The Four Tops' musical passion captures your ear. Their overflowing joy catches your eye. Their four souls touch yours and you succumb. You smile broadly, sing along, sway your hips and arms from side to side, and you dance that "Four Tops boogaloo" … see full wiki
I must say right off the bat that "Four Tops: 50th Anniversary Anthology" is without a doubt one of the best things I own. Hip-O has done just about everything right in putting together the history of this talented and venerable group. In this day and age serious collectors should demand nothing less from the record companies.
Suffice to say you will find nearly every single one of their great Motown sides on Disc One. And while just about everybody loves the big ones like "Reach Out, I'll Be There", "Baby I Need Your Loving", "It's The Same Old Song" and of course "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" there's a lot to be said for some of the lesser hits like "Something About You" and most especially "A Simple Game". That tune was originally written and recorded by of all people the Moody Blues. U.S. audiences largely ignored the Four Tops version but the Brits loved it and pushed it all the way up to number 3 on the U.K. charts. It is a tremendous record.
The Four Tops left the safe haven of Motown records in 1972 when the label moved its operations to the West Coast. They signed on with ABC/Dunhill and immediately went to work with new producers Steve Barri, Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter. Within just a few short months the Four Tops found themselves back in the Top Ten with "Keeper of the Castle" followed by one of their biggest hits of all-time "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I Got)". Disc Two features these songs along with all of their other ABC sides. While their work at ABC/Dunhill did not exhibit quite the same drive and energy that could be found in their early Motown efforts, the ABC singles were for the most part excellent pop tunes. But unfortunately the general public had moved on to new and different sounds and many of those ABC singles stalled in the middle of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Disc Two also includes a pair of hits from the 1980's. "When She Was My Girl" made it all the way to #11 in the summer of 1981. And you may recall their final chart hit, 1988's "Indestructible" which NBC featured during its coverage of the Summer Olympics that year.
As I indicated above "Four Tops: 50th Anniversary Anthology" just might be the finest anthology I own. Hip-O has certainly raised the bar and from this day forward I will expect more from the major record companies. The remastering is top rate and the 28 page booklet is absolutely among the best I have come across. Very highly recommended.
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