This is an extension of the post on Edwin Starr’s War and the fact that Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong wrote this song for The Temptations after War was deemed too controversial for them. Ball Of Confusion appeared on The Temptations Greatest Hits Vol.2 in 1970 and betwen 1970 and 2007 there have been some highs and lows in the various interpretations of the song. Judge for yourself, but here’s a short overview.
We start with the great Temptations original version of the song but The Temptations Live version from the eighties (?) is something to behold – gold suits, dancing and a vocal group of extraordinary talent. There’s some videos but these are mainly audio versions with images put together by fans. The Undisputed Truth, The Neville Brothers and Edwin Starr seem to have the song down best and the 16 minute Widespread Panic version certainly has some pazazz. Duran Duran’s version from 1995 comes from the Thank You album that according to Wikipedia,Q magazine in England called it “the single worst album in the history of recorded sound”. Anthrax ‘s version misses the funk badly but Tesla’s is ok. Love & Rockets Alternative version hits the mark but surprisingly Tina’s gets lost in the synths. Make up your own mind.
Ball Of Confusion – The Temptations – Live – 1987?
Ball Of Confusion – The Undisputed Truth – from the first album – 1971
Ball Of Confusion – Edwin Starr – Involved – 1971
Ball Of Confusion – B.E.F feat.Tina Turner – Music Of Quality & Distinction Vol. 1 – 1982
Ball Of Confusion – Love & Rockets From the album Express – 1986 – Reissues and remasters of Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven – 1985
Ball of Confusion – Anthrax – Return of the Killer A’s – 1999
Ball of Confusion – The Neville Brothers – Walkin’ In The Shadow Of Life – 2004
Ball Of Confusion – Widespread Panic – Jackassolantern (Live) – 2004
Ball Of Confusion – Duran Duran – Thank You – 2005
Ball Of Confusion – Tesla – Real To Reel -2007