand..."
Paul Williams: "I can make a ship sail on dry land...".

Each verse continues in this fashion, with Edwards or Kendricks delivering the pre-chorus and all five members singing the chorus of "I can't get next to you, babe/I can't get next to you." When performing the song live, the Temptations would perform the number with a stiff-legged dance routine that Kendricks devised from similar dance moves his children did around the house. Dennis Edwards performs Papa Was a Rollin Stone with The Temptations, on the December 2, 1972 episode of Soul Train. ... Melvin Franklin (far left), with the Temptations in 1967. ... Eddie Kendricks, on the cover of his 1981 album Love Keys. ... Paul Williams (far right), with the Temptations in 1967. ...


The single opens with the sound of applause, similar to a lively party. Dennis Edwards then interrupts the proceedings ("Hold on, everybopdy, hold it, hold on...listen!"), and the song proper begins. After a bluesy piano solo from Earl Van Dyke, the rest of the Funk Brothers studio band joins in and the first verse begins. "I Can't Get Next to You's" intro was sampled for the album version of their next major hit, "Psychedelic Shack", one of the earliest uses of such a technique. Blues is a vocal and instrumental musical form which evolved from African American spirituals, shouts, work songs and chants and has its earliest stylistic roots in West Africa. ... Earl Van Dyke (July 8, 1930 - September 18, 1992) was an African American musician, most notable as the main keyboardist for Motown Records in-house Funk Brothers band during the 1960s and early 1970s. ... The Funk Brothers were the house band at Detroits Motown Records from 1959 to 1972, when the company moved to Los Angeles. ... In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion of one sound recording, the sample, and reusing it as an instrument or element of a new recording. ... Psychedelic Shack, released December 28, 1969, is the name of a 1970 hit single for the Motown label performed by The Temptations and produced by Norman Whitfield. ...


"I Can't Get Next to You" was the second single from the 1969 Temptations LP Puzzle People, with "Running Away (Ain't Gonna Help You)", a slow ballad led by Paul Williams, as the b-side. The single was a number-one hit on both the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart and the Billboard Top R&B Singles charts. The song has been frequently covered, with the most notable cover being a 1970 version by Al Green, which strips the composition of its fast pace and multi-lead vocals, and instead renders it as a slow-burning plea for love. Green's cover, the title track of his 1971 LP Al Green Gets Next to You, reached number 60 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, and number 11 on the R&B chart. 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... Puzzle People is a 1969 album recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. ... In recorded music, the terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 7 inch vinyl records on which singles have been released since the 1950s. ... The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. ... The Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, formerly known as Top Soul Singles, Top Black Singles, and Top R&B Singles (before the hip-hop term was added in the late 1990s), is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States. ... For the Democratic Congressman from Texas and the former head of the Houston NAACP, please see Al Green. ... All Green Gets Next To You is an album by Al Green, released in 1971. ...


Credits

Dennis Edwards performs Papa Was a Rollin Stone with The Temptations, on the December 2, 1972 episode of Soul Train. ... Eddie Kendricks, on the cover of his 1981 album Love Keys. ... Paul Williams (far right), with the Temptations in 1967. ... Melvin Franklin (far left), with the Temptations in 1967. ... Otis Williams (second from right), with the Temptations in 1967. ... Norman Whitfield Norman Jesse Whitfield (born in Harlem, New York in 1943) was a songwriter and producer for Berry Gordys Motown label during the 1960s. ... Barrett Strong (born February 5, 1941 in West Point, Mississippi) is an African-American singer and songwriter. ... The Funk Brothers were a group of Detroit musicians who played club gigs and were the house band at Detroits Motown Records from 1959 to 1972, when the company moved to Los Angeles. ...

Sample

  • "I Cant Get Next to You" - Temptations version ( file info)
    • Problems listening to the file? See media help.

Image File history File links 1969-tempts-cant-get-next. ...

See also


 
 

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