A track from this album popped up on iTunes Radio the other day. LTypI caught my eye – good song too! And it appears to have an interesting backstory.
From AllMusic.com [emphasis mine]:
Far from being unreleasable, David (titled as such because the album was never given a proper title — it was given a catalog number and track sequencing, with David Ruffin penciled in as its name, but that was used as the title for his 1973 album) finds Ruffin at a solo peak, not just a singer but in terms of material.
From Hip-O Select:
In a move that ranks high among the many Motown mysteries, the album is never released. The performances, many of them new compositions, are never heard again, not even as filler for future albums. David Ruffin’s next solo album is released in 1973, meaning he had four years between official LP releases.
But the tapes survived. The stories remain fresh. The sound of David Ruffin at the height of his powers can now be heard, 33 years later. The packaging faithfully reproduces artwork of the era, including rare photographs, an essay detailing the sessions and the moment, and full track annotations.
Lastly, this 2004 release note might make you chuckle:
CD edition limited to 3500 individually numbered copies.
Contributed by Garrison Martin