Search - Diana Ross & Supremes, 4 Tops :: Best of

Best of
Diana Ross & Supremes, 4 Tops
Best of
Genres: Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Diana Ross & Supremes, 4 Tops
Title: Best of
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Motown
Release Date: 4/30/1991
Genres: Pop, R&B
Styles: Oldies, Classic R&B, Motown, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 037463549142, 737463549127, 737463549141, 037463549128

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CD Reviews

(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Supremes and Four Tops, separately, were two of the greatest vocal groups to achieve major fame in the 60's. The Supremes alone were the third biggest singles act of the decade, with 12 pop #1's and at least 18 top tens, total! That the Four Tops, the ORIGINAL/FOUNDING members, stayed together for 40+ years is a singular achievement. Only the death of a member could break them up! The fact that their potent lead singer, Levi Stubbs, never asked for star billing, and never seized opportunities that came his way for a major solo career, is indicative of a powerful brotherhood, and an ego in good control. By the time these two groups got to record together, The Supremes were on their fifth member [original and founding member Florence Ballard having been "ousted" in 1967, to be replaced by Cindy Birdsong, and then Jean Terrell having replaced Diana Ross in 1970]. Bringing these two groups together was an effort to pump up both of their careers.

The pairing was short of a match made in heaven. Oh, the groups got along great during recording. And, Motown, for some reason, didn't capitalize on the sizeable hit "River Deep Mountain High" [#14 pop in December 1970] by having the 2 groups tour together. By this time, the Tops were poised to leave the label. [In fact, The Supremes DID tour with The Temptations in 1973!] The teaming of The Supremes and Four Tops, DID yield some very good results, notably the aforementioned hit, which bested Ike and Tina Turner's original on the charts. It's just that, with 2 very distinctive lead vocalists, the Tops' Stubbs and the Supremes' Terrell, it sometimes seemed as if they were dueling rather than duetting. Here is another case where utilization of the other talented singers in both groups in more prominent roles might have yielded some excitement and even smoother deliveries.

In spite of this, there are several highlights in this collection. My favorite would have to be their brilliant version of the lovely "Call Me," for which Chris Montes had a big hit in the 60's. Mr. Stubbs' lead vocal is surprising understated here, foreshadowing his more subdued vocal on the Tops' big 80's hit "When She Was My Girl." Ms. Terrell, meanwhile, gives one of her famous "creamy" deliveries. Other standouts: the anthemic "You Gotta Have Love in Your Heart," "I'll Try Not to Cry," and "If You Could See Me Now," another understated delivery by Stubbs and creamy rendition by Terrell. Some of Motown's best songwriters and producers, including Ashford & Simpson, were charged with creating the material. Among the three albums these 2 groups recorded, there are one or two gems that were omitted here, especially, "What Do You Have to Do [to Stay on The Right Side of Love]" from their second collaboration THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Semi-essential for the fans and completists."