The Four Tops: Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton, Levi Stubbs, Duke Fakir (vocals).
Additional personnel: The Temptations (vocals).
After leaving Motown in the early 1970s, the Four Tops moved to the California-based label ABC/Dunhill (and in the '80s to Casablanca). Like the Temptations and other Motown acts popular in the '60s, the Four Tops were changing their sound to suit the times, infusing their smooth, harmony-laden pop with edgier, funky rhythms, and sociopolitical commentary. The Four Tops' best material from this later phase is collected on THE BEST OF THE FOUR TOPS VOLUME 2, a companion piece to the group's first installation in the 20th CENTURY MASTERS series.
The set kicks off with the mellow, string-sweetened funk of "Keeper of the Castle," a Top 10 hit, and follows with "Are You Man Enough" (which was used as the theme for the film SHAFT IN AFRICA), a tough, soulful workout that is arguably the set's finest moment. Casablanca hits such as "When She Was My Girl" and the Levi Stubbs-led ballad "I Believe in You and Me" are also represented, as is "The Temptations and Four Tops Medley," a "showdown'" that the two groups performed on the Motown 25th-anniversary TV show in 1983. This well-selected 12-track compilation offers Tops fans the finest of the ensemble's '70s and '80s material under one cover.