The Four Tops

Reach Out, I'll Be There

Composed by Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland / Eddie Holland

Song Review by

In some groups, who sings lead can be a strong point of contention. Four Tops members Lawrence Payton, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, and Abdul "Duke" Fakir knew that having Levi Stubbs sing lead was the best thing for the group. Stubbs has a pleading urgency in his voice that perfectly captured the longing anxiousness of the songs written by the producing trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland. For their second chart-topper, "Reach Out I'll Be There," Stubbs' vocals were surrounded by one of Motown's most idiosyncratic offerings. The track bubbles over with sharp classical flourishes built on the rock-solid groove supplied by the Funk Brothers, Motown's studio band. The dramatic, semi-operatic tension and release feel of the track was due in part to Brian Holland's immersion into classical music. "Reach Out I'll Be There" parked at number one R&B and number one pop for two weeks in the fall of 1966. The track was used very effectively in the closing scenes of the classic teen/'60s-theme movie Cooley High.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Reach Out 1967 Motown 3:01
Greatest Hits [Motown] 1967 Motown 0:00
Motown Story 1971
Various Artists
Motown 0:00
No Image 1973 Motown
Anthology 1974 Motown 2:55
Cooley High 1975
Original Soundtrack
Polygram 3:03
No Image 1976 Motown
Motown Superstar Series, Vol. 14 1981 Motown 0:00
Great Songs & Performances That Inspired the Motown 25th Anniversary 1983 Motown 2:58
No Image 1984
Various Artists
Motown
No Image 1986 Motown
Classic Rock: 1966 1987
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:01
Every Great Motown Song, Vol. 1: The 1960s 1988
Various Artists
Motown 3:00
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
Motown Legends 1990 Motown 2:58
Rhythm & Blues: 1966 1990
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Motown
Motown's Greatest Hits 1992 Universal / Universal Distribution / Universal Island Records 3:11
Hitsville USA - The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971 1992
Various Artists
Motown 3:01
Classic R&B Oldies from the 60's, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:57
The Story of Soul Music 1995
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:54
Motown Legends, Vol.2 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / Polygram / PSM 3:01
Best Sixties Album in the World Ever 1995
Various Artists
2:58
The Early Classics 1996 Karussell 0:00
Motown: The Very Best of the 60's 1997
Various Artists
Motown 2:59
The Ultimate Collection: Four Tops 1997 Motown 2:59
The Number Ones: Hot in the 60's 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 3:00
Shake Me Wake Me (1964-1973) 1998 Raven 3:02
Cruizin' to Motown, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:55
Millennium Dance Party Mix 1999
Various Artists
Webster Hall Records 2:50
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of the Four Tops 1999 Barclay / Motown / Universal 3:02
Motown Legends [Transworld Box] 1999
Various Artists
Transworld 3:01
Millennium Dance Party: Chicago-The Beat 103.5 2000
Various Artists
Webster Hall Records 2:50
Motown History, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Polygram 3:02
American Classics [Import] 2000
Various Artists
Shock 2:57
Motown: The Classic Years 2000
Various Artists
Motown 3:02
Essential Collection: Four Tops 2000 Hip-O 3:02
Reach Out, I'll Be There 2000 Empire Music Group Inc. / PolyGram 2:56
The Singles+ 2000 BR Music 2:50
No Image 2000
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:00
Back to Black: 1900-1999 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 2:56
The Classic Rhythm & Blues Collection, Vol. 2: 1964-1966 2001
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:00
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1966 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:01
Dick Clark's #1's: 50's to 70's "When AM Radio Was King" 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:00
Very Best of the Four Tops 2001 Brilliant 3:16
Say It Loud! A Celebration of Black Music in America [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
Fourever 2001 Hip-O 3:05
On Top/Reach Out 2001 Motown 2:59
The Blues & Soul, Vol. 1: 1966-1969 2002
Various Artists
Connoisseur 3:00
100% Motown '60s 2002
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 3:00
Kitsch Lounge Riot 2003
Various Artists
