The Four Tops Tickets
During the 1960s, the Motown Sound was all the rage around town. It was blasted through the radios, pumped out of vinyl record playing gramophones and piped out of televisions. The bedrock of R&B, soul and doo-wop genres, it transcended gender and racial divides and was showcased by the music of legendary acts such as the ‘Miracles’, the ‘temptations’, ‘The Supremes’, the ‘Marvelettes’ and the Four Tops. The latter were distinct from the other Motown groups by boasting a baritone as their lead vocalist instead of the usual tenor that characterized the others. In the typical tradition of the Motown music making process, a songwriting and production team was the navigating force behind the success of the Four Tops, which in their case was the one comprising Lamont Dozier and brothers Brain and Edward Holland, famously known as Holland–Dozier–Holland.
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The Four Tops
Having formed in 1953 as the ‘Four Aims’, the quartet were already musical veterans when they arrived on the Motown scene a decade later. Changing their name to the Four Tops in 1956 to differentiate themselves from The Ames Brothers, the foursome initially struggled during the 1950s to make a mark with their records. However, with the commencement of the Motown phase of their career, the Four Tops collaborated with their fellow “Motownees”, especially Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. The group, comprising of Levi Stubbs, Lawrence Payton, Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Abdul "Duke" Fakir, broke their jazzy mold and re-shaped themselves as a mainstream pop act by giving a face and voice to the track "Baby I Need Your Loving" that had initially been composed as an instrumental by Holland-Dozier-Holland.
With their debut track becoming their first hit, reaching #11 on the Billboard Pop charts, the Four Tops capitalized on their newfound radio success and geared themselves to emulate their “Baby’s” sound in subsequent material. 1965 saw them score their first number one hit with "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)", followed by a tetrad of top-ten hits. The following year brought about the quartet’s signature number "Reach Out I'll Be There" that has through the decades also come to be recognized as Motown’s quintessentially popular song.
As if paying heed to their foursome identity, the Four Tops have even gone to extent of working with four different record labels during their extensive career. Their musical repository of 27 studio albums, two live and five compilation ones as well as more than five dozen singles are spread over tenures with Motown, ABC-Dunhill, Casablanca and Arista. The hits just kept on coming for the Tops, with around four dozen of their singles reaching the top-thirty on either US or UK charts. Having had mostly a touring-based start-off, the group has actively toured since the late eighties. Their 1988 tour nearly became their last when they missed boarding the ill-fated Pan Am Flight 103 that eventually crashed in Lockerbie, killing all passengers on board along with 11 people of the crash-site’s locality.
The Four Tops have built up a scintillating legacy, both in terms of their iconic music and musical familiarity and longevity. Theirs was a group that stayed resilient to the tides of fame, fortune and popular appeal and consistently featured the same lineup for over four decades. The change when it did come in 1997 was because of the tragic demise of Lawrence Payton due to liver cancer. Even then, Lawrence’s legacy did not die with him but has been kept alive by his son Roquel Payton to this day as one of the Tops. The Four Tops is one of those groups that seem as if they had a match made in heaven, what with the founding four meeting each other for the first time at a common friend’s birthday party and actually going on to sing together the same evening. Book the Four Tops tickets now to see and hear why these singing sensations from the mid-twentieth century are still spinning with renewed vigor and energy.
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