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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Four Tops - Keeper Of The Castle (1972)

This was the first album post the Tops leaving Motown in 1972. Produced by Steve Barri, Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter who would go on to be the new hit team for them following on from the long run of Motown hits from Holland-Dozier-Holland.  The album is probably the first real consistent body of work by the group after the "Still Waters Run Deep" album (Motown).  Each member gets a turn at lead vocal with surprising results (given that Motown kept Levi Stubbs up front).  Ronaldo Benson, fresh from the success of his co-writing of "What's Going On", gets writing credits on a number of songs with even Stubbs and Abdul "Duke" Fakir getting a look in on "Turn On The Light Of Your Love".  The real standouts are the Lambert and Potter tunes with the title track, "Ain't No Woman" and "Must Be Dreaming" setting the tone for a new and welcome phase in the Tops career.  I remember buying the singles on import that preluded this, eventually getting hold of the album when it secured a UK release on the then EMI distributed Probe label, which was used for the ABC/Dunhill US releases.  If you can find a copy of this then buy it - it's one purchase you won't regret.

Probe - tba

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