SoulTracks Lost Gem: The Four Tops coda was the glorious "Miles Away"

One of the greatest groups to ever come out of Detroit consisted of four singers who made history with their music and their longevity, only being separated by death.  Formed in the mid-50s as high schoolers in Detroit, Levi Stubbs, Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton and Duke Fakir were first known as the Four Aims, but later went on to make history as The Four Tops, part of the incredible story of Motown that turned the Detroit label into the "Sound of Young America. "

One of the greatest groups to ever come out of Detroit consisted of four singers who made history with their music and their longevity, only being separated by death.  Formed in the mid-50s as high schoolers in Detroit, Levi Stubbs, Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton and Duke Fakir were first known as the Four Aims, but later went on to make history as The Four Tops, part of the incredible story of Motown that turned the Detroit label into the "Sound of Young America. "

By the early 2000s, the group had sadly lost member Lawrence Payton, and lead singer Levi Stubbs had grown too ill to continue performing. With new members Ronnie McNeir and former Temptation Theo Peoples, they signed with upstart label Jenny Jenny Records and recorded their first non-holiday music in nearly two decades.  The first single, "East West" hit radio in late Summer, but the full album never materialized. The song was later renamed “Miles Away” and was included on a compilation put together by Detroit businessman Herb Strather called Motor City Hits.  

That the song failed to even chart was a shame. A terrific melodic ballad, with a cool organ opening and with Peoples providing tremendous lead vocals, it was just the kind of song that should have scored on Urban Adult Contemporary Radio in the late 00s. It is certainly a song worth remembering, which we do in our latest SoulTracks Lost Gem.

Check it out below and tell us what you think.

By Chris Rizik

 
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"
Featured Album - David Porter - The Classics
Album of the Month - Cool Million - "Stronger"
Song of the Month - Ascendant - "Gotta Get Up"

Leave a comment!