20 Best David Ruffin Songs For A Motown-themed Wedding

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Any fan of Motown is more than aware of the wonders created by The Temptations. Icons of the 60s and still performing today, the vocal group was at the lead of the soul movement.

In 1964, David Ruffin joined the group in place of Elbridge ‘Al’ Bryant before leaving in 1968 to explore his own solo career. Since then Ruffin has gone on to create hit after hit of soul music before passing away in 1991.

Today, the iconic singer is still playing. At weddings, family gatherings, and even within libraries. The musician’s voice has been loved by millions of people all across the world.

Looking to find out more about David Ruffins’s best songs? We have them all below!

Check them out now!

best David Ruffin songs list

Best David Ruffin Songs List

1. My Girl (The Temptations)

Released in 1965 on the album The Temptations Sing Smokey

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Well, I guess you’d say / What can make me feel this way / My girl, my girl, my girl”

My Girl is without a doubt a truly classic song. It is the song of the time and has been used in movie soundtracks, dolls, and teddy bears.

The love song was one of many No.1 tracks for the band and featured Ruffins lead vocals. It is one of pure joy that everyone can relate to.

2. Walk Away From Love

Released in 1975 on the album Who I Am

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “This time I’m playing it smart / I’m gonna walk away from love before love breaks my heart”

Probably one of the most successful songs of Ruffin’s career, ‘Walk Away From Love’ was his final hurrah to making it as a solo artist.

Throughout the 70’s his success plateaued while The Temptations soared. It wasn’t until the release of the single that Ruffins career began to climb back.

This soul-disco track is one of the most iconic tracks of the time and is perfect for every occasion.

3. I Could Never Love Another (The Temptations)

Released in 1968 on the album The Temptations Wish It Would Rain

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “‘Cause I could never, never, never ever love another, after loving you / Oh ho / No other love will I share ’cause none, none could compare”

While this song was written, performed, and recorded by all 5 of The Temptations, it works as an exhibition of Ruffins incredible voice. It was going to be the Tempts’ last song with his vocals in the lead, and he never did join another band, living true to the title.

Released in 1968 it features Ruffins master-like control over his voice and just how far he could go as a vocalist. With his band supporting him, it was the perfect way to say goodbye.

It was also writer, Rodger Penzabene’s last composition before he passed at the age of 23 in 1967.

4. Beauty’s Only Skin Deep (The Temptations)

Released in 1966 on the album Greatest Hits

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “But what I like about you is your tenderness / A pretty face maybe some guys taste / But I’ll take lovin’ in its place”

Deep bass, a high xylophone, and a funky drum beat all come together to create something wonderful.

This relaxed love song details how beauty is only skin deep and love is about more than just one’s appearance. Although they weren’t the first group to record this song, The Temptations were the ones to have it become a hit in 1966.

Showcasing Ruffins’s ability to convey emotion wonderfully, once again. This song is great to play as guests arrive or as you get ready in the morning for an extra pep in your step.

5. I Know I’m Losing You (The Temptations)

Released in 1966 on the album The Temptations with a Lot o’ Soul

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “It’s in the air / It’s everywhere / Ooh, I’m losing you (losing you)”

Looking for something with a little more girth and depth? This single by The Temptations became a Top 10 hit in 1967 and is included in every soul/ Motown playlist today.

This story of a love gone wrong shows that David Ruffin had a talent for conveying desperation, which he brought to The Temptations. The musician’s vocals added a sense of longing and emotional agony which was previously missing.

Making their music emotional, raw, and utterly magical. Even people who have never experienced heartbreak were falling in love with Ruffin’s vocals.

6. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (The Temptations)

Released in 1966 on the album Gettin’ Ready

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Ain’t too proud to beg (sweet darlin’) / Please don’t leave me girl (don’t you go)”

This song served as the Tempts’ farewell to Smokey Robinson as their producer and introduced them to Norman Whitfield, another tale of bad love. Ruffin had to reach for the notes since Whitfield pitched the song in a key that was higher than she was accustomed to, which helped to create the pleading, keening vocal line that the lyrics called for.

This leap of faith brought Ruffin and The Temptations nothing but success. The traditional Motown sound continued to do wonders for the vocalists.

7. Since I Lost My Baby (The Temptations)

Released in 1965 on the album The Temptin’ Temptations

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Can’t see my hope’s gonna last / Good things are bad and what’s happy is sad / Since I lost my baby”

Nothing sells music like regretful heartbreak. Especially a man admitting his wrongdoings through music.

