Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Four Tops.

                                                                  The Four Tops.

The Four Tops are an American vocal quartet from DetroitMichiganwho helped to define the city's Motown sound of the 1960s. The group's repertoire has included soul musicR&Bdiscoadult contemporarydoo-wopjazz, and showtunes.

Founded as The Four Aims, lead singer Levi Stubbs (born Levi Stubbles, a cousin of Jackie Wilson and brother of The Falcons' Joe Stubbs), and groupmates Abdul "Duke" FakirRenaldo "Obie" Benson and Lawrence Payton remained together for over four decades, having gone from 1953 until 1997 without a change in personnel.

The Four Tops were among a number of groups, including The MiraclesThe MarvelettesMartha and the VandellasThe Temptations, and The Supremes, who established the Motown Sound around the world during the 1960s. They were notable for having Stubbs, a baritone, as their lead singer, whereas most male/mixed vocal groups of the time were fronted by a tenor.

The group was the main male vocal group for the highly successfulsongwriting and production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, who crafted a stream of hit singles on Motown. These included twoBillboard Hot 100 number-one hits for the Tops: "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" in 1965 and "Reach Out I'll Be There" in 1966. After Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in 1967, the Four Tops were assigned to a number of producers, primarily Frank Wilson, but generally with less success.

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