The Four Tops

Keepers of the Castle: Their Best 1972-1978

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Keepers of the Castle: Their Best 1972-1978 Review

by Richie Unterberger

When the Four Tops moved from Motown to Dunhill in the early '70s, they encountered the dilemma faced by most '60s soul giants, from Motown or elsewhere: how to update their sound while maintaining some degree of personality. Commercially at least, things got off to a smashing start with "Keeper of the Castle," "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got)," and "Are You Man Enough?" (all included here). Yet it was evident that the Four Tops, removed from the magic of '60s Motown, would be trend followers rather than pacesetters. Most of this 14-song compilation shows them as a competent but rather generic '70s soul vocal group, adding Philly soul and funk elements to their sound without asserting much of an identity. Even "Are You Man Enough?," as good as it is, is something of a son-of-"Back Stabbers"; "Ain't No Woman," similarly, could be easily mistaken for a Spinners cut by the unschooled. Save the occasional standout like "Love Music," not much else here measures up to the early Dunhill hits, though if you want one post-early-'70s Four Tops compilation, this is probably the best.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Four Tops 03:09 Amazon
2 The Four Tops 03:27 Amazon
3 The Four Tops 04:09 Amazon
4 The Four Tops 06:36 Amazon
5 The Four Tops 04:12 Amazon
6 The Four Tops 04:01 Amazon
7 The Four Tops 04:01 Amazon
8 The Four Tops 03:37 Amazon
9 The Four Tops 03:38 Amazon
10 The Four Tops 03:04 Amazon
11 The Four Tops 02:59 Amazon
12 The Four Tops 03:29 Amazon
13 The Four Tops 02:59 Amazon
14 The Four Tops 04:49 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick