Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

Help support this site! Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thanks!


Smiling Faces Sometimes

Originally recorded by The Temptations (1971).
Hit version by The Undisputed Truth (US #3/R&B #2/MOR #34 1971)
Also recorded by Bobbi Humphrey (1972), Rare Earth (1973).

From the wiki: “‘Smiling Faces Sometimes’ was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, and was originally recorded by the Temptations in 1971. Producer Whitfield had the song re-recorded by the Undisputed Truth the same year, resulting in a Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit for the group – their only one.

“The Temptations’ original was included on the group’s 1971 Sky’s the Limit album. With a total running time of 12+ minutes, this version features extended instrumental passages without any vocals. An edited version was planned as The Temptations’ summer 1971 single release, but the plan was dropped when the group’s lead vocalist, Eddie Kendricks, frustrated by personnel problems within the group, quit the Temptations and, instead, signed a solo deal of his own with Motown.

“After Kendricks left The Temptations, an undaunted Whitfield re-recorded the song with his latest protégés, the psychedelic trio The Undisputed Truth. Whitfield was known for recording dramatically different versions of the same song with different Motown artists, so also later produced a 6+-minute recording with Rare Earth for the 1973 album Ma. The song has also been covered by jazz flautist Bobbi Humphrey, singer Joan Osborne, and others.”

The Undisputed Truth, “Smiling Faces Sometimes” (1971):

Bobbi Humphrey, “Smiling Faces Sometimes” (1972):

Rare Earth, “Smiling Faces Sometimes” (1973):

Comments are closed.