Song of the Day: The Four Tops, “Reach Out I’ll Be There”

Eddie Holland, who with his brother Brian and Lamont Dozier were the songwriting and production team Holland-Dozier-Holland, celebrates his 82nd birthday today. Their most celebrated work is with The Supremes, for whom they wrote 10 of their 12 greatest hits, and The Four Tops, for whom they wrote a number of hits, including their best-known song "Reach Out I’ll Be There," which reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B charts in the US and #1 in the UK. This is a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 16, 1966.

18 thoughts on “Song of the Day: The Four Tops, “Reach Out I’ll Be There”

  1. I like the song, but it’s forever tinged with sadness for me, thanks to the Movie “Cooley High”. That movie’s super-sad ending, including this song, haunts me to this day.

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    1. That was the one with Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, wsn’t it? My mother’s best friend’s husband was the principal at Cooley, though I can’t remember if he was when they made the movie…

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  2. Motown didn’t much appeal to me back in the day, but for this song, I made an exception. I think it was the flat ninth added to the seventh chord in the high voice, reach out —-, reach ouuuuuuUUT , that did it.

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    1. I regret that I never worked on ear training when I was playing guitar, but I know what you’re saying. The 7 flat 9 is basically a diminished chord, if I remember correctly…

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  3. You can’t beat the Four Tops…I saw them with the Temptations in the 80s…snuck in the Opry House at Opryland and it was great.

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      1. It may have been… I forgot what year… he was an employee there and couldn’t afford tickets so he guided me through the employee parts. I’m not proud of it but I’m glad I got to see them.

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      1. Wow I hadn’t actually made a Mount Rushmore but I do love this one so much– how about – What’s Going On- Marvin / The Tracks Of My Tears- Smokey and The Miracles / Superstition- Stevie.. so many great ones from that era.

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        1. The late ’60’s and ’70’s were a great time for soul. I’d probably go with something by The Supremes and one by The Temptations, but I’d need a dozen Mt. Rushmores, I think. Plus you have the non-Motown bands…

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