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  1. #1

    Without The One You Love - Four Tops

    One Four Tops record I find a bit strange because I'm left with a sense of unfulfillment each time I listen. I want to love it but mainly it's the mix that's usually got too much treble and spoils the experience for me. I'm talking here from a CD standpoint and their own version, not with The Supremes.

    The best mix I've heard so far is on the UK 2Fer from 2000/2001 (Four Tops/Second Album). That has depth and bass not present in other mixes and seems to be stronger all round. That would be my go to version. Second to this is the version on the Four Tops "Greatest Hits" CD (original album).

    Is there a better mix on any CD that provides areally good bass sound?

  2. #2
    Actually I like the mono mix. The problem with this track is that it was obviously rushed and is a poor imitation of the group's previous hit.

  3. #3
    I’ve always felt that the track sounds a bit sped up, as Levi’s voice sounds a little light.

    Having said that, Levi had more than one singing voice. Not every track shows off his raspy roar. A versatile guy.

    I’d also class it as an also-ran, however, and not Top Tier Tops.

  4. #4
    Yes I do think there is a speed issue with it too.

  5. #5
    There were at least 7 sessions for different vocal takes over more than 2 months resulting in more than 30 final mixes. The song must be one of the most recorded and re-recorded tracks in the Motown songbook and also one of the most mixed.

  6. #6
    Mysterysinger I agree with you.
    The 2001 2fer is one of the best stereo mixed on cd.
    But there’s even more “depth and bass” on THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION from 2008 or so imho.
    The mix is the same, but on that cd you can nearly feel the bass.
    That’s probably is a question of equalization more than a different mix than on the 2001 2fer. It is also a bit louder in volume. In that case, that’s my favorite mix of the song.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    There were at least 7 sessions for different vocal takes over more than 2 months resulting in more than 30 final mixes. The song must be one of the most recorded and re-recorded tracks in the Motown songbook and also one of the most mixed.
    7 OD's you are right boyfromxtown it must hold the record although some RDT material comes close

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by paul_nixon View Post
    7 OD's you are right boyfromxtown it must hold the record although some RDT material comes close
    Paul, could an alternate take on WTOYL be a contender for the Cellarful series?

  9. #9
    Nice one John. Great trivia. Where do you think the speed issue came from?

  10. #10
    I think the “speed issue” is just that HDH thought that speeding the band tracks or the recordings altogether would sell the product better.
    They kept on speeding lots of tracks recorded on Martha and the Vandellas around that time - “Live Wire” “In My Lonely Room” and others.

    It’s true speeding a recording often gives it some more “energy”. A sign of the times I guess .

    In 1967 HDH will tend to slower the speed of the recordings. Probably because these would sound “heavier” and more “serious”, less innocent too. “Forever Came Today” comes to mind.

    Just speculations. That’s how I hear it anyway. As that’s the way it was done by the Beatles - although Beatles often speeded more than possible in 67 at the same time on a couple of Pepper tracks.

    I once tried to see if the same applied to Motown. And I came up with those songs that seemed to show playing with speed was something not uncommon at Hitsville.

    Now what I don’t know is if the tapes were speeded up or if the tracks were recorded at a higher tempo. I tend to think both.
    And the Tops “Without the one you love” is obviously a recording speeded up
    Last edited by jbpintus; 12-15-2020 at 05:19 PM.

  11. #11
    Thanks for all your comments - and I'm going to have to get hold of that Definitive Collection.

    I know the next Cellarful is already thought out but for a later volume I'd love to see the short lived version of "Without The One You Love" that appeared on the original mono "Four Tops" LP since as far as I know it's not seen any other release and it is different (there was a discussion of it a while back on here). In addition, from that same discussion the original mono version of "Tears Of A Clown" from "Make It Happen" which is also very different.

    Then what would also be great is the unique version of Terry Johnson's "What'cha Gonna Do" from "The Motown Sound" UK LP.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Thanks for all your comments - and I'm going to have to get hold of that Definitive Collection.

    I know the next Cellarful is already thought out but for a later volume I'd love to see the short lived version of "Without The One You Love" that appeared on the original mono "Four Tops" LP since as far as I know it's not seen any other release and it is different (there was a discussion of it a while back on here). In addition, from that same discussion the original mono version of "Tears Of A Clown" from "Make It Happen" which is also very different.

    Then what would also be great is the unique version of Terry Johnson's "What'cha Gonna Do" from "The Motown Sound" UK LP.
    I had am accident with my alternate version of WITHOUT THE ONE YOU LOVE a while back. I know the version though. Levi does his growl on I'M NOT LIVING BABY. Saying I'M is his Levi shout.

  13. #13

    It sounds perfect to me

    Great song that just missed the top 40.

  14. #14
    Thanks to Music Magpie the Definitive Collection arrived today for a song (!) and "Without The One Yoy Love" does sound better. Thanks for the recommendation.

  15. #15
    I’m very happy my recommendation was a good one for you.
    Truth is that sound quality may be subjective to each one’s ears, contrary to the fact that it is quite easy to point to an obvious alternative take or mix or edit.

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