The Ultimate Collection , released by Polygram in 1997, contains all the great Motown hits of the Four Tops. The group, formed in Detroit in 1954 remained together for more than forty years until Lawrence Payton passed away in June 1997. Listen again to see what made the Four Tops a major part of the legendary Motown "Sound of Young America" in the mid 1960's. Enjoy again favorites like "Reach Out, I'll Be There", "Baby I Need Your Lovin'" and of course their signature song "I Can't Help Myself" from the golden year 1965. In addition, sample other big hits like "Standing In The Shadows of Love", and "Bernadette" as well as some of the lesser known chart hits like "7 Rooms of Gloom" and "Something About You". All in all, there are 25 tracks on this disc and a nice 12 page retrospective of the groups incredible career. But the hits began to dry up in the late sixties and the Four Tops departed Motown in 1972. The group signed on with Dunhill records in 1972 and over the next 8 months had three Top 20 hits including "Keeper of the Castle" and "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)". But although the group would continue to maintain a very strenuous concert schedule, their chart appearances were much more intermittant after that. In 1981, they scored with "When She Was My Girl" from the motion picture "Grease 2". It was their biggest hit in years. Finally in 1988, they recorded their last charted single "Indestructable" which NBC Sports tapped for their 1988 Summer Olympics coverage. Why am I telling you all of this? If you are a big fan of the Four Tops I suggest you skip this CD altogether and choose the recently released "Four Tops 50th Anniversary" CD now available from Hip-O records. The remastering job is considerably better and for just a bit more money that 2 CD package gives you not only all the great Motown hits but all of the groups post 1971 hits on the other labels as well. It is really a better value.
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Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Cramming 25 songs onto a single CD, this set captures the Tops during their peak 1960s years, when they rode the pens of Holland, Dozier, and Holland to the top of the charts. Combining the writers' pop melodies, a gentle Motown groove, and Levi Stubbs' earthy lead vocals, the group landed 11 Top 40 singles by 1967, all of which are included on this compilation. Unfortunately, The Ultimate Collection omits later gems such as "Keeper of the Castle," "Ain't No Woman," and "When She Was My Girl," but that leaves room to delve into the unique partnership between the Tops and their songwriting triumvirate. --Marc Greilsamer
1. Reach Out (I'll Be There) 2. Standing in the Shadows of Love 3. Bernadette 4. Ask the Lonely 5. Baby I Need Your Loving 6. Without the One You Love (Life's Not Worthwhile) 7. It's the Same Old Song 8. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever 9. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) 10. Something About You 11. I Got a Feeling 12. I'm in a Different World 13. Walk Away Renee 14. What Is a Man? 15. Simple Game 16. Still Water (Love) 17. (It's the Way) Nature Planned It 18. It's All in the Game 19. You Keep Running Away 20. If You Don't Want My Love 21. 7-Rooms of Gloom 22. I'll Turn to Stone 23. Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over) 24. Sad Souvenirs 25. Yesterday's Dreams