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  1. #1

    The Four Tops - Reach Out, the album

    I listened to this today. It had 6 single releases that spanned 1966 to 1968.
    In terms of releases, that must be a record. I think there might have beeen 1 or 2 more potential releases on it.
    I think it is the equivalent to the Supremes A Go Go in terms of mix of motown songs and non motown songs, and very well produced.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by drlorne View Post
    I listened to this today. It had 6 single releases that spanned 1966 to 1968.
    In terms of releases, that must be a record. I think there might have beeen 1 or 2 more potential releases on it.
    I think it is the equivalent to the Supremes A Go Go in terms of mix of motown songs and non motown songs, and very well produced.
    Best heard in mono for side A tracks 1 and 2 - “Reach” and “Renee” - at the very least.

    ”I’ll Turn To Stone” and “Wonderful Baby” are also (IMHO) best heard in mono. “Bernadette” is also more punchy in mono but fails to show off the track’s legendary James Jamerson bass line.

    This was my first Motown LP, which was a Christmas present in mono in 1969. It still gets pulled out and played every now and then over half a century later.

    Lovely stuff!

  3. #3
    A fantastic album from start to finish. Really deserves a Deluxe Expanded version being released.

  4. #4

    7 rooms of Gloom

    I know they talk about the trilogy, Standing in the Shadows Of Love, Bernadette, and Reach Out, but it really was a foursome, got to include the haunting 7 rooms of Gloom- Levi Stubbs tremendous voice , and out of this world Jamerson bass along with the other three. Add If I Were a Carpenter to these 4 and you have Levi at his best.

  5. #5
    Don’t forget “Walk Away Renee.”

  6. Even the covers work here. The Monkees' "I'm A Believer" and "Last Train To Clarksville" as well as "Cherish", "Renee" and "Carpenter" are fun to listen to because they aren't overblown productions. HDH came up with lively takes and I think that crisp sound Motown had in '66, '67 definitely added to the pleasure.
    Last edited by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance; 07-17-2020 at 10:52 AM.

  7. #7
    The album would have been better with YOUR LOVE IS WONDERFUL, IF YOU DON'T WANT MY LOVE, JUST ONE LAST LOOK. Definitely needed a much better album cover. The painting album cover is awful.

  8. #8
    The covers on this album work well for me as the Funks are playing giving the songs a real Motown feel. This contrasts with the Supremes A Go-Go where LA musicians are playing.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Soulmusic4life View Post
    The album would have been better with YOUR LOVE IS WONDERFUL, IF YOU DON'T WANT MY LOVE, JUST ONE LAST LOOK. Definitely needed a much better album cover. The painting album cover is awful.
    I like your choices of songs to replace some of the covers, preferably the two Monkees' covers. I also totally agree with your comment about the album artwork.

    I didn't play this album too often due to the covers. I had the four Motown original songs on singles that I could play to avoid the non-Motown covers, some of which either I or a family member had by the original artist(s). Fortunately the Tops Greatest Hits was released 6 weeks after the Reach Out album which also contained the same hit singles of Reach Out, Standing, Bernadette and 7 Rooms along with their earlier classic hits. To me a far better listen than the Reach Out album. However, I only recently discovered that, as a result of my disinclination to play the Reach Out album, I never became familiar with the last two songs buried on Side 2 which are Motown originals, oh well.

    I think this album is similar to The Supremes' Reflections album in that there were a few covers on that album, also. For me the difference is that Side 1 had all Motown originals while the covers were relegated to Side 2. I know I played and enjoyed Side 1 of Reflections more often than Side 2.
    Last edited by johnjeb; 07-24-2020 at 09:18 AM.

  10. #10
    Def in my top of best albums of Motown. Love all the songs. I have often trouble listening to a whole album without skipping songs but not this album. I actually like the album cover. Bam in your face the 4 tops on the cover.

    I don't know who decided to let the Four Tops record the Monkees songs but Levi sounds good on them. Even on daydream believer on their Yesterdays dream album. Did they record any other songs of theirs beside I'm a believer, daydream believer and last train to Clarksville?

  11. #11
    I think this might be my single favorite Motown album (even more than A Go Go). Thanks for giving this some love.

  12. #12

    Agree about the Monkee songs

    Probably would have rated right below Whats Going On as best albums had they removed these two.

  13. #13
    As much as I Like "Reach Out" ,I much prefer "Moods Of Marvin Gaye", Gladys`s "Everybody Needs Love" and Shorty`s "Here Come The Judge"

  14. #14
    I remember a phrase used at the time in adverts that Walk Away Renee and If I Were A Carpenter were released as singles given "public demand" or similar. In the UK, at least, these were great choices for singles where HDH took other artists' songs and made them feel every bit a Motown song. Big hits too!

    Fantastic album and all of the singles from it.

  15. #15
    They did really well here in the UK late 60's and early 70's. I don't know why after they left Motown the group went down hill here. Except for When she was my girl which went to number 3. Love "a Simple Game" which went only to number 90 in the States but number 3 here in the UK. What happened?? I'm from the 80's so don't know .

    I prefer Walk away Rene by the Four Tops to the Left Banke version and glad they recorded it.

  16. #16

    Both were classics

    England really appreciated the Tops, more so then in the stated, I am still surprised that the Temptations were not bigger hit in England, what are your thoughts about that?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by tmd View Post
    England really appreciated the Tops, more so then in the stated, I am still surprised that the Temptations were not bigger hit in England, what are your thoughts about that?
    My view is that the driving HDH/Funks songs had big appeal in the UK. The Four Tops released many songs in that format whereas The Temptations released more of a mix of song types. The Temptations did very well with reissues in the UK with Get Ready and My Girl which have become firm favourites here. The Four Tops often toured too which probably helped. They used small venues - I saw them in the East Ham Odeon cinema. What a fantastic evening that was.

    Simple Game's success was very interesting. I was at college at the time and of course loved the song, being a fan of both the Four Tops and the Moody Blues. However, many Motown-disliking friends loved the song too as it showed the Four Tops in a different light. If that happened across the country it might explain its huge popularity at the time.

    It did surprise me when Ain't No Woman failed in the UK given that it was such a strong performance. The UK would have taken to Love Music as a single for sure. Loco In Acapulco hit big here too, perhaps given its similarity to the HDH golden era sound.

    I think the UK has/had a special place in its heart for the Four Tops. Albeit that the Temptations are an equally good group with a fair bit of success here, especially from 60s re-releases and late 60s and 70s recordings.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Te...ns_discography

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Tops_discography

    Aren't we lucky to have such talented groups to listen to!

  18. #18
    Seems the Four Tops did very well after the release of Reach Out in '66 over here in Europe. Love how Lawrence and Levi share lead on simple game. It works! for me that is. I forgot about Loco in Acapulco. Bought the CD, Indestructible, just for that song. Just love Levi's voice. Reach Out was good for having roughly 50% new material and 50% covers that were popular hits during that time.

    I wish I could have seen them live but I'm far too young. I bet they were very good in engaging with the audience!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by TYK1986 View Post
    Seems the Four Tops did very well after the release of Reach Out in '66 over here in Europe. Love how Lawrence and Levi share lead on simple game. It works! for me that is. I forgot about Loco in Acapulco. Bought the CD, Indestructible, just for that song. Just love Levi's voice. Reach Out was good for having roughly 50% new material and 50% covers that were popular hits during that time.

    I wish I could have seen them live but I'm far too young. I bet they were very good in engaging with the audience!
    TYK1986, they were very engaging with the audience, everyone was up and dancing. A song that failed to chart, most surprisingly, is If Ever A Love There Was. Aretha is much loved in the UK so I would have thought the artists singing together on such a brilliant song was a recipe for success.

    The Reach Out album has as many A-sides on it as the UK's Diana Ross Greatest Hits, amazing eh!

  20. #20
    This was one of my favorite albums for many years all the way up into the mid -70s.

  21. #21
    Yes I wonder why the song didn't hit in the UK and US. I like the song but never seen any live performances of them doing it together. I think they did another song together but can't think of the song at the moment.

    Reach Out is definitely still one of their best. For me they had a bit of a slum after Reach Out until Still Water which has some great tracks and covers. Changing Times - Love the album cover!

  22. #22
    "I'll Turn To Stone" (I agree - best in mono) is my 2nd favorite Tops tune, next only to (in my opinion) their all time greatest dance tune, "I've Got A Feeling" - but still maybe a Jersey thing.....These two in Philly & Jersey were played more often then the bigger hits except for perhaps "It's The Same Old Song" on oldies stations circa 1980-2000.

  23. #23
    Love I'll turn to stone and I've got a feeling but then again I like most of their songs. They recorded so many great songs. Love "Helpless" from the second album. Wish they give the tops the expanded edition treatment like they've been doing with the Supremes.

    If I were a Carpenter is another good example why the Tops and Andantes worked so well together. The layers! Bobby Darin's version is good it lacking something.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by drlorne View Post
    I listened to this today. It had 6 single releases that spanned 1966 to 1968.
    In terms of releases, that must be a record. I think there might have beeen 1 or 2 more potential releases on it.
    I think it is the equivalent to the Supremes A Go Go in terms of mix of motown songs and non motown songs, and very well produced.
    Where Did Our Love Go had 6 A side releases too.

    In total 10 of the 12 songs on the album were also issued on A or B sides as singles. Only Your Kiss of Fire and Long Gone Lover were limited to the lp release

  25. #25
    I would love to see an expanded version of this with a few subsequent cuts, especially I Can't Escape Your Memory (in stereo), which sounds a bit like a 7 Rooms Of Gloom clone. The second CD could be the Roostertail Live album. Also, I would love to see an expanded version of all the other albums through Four Tops Now or through 1971.

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