The Ultimate Collection (Four Tops album)

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The Ultimate Collection
Compilation album by The Four Tops
Released October 7, 1997
Recorded 1964-1972
Genre Soul music
Length 72:32
Label Motown Records
Producer Harry Weinger
The Four Tops chronology
Christmas Here With You
(1995)
The Four Tops The Ultimate Collection
(1997)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]

The Ultimate Collection is a compact disc by The Four Tops, released on Motown Records, catalogue 314530825-2, in October 1997. It is a collection of singles comprising many of the group's greatest hits, with liner notes written by Stu Hackel.

Content[edit]

The disc contains all but three of the Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 enjoyed by the Four Tops and released on the Motown Records imprint. Four of the tracks included were b-sides — "I Got A Feeling," "If You Don't Want My Love," "I'll Turn to Stone," and "Sad Souvenirs" — "I Got A Feeling" being the flip to "Bernadette," and "Sad Souvenirs" the flip to "I Can't Help Myself." "A Simple Game" was recorded in collaboration with The Moody Blues, and hit #3 on the UK Singles Chart. Every iconic song by the group is present, and five of the tracks were in the top ten on the chart, with "I Can't Help Myself" and "Reach Out I'll Be There" both going to #1. The disc was part of an "Ultimate Collection" series issued that year by Motown for many of their top-selling classic artists.

Starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s, standard industry practice shifted to a focus on album sales, where a single became less a separate entity and more simply an advertisement for an LP, and a lead single would be pulled off an album as a promotional tool. Prior to this, singles were concentrated upon as a profitable commodity, especially for smaller record labels, and albums were often built around already successful singles. Since Motown fixated on the hit single until the very end of its stay in Detroit, single versions of songs often featured different mixes than versions that would be later placed on albums. Singles were usually mixed "punchier" and "hotter" to sound better on car radios receiving AM broadcast.[2] The single versions are the ones appearing here.

Personnel[edit]

Track listing[edit]

Singles chart peak positions from Billboard charts; no R&B chart existed from November 30, 1963, through January 23, 1965. Track with The Moody Blues marked with an asterisk.

Track Catalogue Release Date Pop Chart R&B Chart Song Title Writer(s) Time
1. Motown 1098 8/18/66 #1 #1 "Reach Out I'll Be There" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:59
2. Motown 1102 11/28/66 #6 #2 "Standing in the Shadows of Love" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:36
3. Motown 1104 2/16/67 #4 #3 "Bernadette" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 3:00
4. Motown 1073 1/5/65 #24 #9 "Ask the Lonely" William "Mickey" Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter 2:45
5. Motown 1062 7/10/64 #11 "Baby I Need Your Loving" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:44
6. Motown 1069 11/64 #43 "Without the One You Love (Life's Not Worth While)" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:53
7. Motown 1081 7/9/65 #5 #2 "It's the Same Old Song" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:45
8. Motown 1096 5/9/66 #45 #12 "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" Stevie Wonder and Ivy Jo Hunter 2:45
9. Motown 1076 4/23/65 #1 #1 "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:43
10. Motown 1084 10/21/65 #19 #9 "Something About You" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:48
11. Motown 1104b 2/16/67 "I Got a Feeling" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:59
12. Motown 1132 10/68 #51 #23 "I'm in a Different World" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 3:05
13. Motown 1119 1/18/68 #14 #15 "Walk Away Renée" Michael Brown, Bob Calilli, Tony Sansome 2:43
14. Motown 1147 4/10/69 #53 "What Is a Man" Johnny Bristol and Doris McNeil 2:33
15. Motown 1196 1/4/72 #90 #34 "A Simple Game" * Mike Pinder 2:56
16. Motown 1170 8/70 #11 #4 "Still Water (Love)" Frank Wilson and Smokey Robinson 3:11
17. Motown 1210 8/72 #53 #8 "(It's the Way) Nature Planned It" Pam Sawyer and Frank Wilson 3:18
18. Motown 1164 4/70 #24 #6 "It's All in the Game" Charles G. Dawes and Carl Sigman 2:50
19. Motown 1113 9/67 #19 #7 "You Keep Running Away" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:48
20. Motown 1113b 9/67 "If You Don't Want My Love" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 3:27
21. Motown 1110 5/4/67 #14 #10 "7-Rooms of Gloom" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:53
22. Motown 1110b 5/4/67 "I'll Turn to Stone" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr., R. Dean Taylor 2:33
23. Motown 1090 2/2/66 #18 #5 "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr. 2:41
24. Motown 1076b 4/23/65 "Sad Souvenirs" William "Mickey" Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter 2:39
25. Motown 1127 6/27/68 #49 #31 "Yesterday's Dreams" Pamela Sawyer, Vernon Bullock, Jack Goga, Ivy Jo Hunter 2:56

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ George, Nelson. Where Did Our Love Go? The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. ISBN 0-312-86698-4, pp. 113-114.