Davis Eli „David“ Ruffin (January 18, 1941 – June 1, 1991) was an American soul singer and musician most famous for his work as one of the lead singers of The Temptations (1964–68) during the group’s „Classic Five“ period as it was later known. He was the lead voice on such famous songs as „My Girl“ and „Ain’t too Proud to Beg.“
Known for his unique raspy and anguished tenor vocals, Ruffin was ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 for his work with The Temptations. Fellow Motown recording artist Marvin Gaye once said admiringly of Ruffin that, „I heard [in his voice] a strength my own voice lacked.“
Gentleman Ruffin was the second album for his new label Warner Bros. The release of “So soon we Change” for Warner Bros in 1979 is considered to be his weakest record but it did feature BMH which according to some fans was one of the best songs he ever worked on
.David went back to the Studio in 1980 to record „Gentleman Ruffin“. Producer Don Davis (who also produced „So soon we Change“) put up a nice set of songs which in my opinion sound much better than their first collaboration. It doesn`t offer a hit song like „Walk away from Love“ which was released in 1975 on his “Who I’m I” album. But it could have been the beginning of something new if he had kept on recording.
The Album has its moments and shouldn’t be missing in any Soul/R&B Collection. Remember it was 1980 and Disco was dying; the album fit perfectly in Soul/R&B mainstream of that time. Leon Ware and Ronnie McNeir provided the backing vocals and that makes David Ruffin`s last solo record even more listenable.
I wanna be with you
This tune is so sexy.Strong vocals followed by a great duet partner….. Backing vocals were provided by the group Brandye (Brandye on discogs ) and they sound good.
All I Need
It is my opinion that this song is one of the weakest songs on the album. It doesn’t really appeal to me and, while listening to it, his voice seems to be too pushy. Maybe he wants to bring something out of the song which is just not there.
Here David is sexy again.This song fits very well in the set of songs.
Still in love with you
Finally, some up-tempo music. This song has a good rhythm and I can image how people danced to it back then. But to be hit, it offers not enough.
I got a thing for you
And here we have a song which would have been enough to be hit. It’s groovy, has a good melody and David´s vocals fit perfectly in the picture. Here he is loving you so much.
Can we make love one more time
Nothing special on this, to me it sounds like a mixture of Love Supply and All I Need.
This is my favorite from the whole album. Since the first time I heard the album back in the late 90`s this is the song I cherish the most. I don’t jump around, I don’t want to boogie down. His voice fits like silk around the melody. I would buy the record just for this song alone.
Don’t you go Home
You make me feel so hungry… Another Highlight from this album. David dominates the beats and guitar slicks with his voice. He makes sure we know how much he needs/wants that woman.
All in all, a good album with some weak spots. About two songs with hit potential and far better than his first release for Warner Bros.
It`s sad, he never recorded another solo album.