Standing in the Shadows

Four Tops/The Temptations

These Motown legends have enough amazing songs to put on an eight-hour marathon of deathless soul tunes. It's sobering that only Otis Williams remains from the classic Temptations lineup that notched a staggering slew of hits in the '60s and '70s. Eddie Kendricks' silky falsetto and David Ruffin's smoothly rugged throatiness are irreplaceable. Nevertheless, with souladelic tunes such as "I Can't Get Next to You," "Ball of Confusion" and "Cloud Nine," the Tempts could field a team of scrubs and still make ears tingle. Four Tops also boast a cornucopia of profoundly moving hits that have aged better than Dorian Gray. Awesome interpreters of ace Motown composers Holland-Dozier-Holland (including soul peaks such as "Bernadette" and "Reach Out I'll Be There"), Four Tops have lost members, too, including lead heart-trembler Levi Stubbs; Duke Fakir's the only original member still touring. So while Memory Lane's got potholes, it still leads somewhere special.
Thu., March 13, 8 p.m., 2008

 
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