Author Tutor Course Date The Four Tops The Four Tops refer to a group of four singers who used to be popular with soul music and lived for a long time. The Four Tops consisted of Levis Stubb who was the lead singer, Abdul Fakir ‘Duke’ who was the first tenor, Lawrence Paytone who was the second tenor and Obie Benson as the baritone…
They signed with Motown records in 1963 (Johnson 2). Even though, the four tops are best remembered for the records they produced at Motown in the Sixties, they also had noteworthy success at such places as Casablanca, ABC, and Arista in the decades that followed. Although the four tops began their career at Motown, they had a considerable prehistory before their arrival at the label Benson and Payton attended Detroit North High School While Fakir and Stubbs attended Pershing High School in the North end of Detroit. They first sang together at a friend’s birthday where they had met the four of them after graduating from high school; they formed the Four Aims in 1954 where they evolved into a versatile night club act. Payton had a talent of arranging harmonies, and he became the group musical director. His Cousin Roquel Davies also became closely affiliated with the group, and he provided management, material and even vocal assistance during the formative years of the group. The four tops recorded several classics in Motown, which remains the most outstanding singles during the label’s mid sixties. ...
Four Tops made Billboard’s Hot 100 chart 45 times between 1964 and 1988 and fifty two times in R&B chart. Twenty-four of their singles managed the Top forty, and seven of those managed the Top ten. Throughout their career, they sang in close harmony and not even a single voice stood apart from the others. In 1962, the group was approached by Berry Gordy for a deal, but they failed to sign a deal with him since they said they wanted to be sure whether Gordy’s Independent Label would survive. Gordy described the group as very loyal to each other and their vocal blend as phenomenal. However, after two years, they signed a deal with Gordy and their first project was an album of show tunes named Breaking. At this point, the Four Top future seemed uncertain with failed singles on three labels and one unreleased album on a fourth label. Nonetheless, there followed a triumphant union with Holland-Dozier-Holland, which resulted to a hit, “Baby I Need Your Loving,” immediately. It was decided that the Four Tops be reshaped from a close harmony group to one with lead vocalist (Levis) while Benson, Fakir and Payton provide background vocals, harmonies, and occasionally co-leads. In addition, it was resolved the need to emphasize Levis’ high range, where his croaky, anguished vocals most expressively communicated the passion of Eddie Holland’s lyrics The Four Tops Led in Mid-1965with ‘I cannot help Myself’ classic spotlighting the group. However, the climax of their work with Holland was ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’ from its spectacular neoclassical arrangement to Levis thunderous vocal. It was one of their greatest recordings. It remained in the charts for almost four months, and it was their second number one hit (Jones 52). The fruitful union of ...
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