This contradicting single was a hit in 1965 and has Ruffin selling the story. The Temptations gave Ruffin his shot at fame and with singles like this he took it by the horns.

Since I Lost My Bay tells the tale of a heartbroken character who is trying to navigate the world with a lost and alone soul. Will he ever get his baby back?

This track was loved by anyone who has ever had their heart broken and with Ruffins vocals, you didn’t need a broken heart to enjoy it.

8. I’ve Lost Everything I’ve Ever Loved

Released in 1969 on the album My Whole World Ended

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “I’ve lost everything I’ve ever loved / Honey, honey, now I’m losing you, baby”

It is known that a classic soul song has an incredible build-up. And ‘I’ve Lost Everything I’ve Ever Loved’ sure has a build-up.

This song perfectly captures the reason why Ruffin was discovered as a soul, Motown artist. He has a way of making you feel his emotions without having to do anything drastic with his voice.

My Whole World Ended is a wonderful floating Motown gem created by Johnny Bristol which houses the single ‘I’ve Lost Everything I’ve Ever Loved’. Although it was released as a single, it may have been too similar to its successful predecessor to do well.

9. Statue Of A Fool

Released in 1975 on the album Who I Am

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “So build a statue and oh build it high so all the world can see. and inscribe the world’s greatest fool, and name it after me”

Written when Ruffin was only 18 years old, it is a mystery as to why it was only recorded when he was 34 years of age. But we are thankful it did!

This is one of Ruffin’s best solo vocal performances; yet, Van McCoy’s overly-produced instrumental backdrop can occasionally be off-putting. The song is a heartbreaking and emotionally straightforward ballad. When Ruffin played it during multiple late-career oldies tours, it was a fan favorite.

Fortunately, when on tour in 1987, he captured a live version with a lush orchestral feel and the kind of backup vocal harmonies the song really needed. Both variants are excellent, and having a variety of styles is convenient.

10. Heavy Love

Released in 1975 on the album Who I Am

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “This heavy love / It’s too high to get over / It’s too deep to get under / It’s too wide to get around”

In 1975 Ruffin and legendary producer Van McCoy worked together to deliver this disco soundtrack that features just the perfect amount of gospel and soul.

This is one that is sure to pull on your heartstrings. It could be heard from the speakers of every device throughout 1975 and is still a treasured single today.

That funky beat has your toe tapping while Ruffins vocals draw you in until you forget all of your troubles and fears. Written about the strong love you can feel for someone, this song is one about transformation and growth.

11. A Day In The Life, Of A Working Man

Released in 1973 on the album David Ruffin

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Keep having fun / Honey and I’m sticking my pots close to you, yeah / Thank God above for giving me so much love”

This track takes things back to being dark and mysterious. Although, the guitar so this piece shares the stage with Ruffins vocals.

The musician captures the angst of a blue-collar man who is struggling with both life and love; the beautifully restrained arrangement, with nothing, added that is merely decorative, allows him to express himself clearly.

This song was loved by thousands as almost everyone could relate to the struggles of the blue-collar man. And just how far love can take you.

See a list of the biggest Smokey Robinson hits.

12. Rode By The Place (Where We Used To Stay)

Released in 1977 on the album In My Stride

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “I was out riding, it was a sunny day, so I rode by where we used to stay / Faded picture in my wallet, that I hold in my hand takes me back to the time when love was in our plan”

High-gloss Northern soul music from 1977 that has also been covered as “contemporary” soul music Marv Johnson, who recorded “Come To Me,” Motown’s debut single, wrote the song, which had a strong sense of truth, which Ruffin honors with his lovely vocal.

The upbeat piano works perfectly throughout the track while the brass section adds a much-needed depth and tone to the overall track.

You may need a hand getting Grandma to sit down once you play this track. You can’t help but dance.

13. I Can’t Stop The Rain

Released in 1977 on the album In My Stride

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Oh tell me what good would it do? / I’d be a grey loser after all was said and done / On a dark and rainy night without you”

Not all singles that do well in the US translate over the pond to the UK or even Europe. ‘I Can’t Stop The Rain’ was massive in the UK but didn’t gain much attention in the US.

Throughout the single, Ruffin lets his vocals take center stage and truly show that his talent has no bounds. This jazzy track is perfect for a Father-Daughter dance as the backing vocals keep things bouncy and happy.

Although, you may want to include The Temptation’s single ‘I Wish It Would Rain’ which was released a decade earlier and is the main inspiration for the Ruffin single.

