Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The 100 Greatest Bands of all time - #95 The Four Tops

A lot of great groups came out of Motown, but for me none were better than Duke Fakir, Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton, and the incomparable Levi Stubbs. Those four guys stayed together from 1953 until 1997 when Payton passed away. They recorded twenty-four Top 40 hits in that time with seven hitting the Top 10 and two going all the way to number one. Nobody could deny the power of Levi Stubbs’ voice. As a low-voiced singer myself, I have always been bothered by the predominance of tenor voices in popular music. Stubbs, however, was a baritone and he could stand up with any other singer in the business. As vocal groups go, it doesn’t get much better than the Four Tops.

The sound of Motown

and the hits keep on comin'. Love that choreography.

more good stuff from the Tops.

This may be their most well known song.

Here's a really classic one that isn't as well known as the others. James Jamerson of the Funk Brothers provides a truly awesome bass track.

My absolute favorite Four Tops song. This track kicks tremendous amounts of ass. I say again, Levi Stubbs was the man.

Now this is very cool. MTV didn't exist in 1967, but Motown made a promotional film for the great Tops song, 7 Rooms of Gloom. very very cool.

and we conclude our look at the Four Tops with their funky 70s hit "Are You Man Enough", the theme song to Shaft in Africa.

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