Saturday, February 11, 2017

Four Tops – "Standing in the Shadows of Love" (1967)

Didn't I treat you right, now baby, didn't I?
Didn't I do the best I could now, didn't I?

Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland wrote and produced more great Motown records than you can shake a stick at, including “Standing in the Shadows of Love.”  (Altogether, Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote thirteen #1 hits – most of them for the Supremes – and an amazing 35 top ten singles.)

“Standing in the Shadows of Love,” which reached #6 on the Billboard “Hot 100” in February 1967, is my favorite of the Four Tops’ many hits.

Unlike most Motown songs, there’s no instrumental introduction – ready or not, here come the song’s bleak lyrics:

Standing in the shadows of love
I'm getting ready for the heartaches to come

Levi Stubbs
Other male vocal groups (like the Temptations) usually gave the lead vocal to a tenor or falsetto singer.  The Four Tops’ lead singer, Levi Stubbs, was a baritone.  His voice wasn’t as pretty as David Ruffin’s or Smokey Robinson’s, but it had an urgency and strength that made songs like “Standing in the Shadows of Love” very compelling.

Here’s “Standing in the Shadows of Love”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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