14. Each Day Is A Lifetime

Released in 1969 on the album Each Day Is A Lifetime

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Sing a little longer in the shower / And I fuss around a little more at work / Each day is a lifetime”

By the early 70s, Motown was slowly on the outs and rock was on the rise. So much so that Ruffin ended up leaving his 3rd studio album, unreleased.

One track that was intended for the album and is worth releasing is ‘Each Day Is A Lifetime’. A gorgeous example of melancholy, dark baroque Motown. Years later, his early 1970s recordings would be released as the album David, and they were well worth the wait, which was little comfort to the vocalist who passed well before they were made public.

15. Blood Donors Needed (Give All You Can)

Released in 1973 on the album David Ruffin

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Blood donors needed / Bad, bad, bad / Oh, give all you can / Gotta give it up”

This funky disco track was written by Bobby Miller and showcases that Ruffin was not ready to hang up his musical boots just yet.

This rather intense adaptation of Root’s single “Darkness On The City” is often overlooked by fans. However, its intricate guitar solos and masterful vocals are worth all the recognition it can get.

While it may seem overpowering, this song is best suited for winding down at the end of the night and enjoying everyone’s company.

16. Your Love Was Worth Waiting For

Released in 1970 on the album I Am My Brother’s Keeper

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Where all like a loneness worthwhile / ‘Cause now I have you, one love for you / Your love is worth waitin’ for”

While David Ruffin is being recognized for his musical talent, his brother Jimmy was also sharing his skills. In 1970 they came together to release ‘Your Love Was Worth Waiting For’. Written by Pam Sawyer and Leon Ware, this song is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The blend of the brother vocals creates something magical when recorded with the depth of the drums keeping this smooth and joyful.

Who’s ready for a duet?

Up Next: Check out our list of classic and modern love songs from Motown!

17. Flower Child

Released in 1969 on the album My Whole World Ended

Lyrics to Sing: “So long I hesitated / I knocked and then I waited / My thoughts were running wild / Then I saw my flower child”

Throughout the 1970s, the genre of psychedelic rock was born and thriving. Everyone was rushing to create something weird and wonderful. Including David Ruffin.

Flower Child brought together the worlds of Motown and psychedelic rock to create something earthy and full of passion. The lead vocal is fantastic, yet the riff from Marvin Gaye’s “One More Heartache” is subtly reused in the background.

You can already imagine singing with your loved ones or enjoying it solo on a long drive. This Motown treasure is precious in every way.

18. Smiling Faces Sometimes

Released in 1974 on the album Me ‘n Rock ‘n Roll Are Here to Stay

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Smiling faces sometimes, sometimes / They don’t t?ll the truth”

There was a lot of competition for this song before David Ruffin came up. Norman Whitfield, the song’s co-writer and producer, had previously made it popular with The Undisputed Truth.
He also offered it to Ruffin’s old band, The Temptations, and his rockier proteges, Rare Earth, who recorded a somber version with Latin undertones. But David Ruffin was the only one to express it with such passion.

Ruffin keeps the tone dark and mysterious the whole way through the single, making the lack of a disco groove essential.

19. I’m So Glad I Fell For You

Released in 1969 on the album Feelin’ Good

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “I wanna say I’m, I’m so glad, so glad I fell for you / What I wanna do is thank you baby, thank you”

Trying to keep his success on a high, Ruffin released his album ‘Feelin’ Good’. While it may not contain quite as many hits, ‘I’m So Glad I Fell For You’ is one of the history books.

Ruffin brings both his voice and the power of the gospel choir to communicate his emotion. Perfect for that moment before the bridge takes center stage to walk down the aisle.

Or to keep things calm on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

20. My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)

Released in 1969 on the album My Whole World Ended

song on Amazon

Lyrics to Sing: “Honey, My Whole World Ended the moment you left me / It tumbled down to the ground, baby, baby, baby”

In 1969, Ruffins took to the stage as a solo artist with the single ‘My Whole World Ended’. Leaping off the success of his time as a Temptation, Ruffins was flying high and ready to take the world by storm.

This upbeat love song is a perfect addition to any wedding song playlist. Maybe not for walking down the aisle as it details his emotions of when his partner left him. But as a way to ease everyone into a night of fun, this airy single is excellent.

As you can see Ruffin had an incredible career. Whether he was part of The Temptations or as a solo artist, his vocals had a way of resonating with everyone.

His music has been played for generations and will continue to be an icon of Motown music. He has since been included in the Music Hall of Fame and his name is known around the world.

Make sure you include one of Ruffin’s greatest hits of soul music.

Do you have a favorite David Ruffin song? Please share your song below in the comments!

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