The Tempts & Sly & The Family Stone

The Temptations is known for the Motown sound, their style of music ranges from early R&B to Psychedelic Soul. Their music was outstanding throughout the years, they adapted their style, with the shift of the times to stay relevant and each time they succeeded.

The Temptations Papa Was a rolling Stone, is one of those classic songs, you can never go wrong within a mix. The production on this song is outstanding for its time. Just the way the intro starts out coming with the bass straight up the middle and hats pan slightly to the right. Then you have the string panned off to the right, there’re a lot of hard pans off to the right or left for the guitars, horns. The arrangement of the song is perfect, it allowed the song to breathe each instrument having their own place in the mix. This makes me wish I were there, sitting in on the production.

The lead vocals were, bright and dead center, backing vocals panned off to the sides. The effects added some depth and warm to the track as well, which gave it the Motown sound. The use of the reverb along with some delay on the instrument is what makes this song.

The temptations have been part of my life forever, There music played in my house like they were going out of style, they amazed me by how they constantly reinvented themselves and how they managed to keep it going with all of the member changes.

Family Affair, by Sly and the Family Stone, is another great song where the production side of things kind of sit, right along with the temptations. They are an R&B/Psychedelic Soul group; Sly Stone produced most of the songs for the group. This song uses the same hard pans left and right; you can hear the reverb and some delay added to the instruments. I guess back in that time that was the type of mix that was used. This sounds like something the temptations would sing.

These two groups were big in their time, both R&B/Psychedelic Soul groups, from the production side of thing these were two perfectly produced songs for that era of time. Each of their sounds unique but has the same familiarity to where you can see one or the other singing the song.



Ankeny, J. (n.d.). The Temptations. Retrieved May 7, 2016, from

Owsinski, B. (2016, January 29). The Big Picture Music Production Blog. Retrieved May 7, 2016, from

Erlewine, S. T. (n.d.). Sly & The Family Stone. Retrieved May 7, 2016, from



2 thoughts on “The Tempts & Sly & The Family Stone

  1. Hey Santana,

    This is a really good post. I agree 100% with your statement about “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Norman Whitfield was an amazing producer and did a lot of things in the 60’s and 70’s that paved the way for many groups, and in my opinion is responsible for the “Motown” sound. I really enjoy studying the people behind the music. Everyone knows the one in the spotlight, but fail to realize that there is a unsung hero behind almost every hit song.

    Liked by 1 person

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