Thursday, February 13, 2014

"When She Was My Girl" by The Four Tops

Song#:  0713
Date:  08/15/1981
Debut:  85
Peak:  11
Weeks:  22
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  When Motown was at the top of their game in the 60s, The Four Tops were the second most successful male act behind The Temptations. Through to 1972 the group had 15 Top 10 R&B hits with five of those crossing over to the pop Top 10 (including two #1's on each chart). Then Motown made the decision to shift focus to their newer acts and also move headquarters to California from their Detroit home. Artists like the Tops were given a choice to move with the company or be dropped. The Tops took a chance to leave the label and remain in Detroit. Signing with ABC they got seven more R&B Top 10's (two at pop), but as the 80s approached the hits stopped coming. They secured a deal with Casablanca and returned with the LP "Tonight!," which featured this comeback single that became their third R&B #1 and reached the unfortunate #11 position at pop. It would be their last R&B Top 10 and final pop Top 20. The song also scored a Grammy nod for Best R&B Song.

ReduxReview:  This tune kind of ended up as their swan song and what a way to go out. With an updated Motown feel, the song was a fresh blast of pop/R&B that sounded both new and old at the same time. It showed that after 20+ years in the biz, they still had something special going on.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The group was originally called The Four Aims, but when signed to Chess Records in 1956, they changed it to The Four Tops. This was to avoid any confusion with the popular vocal group the Ames Brothers. Their initial recordings went nowhere and they hopped labels for several years with no success. When signed to Motown, they were singing standards for the label until hit songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland brought them in to record "Baby I Need Your Loving." The single was issued in 1964 and it reached #11. The classic tune began their streak of hits for Motown.


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