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The Singles+

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
One really wants to love this imported two-CD set, and there is some good reason to -- but not as much as there should be. Until its release, listeners could reasonably have despaired of ever seeing much more of the Four Tops' legacy in print in digital audio; Motown Records was seemingly content recycling the same hits over and over, while the box set on the group's history, reportedly prepared back in 1997, waited several years to be released. The Singles+ isn't that, but it is the most comprehensive look at the group's 45s yet to show up; and, because of MCA-Universal's acquisition of various other labels over the years, it was possible to gather the group's entire output...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
One really wants to love this imported two-CD set, and there is some good reason to -- but not as much as there should be. Until its release, listeners could reasonably have despaired of ever seeing much more of the Four Tops' legacy in print in digital audio; Motown Records was seemingly content recycling the same hits over and over, while the box set on the group's history, reportedly prepared back in 1997, waited several years to be released. The Singles+ isn't that, but it is the most comprehensive look at the group's 45s yet to show up; and, because of MCA-Universal's acquisition of various other labels over the years, it was possible to gather the group's entire output from 1964 through 1988 together in one place. The mid-priced set uses state-of-the-art masters, so that Levi Stubbs sounds like he's in the same room with the listener, his every breath vivid on "Baby I Need Your Lovin'." The rub, alas and it is a big one is that the producers have used the stereo masters throughout -- on the post-1966 material, this isn't an issue, but on the early singles, it's a trade-off situation. Those 1964-1966 cuts lack some portion of their original rhythmic punch, but show a very clear picture of how deceptively busy their arrangements were. Most of the time the exchange works, but not on every song -- on "I Can't Help Myself," the isolation of the drums and tambourine on the right-hand channel is distracting, and the sax break seems muted where it should be thick and hard; on the other hand, the electric guitar and saxes that open "Something About You" are in your lap, and the division of the voices makes it possible to appreciate the workmanship of the quartet's performances. By "Shake Me, Wake Me," there's no impact lost at all, and the stereo is a virtue -- during "Reach Out," however, one wants to re-combine the two channels in order to eliminate the distracting separation of the chorus and the lead vocal. From 1967 onward starting with "Bernadette," when stereo recording became standard, all of the voices and instruments are in balance and sound as they should. Among the rarities included on this set are two of the group's most unexpected recordings -- surrounding the exquisitely soaring soul shouter "It's the Way Nature Planned It" are "A Simple Game" and "So Deep Within You," two songs authored by Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues and produced by the latter group's recording manager, Tony Clarke. The Dunhill and ABC recordings, done under the aegis of co-producer Steve Barri, also fare very nicely, and there's plenty of good music, charted and otherwise, to keep fans busy luxuriating for hours. The annotation could be stronger, but in compensation, we get each song's original release and chart history. And even with its flaws, this set is more interesting than anything to come out on the Four Tops in America in the last several years.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/5/2002
  • Label: Br Music Holland
  • EAN: 8712089812123
  • Catalog Number: 8121
  • Sales rank: 59,130

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Baby I Need Your Loving (2:44)
  2. 2 Without the One You Love (Life's Not Worth While) (2:45)
  3. 3 Ask the Lonely (2:40)
  4. 4 I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) (2:42)
  5. 5 It's the Same Old Song (2:45)
  6. 6 Something About You (2:49)
  7. 7 Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over) (2:42)
  8. 8 Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (2:41)
  9. 9 Reach Out (I'll Be There) (2:50)
  10. 10 Standing in the Shadows of Love (2:57)
  11. 11 Bernadette (2:35)
  12. 12 7-Rooms of Gloom (3:03)
  13. 13 I'll Turn to Stone (2:32)
  14. 14 You Keep Running Away (2:30)
  15. 15 Walk Away Renee (2:50)
  16. 16 If I Were a Carpenter (2:45)
  17. 17 I'm a Believer (2:49)
  18. 18 Yesterday's Dreams (2:39)
  19. 19 I'm in a Different World (2:58)
  20. 20 What Is a Man? (2:55)
  21. 21 Do What You Gotta Do (2:35)
  22. 22 Don't Let Him Take Your Love from Me (4:03)
  23. 23 Barbara's Boy (2:50)
  24. 24 It's All in the Game (2:54)
  25. 25 Still Water (Love) (3:14)
  26. 26 Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life) (3:07)
  27. 27 In These Changing Times (3:23)
Disc 2
  1. 1 MacArthur Park (3:01)
  2. 2 A Simple Game (2:54)
  3. 3 (It's the Way) Nature Planned It (3:33)
  4. 4 So Deep Within' You (3:07)
  5. 5 I Can't Quit Your Love (3:35)
  6. 6 Keeper of the Castle (2:57)
  7. 7 Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got) (3:07)
  8. 8 Sweet Understanding Love (3:02)
  9. 9 I Just Can't Get You Out of My Mind (4:00)
  10. 10 One Chain (Don't Make No Prison) (3:22)
  11. 11 Midnight Flower (4:12)
  12. 12 Seven Lonely Nights (2:59)
  13. 13 We All Gotta Stick Together (4:48)
  14. 14 When She Was My Girl (3:24)
  15. 15 Let Me Set You Free (4:25)
  16. 16 Don't Walk Away (4:13)
  17. 17 Tonight I'm Gonna Love You All Over (4:35)
  18. 18 Back to School Again (3:50)
  19. 19 Nobody Loves You Like I Do (4:01)
  20. 20 Indestructible (4:27)
  21. 21 Loco in Acapulco (4:32)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Four Tops Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Tim Hardin Composer
Phil Collins Composer, Producer
Michael Pinder Composer
Smokey Robinson Composer
J.R. Bailey Composer
Gloria Jones Composer
Barrett Strong Composer
R. Dean Taylor Composer, Producer
Jimmy Webb Composer
Joe Hinton Composer
Michael Brown Composer
Steve Barri Producer
Renaldo Benson Composer
Johnny Bristol Producer
Vernon Bullock Composer
Leonard Caston Composer
Tony Clarke Producer
Lamont Dozier Composer, Producer
Howard Greenfield Composer
Eddie Holland Composer
Brian Holland Composer, Producer
Ivy Jo Hunter Composer, Producer
Charles Koppelman Executive Producer
Dennis Lambert Composer, Producer
Sandy Linzer Composer
Lawrence Payton Composer
Brian Potter Composer, Producer
Michael Price Composer
Bobby Sandstrom Arranger, Composer, Producer
Pam Sawyer Composer
Carl Sigman Composer
Kathy Wakefield Composer
Norman Whitfield Composer, Producer
David Wolfert Composer, Producer
Marc Blatte Composer
Frank Wilson Composer, Producer
Richard Knight Composer
Richard Beasley Composer
Rudy Clark Composer
Tony Sansone Composer
Fred Bridges Composer
Charles Dawes Composer
Larry Gottlieb Composer
Ken Williams Composer
Michael Williams Composer
Jack Goga Composer
Val Benson Composer
Louis St. Louis Composer, Producer
Bob Calilli Composer
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