Knockoff Group - American Four Tops FORUM: Archive - After July 12, 2003: Knockoff Group - American Four Tops
Top of pageBottom of page   By Margie ( on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 03:27 am:

I ran across a website for a group named "American Four Tops", who has toured (or so says the website) Europe singing Four Tops songs. Does anyone know anything about them? Are they for real?

I, personally, don't want to see a "knockoff" group of guys, regardless of how well they sing. The Four Tops are still a class act, and I pray everynight that Levi Stubbs gets stronger everyday and can one day rejoin his brothers on the stage.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 04:14 am:

Is this the group whose poster is displayed (rather shamelessly) on a site with a name something like Mr Entertainment?? If so, it appears the show was about six or seven years ago, so the trail is well-cold by now.

Top of pageBottom of page   By stranger56 ( on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 12:03 pm:


This is a group that's part of a show called The American Four Tops. It's subtitled History of Motown Tribute SHow.
In essence, it is what you say it is, a knockoff group. But it seems to actually be actors(singers) who are playing parts in this show, kind of like Beatlemania, or Legends in Concert.
Either way, I have no interest in seeing it. Had the Tops been gone, God forbid, for 20 or 30 years, then maybe a tribute show would be interesting, but they are still here, and I see no reason to support anything like this.
So, you folks overseas, be careful. Here is the site in question:


Top of pageBottom of page   By Ritchie ( on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 01:32 pm:

This is the same act as on the site I referred to, only on the "Mr Entertainment" site there is no mention whatoever of their being a tribute act.

I've no doubt the guys put on a fine show for those who are into tribute acts, it's just that the advertising appears to me to sail dangerously close to misrepresentation, IMO. I guess a small ad in the entertainments section would announce something like:

July 19th - "the American Four Tops" - Book Now!

Without the benefit of the small print on the poster, I suspect a few folks might be taken in and assume it's the real McCoy.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Margie ( on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 12:07 am:

I don't support them, and want to warn anyone about getting snookered into buying tickets to any performance of this group. Granted, they do have a right to make a living, but I want to see and experience the Four Tops, even if it is only Duke and Obie at present. Hopefully, Levi will be strong enough to rejoing the tour next year for a few performances. I don't like knockoff groups, and this one billing themselves at "American Four Tops" are, in my opinion misrepreseting themselves and ripping off anyone who goes to see them!!!

Thanks for the clarification, everyone.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Margie ( on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 12:14 am:


I don't want to see a tribute show to the Tops, I want to see the Tops!!! If they retire from performing - I will watch any video's of performances I can get. I have the DVD of their 40th (3 copies), the Motown on Showtime, a video of a Miami concert from 2000 or 2001. I just wish more would be released!!

I even bought a DVD of The Ed Sullivan Show, where they sang Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch (I Can't Help Myself), Helpless and one more. And I bought that DVD for the 4 minute Tops performance - the rest I've never watched.


Top of pageBottom of page   By stranger56 ( on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 02:39 am:


Having been a collector for many, many years, I have hours of Tops footage on video, but you're right. There isn't a lot of video released on the group.
As much as we fans just think that everything should be released, it comes down to money, as usual. The companies in question apparently don't feel that they can recoup the money it takes to put together such a project, because the Tops are not what you would call marketable right now (which is a shame when you consider what IS marketable).
But I agree with you. Bring on some more Four Tops stuff. I can't get enough!!


Top of pageBottom of page   By Margie ( on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 03:26 pm:


I think The Four Tops videos are very marketable - afterall, what group has most of the money? Baby Boomers - and what group comprises most of the audience at Four Tops shows? Baby Boomers!!! There is a big market for Four Tops stuff - just check out eBay - photos, Cd's even albums. Hopefully, if Levi gets strong enough (God Willing) to rejoin the tour for some dates, someone will have the forsight to record those performances and release it on video. After all, it's their 50th - so it is even more special than most!!! I believe their 40th was a decent seller, I should know, I bought 6 copies.


Top of pageBottom of page   By John Barry Sheffield ( on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 03:41 pm:

I am just like both of YOU, Margie & Jim, I would love to see The Four Tops and Temps Documentary on DVD, I have the American VHS, what is the Return to Appolo Video like? do THE TOPS just do one song??



just listening now to the Main Street People album, someone put it on CDR for me,, now that shou;d be released on CD and ON BROADWAY that is the only album I have never heard

Top of pageBottom of page   By janebse ( on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 10:14 pm:


I had to chuckle at your comment, "And I bought that video for the 4 minute Tops performance. I've never watched the rest."

I know what you mean, but for me, it's the Temptations. I hate to think of how many things I've bought to get a minute or two of the Temptations.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Margie ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 03:37 pm:

Thanks Janebse. The Four Tops have been making me feel good for over 35 years, I can't get enough. I wish I could say I have every CD that has ever been published, but, alas, I am missing about 5. But, for Jim, I do have the On Broadway vinyl, but, I don't play it that often, don't want to wear it out. If I could figure out a way to transfer it to CD, I would.

If Motown or someone would just relase it on CD....

Top of pageBottom of page   By Steve Litos ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 05:21 pm:

There's a great performance (VHS)of the Four Tops concert from the Park West Theater in Chicago. What a great show they put on that night! It was from 1981 and it's long out of print. A local video store still has a copy of it for rental in Chicago.

P.S. - Funk Brother Eddie Willis backs up the Tops with a sweet looking Les Paul guitar!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Margie ( on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 03:23 pm:


Is that the one where they intercut with video from the recording studio, and where they intersperse with an interview with the guys? I have a copy of a 1981 concert, and it's a wonderful concert. Their love for their work really shows thru... That's why I will continue to attend their shows. I'd pay to hear them sing 3 blind mice!!!! As long as they want to endure the rigors of touring, I'll be first in line to hear them sing.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Steve Litos ( on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 09:20 pm:

That's the one! They mime "When She Was My Girl" which was brand new at the time. Good show!

Top of pageBottom of page   By stranger56 ( on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 11:13 pm:


The Park West Concert is excellent, and yes, it is the one you're thinking of.
On Broadway is a wonderful LP that unfortunately has not seen the light of day on CD.
I do have it on CD-R, and listen to it often.
John, Main Street People is also one of my favorites. It includes some of their best work, don't you agree?


Top of pageBottom of page   By Margie ( on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 03:51 pm:


What, if anything, is not their best work? There is only one song they recorded that I do not like, and it's not because of The Tops - I just don't like the song period - Light My Fire. I thought it was horrible when the Doors released it, and the Tops made it sound better. The Tops put so much love and energy and emotion into their songs, that everything sounds better when they sing it....look at Daydream Believer - when the Monkees sing it, it sounds like bubblegum stuff, but when The Tops sing it, it is elevated to a ballad of sorts. I also love Main Street does have some great songs.

What can I say? I think every fan has had a 49 year love affair with the Tops!!!


Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie ( on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 04:56 pm:

What is with this Main Street People album? I have about 7 albums by the Tops but not this one and everyone raves about this one whats the deal?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Margie ( on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 06:11 pm:

Main Steet People was produced after The Tops left Motown, and the group (Obie, Duke and Lawrence) contributed some songs to the album. It features Main Street People, Am I My Brothers keeper, Sweet Understanding Lovve, I Just Can't Seem To Get you Out of My Mind, Are You Man Enough among others. It has one or two songs that sound Motowny, and others that kind of break that mold.

This was produced in the '70's while they were at ABC/Dunhill, I believe. If you can find it, it's well worth it (my opinion only).

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