BMG UK & Ireland 2:57
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 60's Motown's Greatest Hits 2003
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 3:01
Soul R&B Hits 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:54
The Motown Story, Vol. 1: The Sixties 2003
Various Artists
Motown 3:47
Respect: The Soul Generation Soundtrack 2003
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:59
WCBS FM: Motown, Soul and Rock N Roll: Motown 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 0:00
Motown Greatest Hits 2003
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:59
50th Anniversary Anthology 2004 Motown 3:01
Loco in Acapulco 2004 Delta Blue 3:16
Motown Number 1's 2004
Various Artists
Motown / UTV 3:00
Soul Legends [Madacy #1] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:01
Best Of Soul [Madacy Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:54
Motown Classics: Gold 2005
Various Artists
Motown 3:02
Dancing in the Streets: Motowns Greatest Hits 2005
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:59
Heaven Must Have Sent You: The Holland/Dozier/Holland Story 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:00
The Motown Box 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 4:23
Soul Legends: Motown Legends, Vol. 1-3 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 3:01
20th Century Masters: Best of Soul, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 3:04
Legends 2006 Universal International 3:01
Express Yourself: Soul In The 20th Century 2006
Various Artists
Universal / Um3 2:54
Harsh Times 2006
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 2:59
To Mum Love Motown 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:00
Motown Classics 2006
Various Artists
Drew's Famous 0:00
The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 6 2006
Various Artists
Motown 3:00
Collection [Madacy] 2007 Madacy 1:51
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Motown 3:01
Playlist Plus: Motown 50th Anniversary 2008
Various Artists
Motown 3:01
The Definitive Collection 2008 Motown 3:00
Motown 50 Fanthology 2008
Various Artists
Universal 2:56
Motown: The Complete No. 1's 2008
Various Artists
Motown 3:00
Motown 50 [International Version 2] 2008
Various Artists
Motown / Universal Distribution 2:54
Memories of Motown 2009
Various Artists
Motown / Universal Music 3:01
Motortown Review 2009
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:56
Sweet Soul Music: 1966 2009
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:59
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [2009] 2009
Various Artists
EMI 2:55
Total Motown 2010
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:03
The Motown Collection 2010
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:56
Icon 2011 Motown 3:01
'60s Music Revolution 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:57
50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1964-1972 2013 Motown 3:01
Lipstick, Powder & Paint: The New York Dolls Heard Them Here First 2013
Various Artists
Ace 2:57
Motown the Musical: 100 Originals 2013
Various Artists
Cobalt Helladisc / Universal Music 3:02
Jon Savage Presents 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded 2015
Various Artists
Ace / Kent 3:00
'60s Music Revolution: Magic Carpet Ride
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:57
(Every Great Motown Song) The First 25 Years Vol. 1:The 1960's
Various Artists
Motown / Universal 2:59
100 Essential 60's
Various Artists
Universal 2:57
100 Essential Love Songs
Various Artists
Universal Music 2:58
20 #1's: Classic R&B Hits
Various Artists
Universal 2:55
202 Motown Songs: The Complete #1's
Various Artists
Island / Def Jam / Universal Music 3:01
60's [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal 2:56
Classic Love Songs of Rock 'N' Roll
Various Artists
Time Life 2:56
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 2:59
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 3:01
No Image
Various Artists
Universal Music 3:02
Motown Atlantic Highway
Various Artists
Motown
Motown Remixed Extras [No.2]
Various Artists
Universal 3:35
No Image
Various Artists
PolyGram
Party Tyme Karaoke: Billboard Top 40 Karaoke, Vol. 6
Karaoke
Sybersound Records 3:04
Pure 60's
Various Artists
Universal Music 2:56
Soul of the '60s
Various Artists
Time Life 2:56
The Motown Story
Various Artists
Universal 2:59
The Sockhop Collection: I Hear a Symphony
Various Artists
StarVista 2:56
Total Hits, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Universal 2:54