Peak UK Chart Position: #1 in October 1966.

The Four Tops spent an incredible forty-four years – from 1953 to 1997 – with exactly the same line-up. Originally known as The Four Aims, they comprised lead singer Levi Stubbs, alongside Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir, Renaldo ‘Obie’ Benson and Lawrence Payton, and were assisted by the immense songwriting and production abilities of Holland-Dozier-Holland.

“Reach Out” was their only UK number one, having dipped to number three on this day in 1966 after three weeks at the summit. It also topped the charts in America, where – the previous year – “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” became their only other chart topper there. The track had been Motown records’ second UK number one after the Supremes’ “Baby Love” in 1964.

It gained a second lease of life in 1988, when it gained a re-release and remix, taking it to number eleven for a couple of weeks. It preceded what became their final chart hit, when the movie “Buster” spawned the hit single “Loco In Acapulco”, a number seven hit in January 1989.

Two performances of “Reach Out” for you to enjoy; firstly – above – is a live unknown television appearance from 1966, and secondly – below – their appearance on a special Top of the Pops, celebrating 25 years of the show at the end of 1988.

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