BCB 100 - Four Tops

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geoffcowgill
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BCB 100 - Four Tops

Postby geoffcowgill » 28 Jun 2006, 17:32

I don't have any of their albums, just a compilation. I generally prefer the Temptations, but Levi and the boys had some blinding recordings, didn't they? Best song has got to be "Bernadette", as passionate a Motown hit as there is. If he's celebrating the enviable strength of their relationship, why does he sound so desperate? There's more than meets the eye here. Fantastic.

Favorite Song - "Bernadette"

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brilleaux
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Postby brilleaux » 28 Jun 2006, 17:42

Fave track: "Simple Game"
"I am a dull and simple lad. Cannot tell water from champagne."

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Leg of lamb
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Postby Leg of lamb » 28 Jun 2006, 17:48

I think 'Baby I Need Your Loving' is one of the great singles. It's got that Levi Stubbs gravity mixed with a sophistication and vulnerability that you don't necessarily get from the more punchy stuff. And the chorus is such a creeping, understated monster.

They're actually relatively unexplored in my collection - I don't have any discs devoted solely to them. I'd be interested to see what people would recommend for someone who's a big fan of Motown and could probably stomach quite a lot of 'unnecessary' stuff as long as it's sung well.
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Kenji
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Postby Kenji » 28 Jun 2006, 17:49

I don't have it yet, but I read this album is excellent:

Image

(And better than Isaac's soundtrack! :shock: )

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geoffcowgill
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Postby geoffcowgill » 28 Jun 2006, 18:14

brilleaux wrote:Fave track: "Simple Game"


That one is pretty fantastic.

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Postby Leg of lamb » 28 Jun 2006, 18:19

Another unsung hero is 'I'm In A Different World'. When it all falls away except for that great bass riff and Levi ... wow!
Brother Spoon wrote:I would probably enjoy this record more if it came to me in a brown paper bag filled with manure, instead of this richly illustrated disgrace to my eyes.

moonie

Re: BCB 100 - Four Tops

Postby moonie » 28 Jun 2006, 18:21

geoffcowgill wrote:Favorite Song - "Bernadette"


You know, when I think of great bass lines, this song tops my list. All the sub-par bass players in this world should be tied to a chair and made to listen to this song until they get it. Of course, groove is a very natural thing...

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Postby The Write Profile » 29 Jun 2006, 00:15

Oh yeah, the Temptations may have had greater reach- musically or otherwise- but the Four Tops definitely deserve their place in this BCB 100. It's all in the real sense of depth that Levi Stubbs, Ruffin & co bring to it. I suppose, "Reach Out I'll Be There" is in many ways their towering achievement (you could get lost in that arrangement, it seems to engulf everything around it, and Stubbs sounds like he's fighting to get out), but the follow-up, Standing in the Shadows of Love ("are you waiting for the heartache to come?") might be even better- less portent, punchier, and more welcoming. While we're at it, let be among those in the minority who prefers "It's the Same Old Song" to "I Can't Help Myself," if only because the chorus seems to sing a bit more.

That said, that moment when the music stops dead in I Can't Help Myself and he sings "when I call your name/girl it starts to flame" before leading into the chorus, is pretty much insurpassable.

Actually, following on from Moonie's point, you could compile a list of greatest-ever basslines almost entirely consisting of Four Tops songs alone!
Too many great hits to chose from, I trust the Miracles will be next!
Last edited by The Write Profile on 29 Jun 2006, 00:19, edited 1 time in total.
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the masked man
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Postby the masked man » 29 Jun 2006, 00:17

Another vote for "Simple Game". As uplifting as Motown ever got - just a great, soaring melody.

Edit: I'd actually forgotten about "Standing In The Shadows Of Love", which is equally great. What I've always loved about the arrangement of this song is the way there's a slight pause before we get to the chorus, just building up a bit of tension and suspense before the searing punchline of the chorus line arrives. Brilliant.