Reach Out I'll Be There

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"Reach Out I'll Be There"
Single by the Four Tops
from the album Reach Out
B-side "Until You Love Someone"
Released August 18, 1966
Format 7" single
Recorded Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A); 1966
Genre Soul, pop
Length 3:01
Label Motown
M 1098
Writer(s) Holland–Dozier–Holland[1]
Producer(s) Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier[1]
the Four Tops singles chronology
"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever"
(1966)
"Reach Out I'll Be There"
(1966)
"Standing in the Shadows of Love"
(1966)

"Reach Out I'll Be There" (also formatted as "Reach Out (I'll Be There)") is a 1966 song recorded by the Four Tops for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland,[2] the song is one of the most well-known Motown tunes of the 1960s and is today considered The Tops' signature song. It was the number one song on the Rhythm & Blues charts for two weeks,[3] and on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, from September 24, 1966 to October 15. It replaced "Cherish" by The Association, and was itself replaced by "96 Tears" by Question Mark & the Mysterians. Rolling Stone later ranked this version #206 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". This version is also currently ranked as the 30th best song of all time, as well as the #3 song of 1966, in an aggregation of critics' lists at Acclaimed Music.[4]

The track also reached no. 1 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming Motown's second UK chart-topper after The Supremes hit no. 1 with "Baby Love" in late 1964.[5] It had replaced Jim Reeves' "Distant Drums" at number one in October 1966 and stayed there for three weeks before being replaced by The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" in November.[6]

Lead singer Levi Stubbs delivers many of the lines in the song in a tone that straddles the line between singing and shouting,[2] as he did in 1965's "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)". AllMusic critic Ed Hogan praises Stubb's vocal, as well as the song's "rock-solid groove" and "dramatic, semi-operatic tension and release."[7] Critic Martin Charles Strong calls the song "a soul symphony of epic proportions that remains [the Four Tops'] signature tune."[8]

This song differs markedly from the Four Tops' earlier efforts, due to the highly-contrasting shifts between minor and major, and also major and augmented chords.[citation needed] These contrasting tonal shades form the hook for which the song is so well known. The Four Tops would rely on this formula for several subsequent releases.[citation needed]

The song was included in the soundtrack to the 1975 movie Cooley High.[7] AllMusic critic Ed Hogan claims it was an effective song for the closing scenes.[7]

A cover version of the song in Serbian was recorded by the band Oktobar 1864 under the title Nađi me ("Find Me").

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 105. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 50 – The Soul Reformation: Phase three, soul music at the summit. [Part 6]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 212. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 170. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "All The Number One Singles 1966". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Reach Out (I'll Be There) – Song Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  8. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2004). The Great Rock Discography. Canongate. p. 556. ISBN 978-1-8419-5615-2. 
  9. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Four Tops – Reach Out I'll Be There" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  11. ^ CHART NUMBER 502 – Monday, October 03, 1966 at the Wayback Machine (archived November 7, 2006). CHUM. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  12. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  13. ^ "The Four Tops – Reach Out I'll Be There". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  14. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ (Italian) "Indice per Interprete: F". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – 4 Tops - Reach Out I'll Be There search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Four Tops – Reach Out I'll Be There" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "The Four Tops – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  20. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending OCTOBER 15, 1966 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 4, 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  21. ^ RECORD WORLD 1966 at the Wayback Machine (archived April 8, 2004). Record World. Geocities.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  22. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Four Tops – Reach Out I'll Be There [1988"]. Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  23. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  24. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  25. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1966". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  26. ^ (Dutch) "Top 100 1966" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1966". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  28. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1966 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 4, 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  29. ^ "Adult Contemporary – Volume 58, No. 23, December 18 1993". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Cherish" by The Association
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
October 15, 1966 – October 22, 1966 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"96 Tears" by ? & the Mysterians
US Cash Box number-one single
October 15, 1966 (1 week)
Preceded by
"Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" by The Temptations
US Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles number-one single
October 29, 1966 – November 5, 1966 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Love Is a Hurtin' Thing" by Lou Rawls
Preceded by
"Distant Drums" by Jim Reeves
UK Singles Chart number-one single
October 29, 1966 – November 12, 1966 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys