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The Ultimate Collection: Four Tops

The Four Tops

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Album Review

The Ultimate Collection series was a rare success from Motown, one of the first of the label's many compilation series to do justice to some of the finest performers, arrangers, and musicians of the soul era. Nearly every artist with an entry was given the luxury treatment, with a disc-filling running time, excellent compilation decisions, and a pleasing design scheme that reflected the artists in their prime. The Four Tops' entry is arguably the best in the series, since the 25 tracks prove the perfect length to summarize the group's decade at Motown. From 1963 to 1972, the group reached the R&B charts 28 times, and all but a very few are presented here (among the missing are three decidedly unnecessary covers: "MacArthur Park," "If I Were a Carpenter," and "River Deep — Mountain High"). Though the tracks aren't presented chronologically, thoughtful sequencing makes for an even better listen; The Ultimate Collection opens with "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," perhaps the ultimate pop single of the '60s, and flows smoothly through the best of their 1964-1967 prime: "Baby I Need Your Loving," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)," "It's the Same Old Song," "Bernadette," and "Standing in the Shadows of Love." And though the hits began to dry up after the Holland-Dozier-Holland machine departed Motown in 1968, the Four Tops' later years are represented well with "It's All in the Game," "Still Water (Love)," "(It's the Way) Nature Planned It," and the driving non-album hit "A Simple Game." Unless you're the type of fan who needs the box set (2001's Fourever), this is all the Four Tops-on-Motown you really need to hear.

Customer Reviews

Great Album

IT has all the four tops hits a Four Top fan needs to have this album

Good tunes-made me wanna dance.

The songs on this album are very good. They made me wanna get up and dance. But there was only one song on the whole album that I knew. The song was "I Cant Help Myself." Actually, that was not only the only one i knew, but the best song in the album. Its an oldie, so not a lot of people will be listening to this, but the ones who do will probably go straight for "I Can't Help Myself." But all in all, it is a very good album, and a lot of people will buy these songs, or even the whole album.

ABSOLUTE!

I met the "Tops"', in Atlanta, in the 60's! From "Hitsville", to Motown.....these Gentlemen, are "ABSOLUTE".....if not #1, then, #2, or #3!!! Fantastic harmony, range, and pressence!!...Doc Greek

Biography

Formed: 1956 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Four Tops' story is one of longevity and togetherness: these Motown legends teamed up in high school and spent over four decades without a single personnel change. In between, they became one of the top-tier acts on a label with no shortage of talent, ranking with the Temptations and the Supremes as Motown's most consistent hitmakers. Where many other R&B vocal groups spotlighted a tenor-range lead singer, the Four Tops were fronted by deep-voiced Levi Stubbs, who never cut a solo record...
Full Bio

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