My Whole World Ended/Feelin' Good

David Ruffin

Real Gone Music, 2014

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


The Temptations released one of the enduring singles of the rock ‘n’ roll era 49 years ago when “My Girl” topped the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Charts. The song was propelled by the sweet tenor voice of David Ruffin. During his time with the Temptations, he provided the lead vocals for such hits as “Ain’t To Proud To Beg,” “All I Need,” and “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep.” His time with the group was short (1964-1968), but he helped leave a lasting legacy and was inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for his efforts. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Ruffin was asked to leave the group in the summer of 1968 but he quickly recovered, issuing two solo albums within a period of six months. While he was never as commercially successful as during his time with the Temptations, his solo releases sold moderately well and produced some fine music. Real Gone Music has now collected his first two solo albums and reissued them as a two for one under the title My Whole World Ended/Feelin’ Good.

His debut release My Whole World Ended is the superior of the two albums. Released during the spring of 1969, it was more emotional and rawer than the smooth soul sound of his former group. The only song that runs counter to this formula was the hit single “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me),” which was originally written for the Temptations. It has a smooth Sam Cooke quality as it just flows along.

“Pieces Of A Man” and “I’ve Got To Find Myself A Brand New Baby” are symbolic of the tougher sound that Ruffin brought to his solo releases.

The follow-up album, Feelin’ Good, moved in a number of directions and did not have the cohesiveness of his previous release. In addition, four of the 12 tracks were recorded at the time of his debut but were not used. It gives the album a cobbled together feel.

Still, there are a number of good performances. “I’m So Glad I Fell for You” is an excursion into the gospel realm, complete with a church organ and backing choir. He comes close to a pop swing sound on the Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell hit, “What You Gave Me.” Finally, he takes the rock song “Feelin’ Alright” and inserts some positive, upbeat, and funky vibes.

My Whole World Ended/Feelin’ Good is a fine introduction to the solo career of one of music’s premier soul singers. While not completely successful, both albums remain a fine listen nearly 45 years after their initial release.

Rating: B

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