If there is one point where the Temptations beat anyone else hands down, then it was in size! The tallest Dennis Edwards standing at 6’4” (1.95m), and the smallest Paul Williams a mere 6’ (1.83m), add to that good looks, cool suits and smooth dance steps, and you had a show that would put many of today’s boy bands to shame! The Temptations though were inflicted by a never ending “Ball of Confusion”. Internal jealousies and personal ego trips caused more comings and goings in the groups’ line up than passengers on a Detroit bus! Over 20 singers (including half a dozen lead singers) would stand as the Tempts.
|The 'Classic Five'- Temptations.|
The Temptations in perfect vocal harmony- acapella
Even though the main body of the Tempts was always feuding and changing; the music quality never wavered and the hits kept on coming into the 70’s; with 1972’s “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” being classified as one of the greatest hits of all time. Somehow their music style changed to fit the times, without losing that Temptation silk touch!
Levi Stubbs! Most of the groups of the time were fronted by a tenor, Levi though was a baritone, and his emotive voice, sung a hint away from perfection, was the perfect instrument for the songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, who crafted a stream of hit singles, including two Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits: "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" and "Reach Out I'll Be There". Being a grass roots group, it was not surprising that when Motown left Detroit in 1972 to move to Los Angeles, California, the Tops stayed in Detroit and moved over to ABC Records, where they continued to have charting singles into the late-1970s. In all, they had over two dozen hits on Motown during the period 1964-1972 and established themselves as one of the top Soul groups of the era.
The Four Tops with deep soul feeling- acapella
The Four Tops were, Levi Stubbs, Renaldo "Obie" Benson , Lawrence Payton , and the only surviving member Abdul "Duke" Fakir. The story of the Four Tops is one of harmony, on and off the stage; it was a marriage where the vow “till death do us part” was taken devoutly.
Which group do I prefer? Both! I have too many memories tied in with their songs to even dare to make a choice!
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