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Derek Pearson

Four Tops "ask The Lonely" Accapella

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Over the years I’ve asked myself several times“so what is it exactly that I like about soul music so much?”

 

Well this release ticks all the boxes on my checklist and sums up what I could never say in less than 3 minutes. 

 

The Four Tops “Just ask the lonely” (2.50 mins ish) released just at the beginning of 1965 as the US involvement in the Vietnam war escalated even further, resulting in more and more young Americans being drafted into the area.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLCr1DoL4mI

 

Quote: Levi Stubbs’s acapella was the most feared by many of the other Motown performers.  Smokey Robinson once said the performers used to go to house parties for acapella contests and the winner would win the money collected.  Whenever the Four Tops showed, they knew the contest was over!

 

So every now and then after putting away far more than the Governments recommended daily intake of alcohol you might start deluding yourself a bit and daydreaming,  “I can sing a bit you know, if only I’d have tried a bit harder, rehearsed a bit more on a good day I could have fronted most of the super groups and given their lead singers a bloody good run for the money”.

 

Oh really?

 

You think you got what it takes? For starters follow this, match it and even better it (if at all humanely possible).

 

Quite simply the distillation and very essence of a male lead vocal in it’s purest form. Breathtaking is the word I’d use.

 

Derek

 

Accapella version:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kKs3pZLAO4

 

Backing vocals and instrumentation:  From The Andantes & The Funk Brothers  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXtbhSu0OQw

 

 

 

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The official Motown karaoke cd's are a good way of hearing the Accapella versions of motown records. They are split half vocal half instrumental

If you turn half the channel down you get just the vocal.

 

Listen to Shake Me Wake me! it's amazing

 

Kev

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Not a mention about the genius who actually created this masterpiece - the great Ivy Hunter. Don't care how great a voice/arrangement/production is applied to a recording - without lyrics and music there is nothing. Ivy's own version is the best by the way. Last track. (11:28)

 

Edited by Rob Moss

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Guest johnny hart

I too have a Soft Spot for Billy Eckstine [and all his motown offerings ,apart from "i Wonder Why"] a very large Swamp! Levi Numero Uno great posting.

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Not a mention about the genius who actually created this masterpiece - the great Ivy Hunter. Don't care how great a voice/arrangement/production is applied to a recording - without lyrics and music there is nothing. Ivy's own version is the best by the way. Last track. (11:28)

 

Never heard this version before Rob

yes, good, but for me the Four Tops is quite simple musical perfection and will simply never be matched

brings back some incredible memories of allantons very own 3 before 8, or sometimes even 9 if I could ever get Jock to wind it up

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...and the fact that you get "Where did you go?" on the other side of the original 45 has got to make this one of the most soulful, most affordable, most almost everything releases ever. A mate gave me a "spare" copy a few years ago and I'll treasure it as long as I'm here.

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When Levi died i played the acapella version and cried my eyes out . It blew me away. Simply a awesome version of the greatest song ever

 

Steve

Must agree with you steve - the greatest song ever - alongside marvin's "WHATS GOING ON"

jim

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If you ever need a reminder of how good Levi Stubbs voice was just listen to the control he has. He can go from a whisper to a roar in an instant, while at the same time sounding effortless and melodic.

Accapella version was only ever released on the lost and found CD series as far as I'm aware. Very hard to get hold of and £80 when released

 

Rip Levi........

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