The Four Tops: The Ultimate Collection
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||Reach Out I'll Be There||The Four Tops||3:02||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Standing in the Shadows of Love (Original Version)||The Four Tops||2:38||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Bernadette (Original Version)||The Four Tops||3:02||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Ask the Lonely||The Four Tops||2:47||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Baby I Need Your Loving (Original Version)||The Four Tops||2:44||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Without the One You Love (Life's Not Worthwhile)||The Four Tops||2:55||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||It's the Same Old Song||The Four Tops||2:46||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Single Version) [Mono]||The Four Tops||2:47||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) [Stereo]||The Four Tops||2:45||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Something About You (Single Version) [Mono]||The Four Tops||2:50||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||I Got a Feeling (Single Version) [Mono]||The Four Tops||3:04||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||I'm In a Different World||The Four Tops||3:08||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Walk Away Renee (Original Version)||The Four Tops||2:45||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||What Is a Man||The Four Tops||2:36||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||A Simple Game (Single Version)||The Four Tops||2:59||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Still Water (Love)||The Four Tops||3:13||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||(It's the Way) Nature Planned It||The Four Tops||3:40||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||It's All In the Game||The Four Tops||2:52||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||You Keep Running Away (Single Version)||The Four Tops||2:50||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||If You Don't Want My Love (Single Version)||The Four Tops||3:30||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||7 Rooms of Gloom||The Four Tops||2:33||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||I'll Turn to Stone (Single Version) [Mono]||The Four Tops||2:34||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)||The Four Tops||2:43||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Sad Souvenirs (Single Version) [Mono]||The Four Tops||2:41||$2.19||View In iTunes|
||Yesterday's Dreams (Single Version) [Mono]||The Four Tops||2:56||$2.19||View In iTunes|
The title would make you think that this was a hits compilation, but a line in small but legible print on the back cover notes, "Recorded Live At The MGM Grand, Las Vegas, 1997." Even that isn't quite true, however: this is an audio version of the Four Tops' show at the MGM Grand on August 8, 1996, captured by cameras for a video released later that marked the group's 40th anniversary. As it happened, recording a Four Tops performance at this point in their career was crucial; ten months later, on June 20, 1997, group member Lawrence Payton died of liver cancer, thus marking the first personnel change in the Four Tops' history. (Clueless annotator Tony Watts states in the album's liner notes that it was lead singer Levi Stubbs who passed away!) That said, this comes off as just one of the group's thousands of shows over the years. They sing their biggest hits, plus standards like "I've Got You Under My Skin." There is banter with the audience, particularly during "Baby I Need Your Lovin'," and it probably works better in the video than it does with only the audio to hear. The Four Tops are still in good voice, particularly Stubbs, who makes a lively frontman. A bunch of hits are grouped together in a medley toward the end, which makes more sense for a one-hour nightclub act than it does for a live album, and the show inexplicably ends with the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Unlike so many of their peers, the Four Tops were still going strong after 40 years with exactly the same personnel they had started with, and this album demonstrates they still sounded impressive toward the end of their run with the original four singers. But no one should buy this album supposing it contains the original recordings of their hits.
Mostly Mono Mixes...the original way to hear these!
This paricular compilation (as opposed to the other ones previously and since released) generally use the stereo versions; completely understandable, but these were the album mixes (later singles after ca. 1970 were stereo only). But all of those ingenious and glorious classic songs—many of them considered to be the epitome and acme of the Motown sound—all were released as mono 45 R.P.M. records, when the single was king and each record was a production unto itself, just before the long-play format was deemed to be superior means of artistic expression. All of those earlier mono mixes have noticeably more prominence in the vocals and have that distincly mono compression, which gives added oomph to the percussion. The vocals on some tracks presented have amazing clarity, "Bernadette" is the finest example of Levi Stubbs' unique vocals, in my opinion and here in mono really comes alive. Although this is an already appealing collection for anyone who appreciates Motown or general 1960s music, serious Motown or Four Tops fans (and mono purists!) will truly relish this compilation. Marvellous!
Formed: 1956 in Detroit, MI
Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s