♫ Reach Out I’ll Be There ♫

Interestingly,  two people have mentioned this song to me in the last week or so, and as I was working on my Jolly Monday post tonight, I found this one kept running through my head.  Now, at the same time, simultaneously, I have Elton’s Tiny Dancer running through my head, melding together with the Motown sound … is it any wonder the inside of my head looks like a 5-day-old bowl of mush?  Usually when that happens, I figure I should share the song and let it run through your heads also!

I thought this song was older than this, but it was released in 1966 and is considered to be the Four Tops signature song.

In 2014, interviewed by The Guardian, Four Tops singer Duke Fakir said:

Eddie [songwriter Edward Holland] realised that when Levi hit the top of his vocal range, it sounded like someone hurting, so he made him sing right up there. Levi complained, but we knew he loved it. Every time they thought he was at the top, he would reach a little further until you could hear the tears in his voice. The line “Just look over your shoulder” was something he threw in spontaneously. Levi was very creative like that, always adding something extra from the heart.

Written by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland), Dozier would later say …

“Brian, Eddie and I often had discussions about what women really want most of all from a man, and after talking about some of our experiences with women, we all three agreed that they wanted someone to be there for them, through thick or thin, and be there at their beck and call! Thus this song was born.”

The Four Tops recorded this in just two takes, and then proceeded to forget about it, figuring it to be a  “throwaway” album track. Motown boss Berry Gordy, however, had other ideas and released it as a single. Gordy had a knack for identifying hit songs, and got this one right.

And now … just sit back, close your eyes, and listen … feel …

Reach Out I’ll Be There
Four Tops

Now if you feel that you can’t go on
Because all of your hope is gone,
And your life is filled with much confusion
Until happiness is just an illusion,
And your world around is crumblin’ down;
Darling, reach out (come on girl, reach on out for me)
Reach out (reach out for me.)
I’ll be there, with a love that will shelter you.
I’ll be there, with a love that will see you through.
I’ll be there to always see you through.

When you feel lost and about to give up
‘Cause your best just ain’t good enough
And you feel the world has grown cold,
And you’re drifting out all on your own,
And you need a hand to hold:
Darling, reach out (come on girl, reach out for me)
Reach out (reach out for me.)
I’ll be there, to love and comfort you,
And I’ll be there, to cherish and care for you.
I’ll be there to love and comfort you.

I can tell the way you hang your head,
You’re without love and now you’re afraid
And through your tears you look around,
But there’s no peace of mind to be found.
I know what you’re thinkin’,
You’re alone now, no love of your own,
But darling, reach out (come on girl, reach out for me)
Reach out (reach out for me.)
Just look over your shoulder
I’ll be there, to give you all the love you need,
And I’ll be there, you can always depend on me.

Songwriters: Paul Vincent Collins / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland / Edward Jr. Holland
Reach Out I’ll Be There lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

12 thoughts on “♫ Reach Out I’ll Be There ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Baby Love ♫ | Filosofa's Word

  2. Pingback: ♫ All You Need To Know About “Reach Out I’ll Be There” ♫ — Filosofa’s Word | steveluffradio

  3. Still my Motown Dream Team. I really missed lead singer Levi Stubbs Jnr when it came to putting the emotion into songs. Sadly Duke Fakir is the only Top surviving on the circuit and in the Four Tops now.He keeps the memory alive.

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    • These songs, the Motown sound, take me back to … a simpler time? Was it really, or did it just seem so? I don’t know, but I do know that these songs bring out something good, something that today’s music cannot seem to match. I remember my mother, a huge fan of Sinatra, decrying the music of our time, saying it could never hold a candle to the music of her day. Perhaps each generation feels much the same, but Motown left its mark on the world, I think.

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  4. In these times of trouble, Motown is the sound. It reaches deep inside you, and talks to you on a level Donnie Junk Truck cannot.
    Don’t give up hope. Hang on. Help each other survive.

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    • Just what I was thinking. Each generation has its own sound, but Motown left a mark on the world, it spoke, it made us feel. I still go back to it when I need a bit of comfort, a bit of soul. LuL


      • Motown grew out of the race situation in North America, which was boiling over in the 50s and 60s. Barry Gordy, for all the questionable things he did, let us see and feel the sorrow and suffering, but also the happiness and beauty of being people, not just being black. All of us learned what it was like to be in the fields and streets, the ghettos and dancerooms.
        But not everyone listened, and that is one reason why we are back where we are today. Some people don’t want to know how others feel, they don’t want to care how others feel. They would rather be ostriches than owls, no insults intended to the birds.

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