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Four Tops|The Ultimate Collection:  Four Tops

The Ultimate Collection: Four Tops

Four Tops

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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.
© John Bush /TiVo

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The Ultimate Collection: Four Tops

Four Tops

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1
Reach Out I'll Be There (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:59

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - Renaldo Obie Benson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Lawrence Payton, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1966 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Standing In The Shadows Of Love (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:36

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1966 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

3
Bernadette (Single Version (Mono ))
00:02:59

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

4
Ask The Lonely (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:45

Ivy Joe Hunter, Producer, ComposerLyricist - William Mickey Stevenson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1965 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Baby I Need Your Loving (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:42

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1964 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Without The One You Love (Life's Not Worthwhile) (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:52

Renaldo Benson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Edward Holland Jr., ComposerLyricist - Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - The Andantes, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lawrence Payton, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs Jr., Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1964 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
It's The Same Old Song (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:43

Renaldo Benson, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Edward Holland Jr., ComposerLyricist - Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - The Andantes, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lawrence Payton, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1965 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:45

Stevie Wonder, ComposerLyricist - Ivy Joe Hunter, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1966 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) (Album Version)
00:02:42

Renaldo Benson, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - The Andantes, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lawrence Payton, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1965 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Something About You (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:48

Renaldo Benson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Edward Holland Jr., ComposerLyricist - Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - Lawrence Payton, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1965 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
I Got A Feeling (Single Version / Mono)
00:03:02

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

12
I'm In A Different World (Single Version / Mono)
00:03:05

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - R. Dean Taylor, Producer - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

13
Walk Away Renee (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:43

Lamont Dozier, Producer - Brian Holland, Producer - Michael Brown, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - Tony Sansome, ComposerLyricist - Bob Calilli, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1968 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

14
What Is A Man (Single Version)
00:02:33

Renaldo Benson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Bristol, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Doris McNeil, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - Lawrence Payton, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs Jr., Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1969 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
A Simple Game (Single Version)
00:02:56

Renaldo Benson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - MIKE PINDER, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - Tony Clarke, Producer - Lawrence Payton, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs Jr., Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1971 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Still Water (Love) (Album Version)
00:03:11

Jerry Long, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Jimmy Roach, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - SMOKEY ROBINSON, ComposerLyricist - Frank Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1970 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

17
(It's The Way) Nature Planned It (Album Version)
00:03:37

Melvin Ragin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Caston, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Renaldo Benson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Pam Sawyer, ComposerLyricist - Jerry Long, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Ashford, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Cal Harris, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Smith, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Eddie Willis, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Brown, Bongos, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Four Tops, MainArtist - Dennis Coffey, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James Jamerson, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - David Van dePitte, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Lawrence Payton, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs Jr., Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Richard John Cyril Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

18
It's All In The Game (Single Version)
00:02:50

Renaldo Benson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jerry Long, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Jimmy Roach, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Carl Sigman, ComposerLyricist - Charles Gates Dawes, ComposerLyricist - Frank Wilson, Producer - Four Tops, MainArtist - Lawrence Payton, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs Jr., Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1970 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

19
You Keep Running Away (Single Version)
00:02:48

Renaldo Benson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Edward Holland Jr., ComposerLyricist - Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - The Andantes, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lawrence Payton, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Abdul Fakir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Levi Stubbs Jr., Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

20
If You Don't Want My Love (Single Version)
00:03:28

Edward Holland Jr., ComposerLyricist - Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

21
7-Rooms Of Gloom (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:31

Edward Holland Jr., ComposerLyricist - Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

22
I'll Turn To Stone (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:32

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - R. Dean Taylor, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

23
Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over) (Single Version (Mono))
00:02:41

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1966 UMG Recordings, Inc.

24
Sad Souvenirs (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:39

Ivy Joe Hunter, Producer, ComposerLyricist - William Mickey Stevenson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist

℗ 1965 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

25
Yesterday's Dreams (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:56

Pamela Sawyer, ComposerLyricist - Vernon Bullock, ComposerLyricist - Ivy Joe Hunter, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Four Tops, MainArtist - Jack Alan Goga, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1968 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

Album Description

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.
© John Bush /TiVo

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