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  1. #1

    Question about The Four Tops and The Supremes

    When I compare these two groups, IMHO they have the same sound, both were produced by HDH, later Frank Wilson, isn't it? I'm wondering about that fact, because the "male opposite" were The Temptations, but not in the sound. And then another question, why try Motown to develop a solo singer of The Four Tops, maybe Levi Stubbs as the male opposite to Diana Ross ?
    Thanks for any reponse

  2. #2
    my understanding is that Berry definitely had interest in Levi as a solo artist but Levi absolutely refused. The four tops are about loyalty and none of them would consider performing regularly without the others

    I think rather than the Tops being the male counterparts to the Sups and visa versa, it's more about a unique and identifiable sound from a producer. there are significant similarities between the Top and Sup work and other HDH productions - Elgins' Heaven Must Have Sent You, Isley's This Old Heart.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Fullfillingnessfirstfinale View Post
    , why try Motown to develop a solo singer of The Four Tops, maybe Levi Stubbs as the male opposite to Diana Ross ?
    Thanks for any reponse
    Not really sure what you meant by "Why try Motown to develop....", however, if you meant why didn't Motown try to develop a solo singer of the Four Tops I would say that Levi, from all I've learned over the years, had no interest in being put out front as a separate entity from his childhood friends and fellow group mates.

    Again, I am not really sure if this was your question.

  4. #4
    Berry always trying to separate groups. He screwed Mary, Cindy and Florence. What a crook. Glad the tops didn't fall for his garbage.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtopsbiggestfan View Post
    Berry always trying to separate groups. He screwed Mary, Cindy and Florence. What a crook. Glad the tops didn't fall for his garbage.
    It's interesting and even refreshing how we, as fans, can have different perspectives of the 'going-ons' with Motown. Although I mourned the split of Diana and the other fabulous ladies, I only perceived Berry Gordy as being a very savvy business man. It's difficult to separate the emotional affections we have for our favorite acts from the eventual bottom line of any business venture: profits. I am also glad the Tops remained an intact group; however, I believe that Levi would have reached almost equal heights as Diana Ross based on his talent and his stage presence. Again, yes, I know, Levi, in all of his talent and demeanor, did not possess the same type of goals and results that Diana demonstrated. He had his own kind of drive; however, his trajectory was quite different in that he valued his friendship and allegiance to Obie, Duke, and Lawrence as being the most important. I can have an opinion, right?

  6. #6
    I'm glad we didn't end up with Levi Stubbs and The Tops or, for that matter, David Ruffin and The Temptations, Cal and The Velvelettes or Saundra and The Elgin's.

  7. #7
    Gordy was wise enough to know that groups was a 60's thing...ask any of the non Motown groups that crashed and burned in the 'solo artist' 70's...time marches on and nothing lasts forever..

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi LaLumia View Post
    Gordy was wise enough to know that groups was a 60's thing...ask any of the non Motown groups that crashed and burned in the 'solo artist' 70's...time marches on and nothing lasts forever..
    Well, it is a good thing that Philadelphia International and others did not feel that way in the 70s or we would not have gotten such great music from groups like The O'Jays, Three Degrees, The Stylistics, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, the Delfonics, the Ebonys, LaBelle, the Emotions, the Bee Gees, the Spinners, the Pointer Sisters, the Dramatics, the Dells, the Intruders, the Jacksons, the Trammps, First Choice, Jones Girls, The Main Ingredient, Gladys Knight / The Pips,Earth Wind & Fire, Sister Sledge and on and on and on etc!

  9. #9
    Berry shouldn't of allowed this from day one. Once he had the solo artist in front of their groups names, things were never the same.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Fullfillingnessfirstfinale View Post
    When I compare these two groups, IMHO they have the same sound, both were produced by HDH, later Frank Wilson, isn't it? I'm wondering about that fact, because the "male opposite" were The Temptations, but not in the sound. And then another question, why try Motown to develop a solo singer of The Four Tops, maybe Levi Stubbs as the male opposite to Diana Ross ?
    Thanks for any reponse
    It is interesting that you say this. I remember a DJ saying way back in the day that the Four Tops were the male answer to the Supremes.
    Last edited by marv2; 06-14-2019 at 10:47 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Encyclopedia Mack View Post
    Berry shouldn't of allowed this from day one. Once he had the solo artist in front of their groups names, things were never the same.
    I totally agree with you comment.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    It's interesting and even refreshing how we, as fans, can have different perspectives of the 'going-ons' with Motown. Although I mourned the split of Diana and the other fabulous ladies, I only perceived Berry Gordy as being a very savvy business man. It's difficult to separate the emotional affections we have for our favorite acts from the eventual bottom line of any business venture: profits. I am also glad the Tops remained an intact group; however, I believe that Levi would have reached almost equal heights as Diana Ross based on his talent and his stage presence. Again, yes, I know, Levi, in all of his talent and demeanor, did not possess the same type of goals and results that Diana demonstrated. He had his own kind of drive; however, his trajectory was quite different in that he valued his friendship and allegiance to Obie, Duke, and Lawrence as being the most important. I can have an opinion, right?
    well said! motown was in the business of making money. like ALL businesses. but fans attach a huge sentimental element to this product because it's essentially a soundtrack of our lives and specific memories are tied to songs. but at the end of the day, revenue was what was required. people snark on and on about how evil BG was to poor Miss Flo. well from nearly all accounts, she made some very poor decisions on things. And eventually became a clear impediment to the ultimate goal - making money. therefore she had to go.

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