I Can't Get Next To You

Album: Puzzle People (1969)
Charted: 13 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was written by the Motown songwriters Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, and Whitfield produced the track. The duo also wrote the Temptations hit "Cloud Nine," which was released in 1968. Both songs were released after David Ruffin left the group, but while "Cloud Nine" had a Psychedelic sound and some pretty deep lyrics, "I Can't Get Next To You" is more typical Motown Soul, and finds The Temptations singing about the power of love, and how all their otherworldly powers mean nothing if they can't get the girl.
  • All 5 of The Temptations trade verses on this song, and they all join in on the chorus. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dor - canton, OH
  • In 1970 Al Green recorded a slow version of this song which appeared on the album Al Green Gets Next To You. Other artists to record it include The Four Tops, Jose Feliciano, Annie Lennox, Edwin McCain, The Osmonds, Toto and Savoy Brown.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 4

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyExactly fifty years today on October 12th, 1969 the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next To You" peaked at #1 {2 weeks} on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
    The rest of the Top 10 was:
    At #2. "Hot Fun In The Summertime" by Sly and the Family Stone
    #3. "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies
    #4. "Jean" by Oliver
    #5. "Little Woman" by Bobby Sherman
    #6. "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley
    #7. "That's The Way Love Is" by Marvin Gaye
    #8. "Wedding Bell Blues" by The 5th Dimension
    #9. "Easy To Be Hard" by Three Dog Night
    #10. "Tracy" by The Cuff Links
    And on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, "Green River" by Creedence Clearwater Revival was in it's third of four weeks at #1...
    Plus leading the seventeen new arrivals on the Top 100 were the Beatles with "Something", it debut at position #20, with the flip-side, "Come Together", entered at position #23...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 28th 1969, the Temptations performed "I Can't Get Next To You" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    One month earlier on August 10th, 1969 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #84; and nine weeks later on October 12th, 1969 it peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} and spent 17 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on September 28th, 1969 it also reached #1 {for 5 weeks} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    The two weeks it was at #1 on the Top 100 it prevented "Hot Fun in the Summertime" by Sly and the Family Stone from reaching #1; it was at #2 for both those week and never made the top spot...
    Between 1965 and 1975 the Temps had fifteen records peak at #1 on the R&B Singles chart.
  • Betty from Dayton, OhWooooo! good vocals!
  • Lester from New York City, NySavoy Brown does a great studio version of this and even better live versions.
see more comments

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

British InvasionFact or Fiction

Go beyond The Beatles to see what you know about the British Invasion.

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.