The Four Tops is an American music band or quartet that has made its debut in the year of its formation, in 1954. They are said to be pioneers in the creation of the typical, recognized Motown sound. They kept their original lineup intact for more than four decades, without making any changes to their members until the deaths of some of its members, who, for obvious reasons, had to be replaced by new members. Some of their biggest, most successful hits include songs of the likes of “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” and “I Can not Help Myself ( Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” (which at the time of its release spurred some controversy), for example, both of which reached the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the time of their release.
The band was founded by four friends from high school in Detroit, Michigan, and had originally borne the name The Four Aims, but in 1956 the decided to change it to the Four Tops instead. That very same year, they recorded their first single “Kiss me Baby ” with the record label Chess Records. Furthermore, in its early years they were backed by Billy Eckstine, who served as a mentor of sorts. They also recorded singles for record labels like Red Top, Riverside and Columbia Records.
In 1964, they got signed to Motown, in the division that dealt with jazz, but soon after they began working with the legendary trio of composers “Holland Dozier Holland”. During this period, the quartet released a few successful singles. In 1972, when the label moved to Los Angeles, the Four Tops signed with ABC / Dunhill Records. In 1990 they were inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame. Although 3 of the original members have died, the Four Tops continues to tour with tenor Abdul “Duke” Fakir on lead and three new members.