I Am My Brother's Keeper

I Am My Brother's Keeper

by Jimmy Ruffin

CD

Overview

With neither Ruffin brother experiencing significant success in the wake of their non-simultaneous departure from the Temptations, Jimmy latched upon the idea of recording a duet album with the younger David -- partially as a way to pay tribute to their recently passed parents, partially as a way to jump-start their stalled careers. In regards to the latter, 1970's I Am My Brother's Keeper was no great shakes, barely scraping the pop charts and its lead single "Stand by Me" only reaching 24 on the R&B charts, but as a testament to the familial talents of the Ruffins, the LP succeeds, proving that these two great voices could enliven familiar tunes. It's a knack that's needed here, for much of I Am My Brother's Keeper consists of splashy, sequin-studded and polyester-draped covers of pop and R&B hits. Just under half of the album consists of versions of tunes by the Hollies, Ben E. King, the Delfonics and Tyrone Davis, with the rest of the record coming from in-house Motown writers and elsewhere, including the rousing Gloria Jones co-write "When My Love Hand Comes Down." This is one of five Bobby Taylor productions on the LP, and he gives the Ruffins soulful, funky sounds that showcase them at their best, with Henry Cosby, Duke Browner, Frank Wilson and Al Kent responsible for the songs that edge a little closer to the pop charts. Combined, all the producers provide a sampler of Motown sounds at the dawn of the '70s -- sometimes things are deeply funky, sometimes things are slick enough for a televised variety revue -- but the Ruffins pull it all together, sounding comfortable in every setting, always commanding attention. Perhaps its underwhelming commercial performance is understandable -- there are no true knockouts here, just a bunch of strong soul -- but I Am My Brother's Keeper is an album that seems stronger in retrospect, as it was the last time one of the great brother teams in soul sung together so joyfully. [Hip-O Select's 2010 reissue adds the excellent unreleased "You're What I Need (Not What I Want)" -- produced by Bobby Taylor and co-written by Gloria Jones and Pamela Sawyer -- and a mix of "Stand by Me" that removes the fake live overdubs of the original.]

Product Details

Release Date: 08/24/2010
Label: Hip-O Select
UPC: 0602527372884
catalogNumber: 001423902

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jimmy Ruffin   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Ben E. King   Composer
James Taylor   Composer
Gloria Jones   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Joe Hinton   Composer
Tom Baird   Arranger
Thom Bell   Composer
Leonard Caston   Composer,Producer
Henry Cosby   Arranger,Composer,Producer
William "Poogie" Hart   Composer
Paul Riser   Arranger
Bob Russell   Composer
Pam Sawyer   Composer
Bobby Scott   Composer
Willie Shorter   Arranger
Mike Stoller   Composer
Bobby Taylor   Composer,Producer
Norma Toney   Composer
David Van De Pitte   Arranger
Duke Browner   Composer,Producer
Frank Wilson   Producer
William Garrett   Composer
Stu Hackel   Liner Notes
Helen Miller   Composer
Bonnie Thompson   Composer
Robert White   Arranger
Rose Marie McCoy   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Michele Horie   Art Direction
Andrew Skurow   Tape Vault Research
Junius Griffin   Liner Notes
Keith Hughes   Track Annotations
Jack Daniels   Composer
Hamilton   Composer
James Dean   Composer
Gregory Ross   Art Direction
Jeana Jackson   Composer
Kent   Producer

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