The Temptations’ Ball of Confusion

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The Temptations’ Ball of Confusion

The Temptations Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)

Psychedelic Soul

The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. The Temptations released it as a single in 1970, backed with “It’s Summer.” The song went to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the U.S. R&B Chart, and to #7 in the U.K. “Ball of Confusion” was also released on their 1970 album Greatest Hits II. On the track are Dennis Edwards, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, and Melvin Franklin doing the lead vocals. Background vocals are by¬† them as well as Otis Williams. Instrumentation, of course, was provided by the fabulous Motown session musicians The Funk Brothers. Tina Turner also had a popular cover of the song.

The Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history, which isn’t surprising since they have great songs, great harmonies, and great performances. There have been many personnel changes over the years, of course, and they continue to tour and perform.

Here are the lyrics to “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)” by The Temptations:

1, 2… 1, 2, 3, 4, Ow!
People moving out, people moving in. Why, because of the color of their skin.
Run, run, run but you sure can’t hide. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Vote for me and I’ll set you free. Rap on, brother, rap on.
Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the…(preacher.)
And it seems nobody’s interested in learning but the…(teacher.)
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation.
Ball of confusion. Oh yeah, that’s what the world is today. Woo, hey, hey.
The sale of pills are at an all time high.
Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky.
The cities ablaze in the summer time.
And oh, the beat goes on.
Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul.
Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon.
Politicians say more taxes will solve everything.
And the band played on.
So, round and around and around we go.
Where the world’s headed, nobody knows.
[Instrumental]
Oh, great googalooga, can’t you hear me talking to you.
Just a ball of confusion.
Oh yeah, that’s what the world is today.
Woo, hey, hey.
Fear in the air, tension everywhere.
Unemployment rising fast, the Beatles new record’s a gas.
And the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation.
And the band played on.
Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors,
Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills,
Hippies moving to the hills. People all over the world are shouting, ‘End the war.’
And the band played on.
[Instrumental]
Great googalooga, can’t you hear me talking to you.
Sayin’… ball of confusion.
That’s what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin’… ball of confusion.
That’s what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin’… ball of confusion.

For other songs by The Temptations: “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and “My Girl.”

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today” by The Temptations.

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