Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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David Ruffin

  • At His Best [Motown, 1978] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

At His Best [Motown, 1978]
Although some blame Ruffin's very intermittent post-Tempts success on deliberate corporate neglect, I've never found even his biggest solo hits all that undeniable--ungrouped, his voice seems overly tense whether it's grinding out grit or reaching for highs. Corporate decay is another matter. The four Tempts songs on this compilation aren't necessary--Ruffin has managed to chart ten songs in the nine years he's been on his own--but they certainly show up the more recent compositions. Seems apt that the best non-Tempts cut was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the Berry Gordy/Holland-Dozier-Holland of the '70s. B-