Tag Archives: The Four Tops

Ever The “Same”: A Six-Pack Of Similar Singles

Damn right, he supports it.

Loving his new hit.

This should be nothing new to you, but Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are having a banner year on the American charts. Their third single to break the top 40, the same-sex marriage anthem “Same Love” (featuring Mary Lambert), recently went top ten on iTunes and top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to the Supreme Court rulings on the Defense Of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8, both of which are no more. It’s already done a lot given the subject matter of the song, but should it break the top ten, it’ll be the sixth title in the chart’s history to name the “same” word. They may be alike, but I like them all:

“It’s The Same Old Song”, The Four Tops (#5, 1965)
Originally from Detroit, the group led by the late vocalist Levi Stubbs joined Motown Records in 1963 and enjoyed a number of hits with the label through the early 70’s, this being one of their biggest of the decade, save for #1 singles like “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There”. After a few changes in the record companies, the group last charted in 1988 with the minor top 40 single “Indestructible”. That title may also describe how the group is today: still together, albeit with a different lineup than before. A version of “Song” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band climbed to #35 in 1978.

“Sunday Will Never Be The Same”, Spanky & Our Gang (#9, 1967)
When you were younger, you might have been a fan of The Little Rascals, a troop of kids known for their short films as Our Gang between the the 1920’s and the 1940’s. It also provided the inspiration for this folk group’s name. The song about a girl meeting a boy on Sunday morning in the park, then returning to find he’s gone (hence, it’ll “never be the same”) was a summer hit for the band. After “Sunday”, the group charted with four other top 40 singles, but none made the top ten. After the death of lead guitarist Malcolm Hale in the fall of 1968, the band released one last unsuccessful album before going their separate ways.

“Still The Same”, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (#4, 1978)
They’re a staple on classic rock radio in the U.S., and between the Bob Seger System, his solo career and his most successful act, Seger’s made a Billboard chart for six consecutive decades, four on the Hot 100. This was the leadoff single from the band’s second album, Stranger In Town. At the time, “Still” marked the highest peak that the band achieved on the big survey along with “Night Moves”, but that would be surpassed by their 1983 single, “Shame On The Moon” (#2), and a solo Seger release that went to #1, 1987’s “Shakedown”. He recently performed “Turn The Page” with The Swon Brothers on NBC’s The Voice.

“Same Old Lang Syne”, Dan Fogelberg (#9, 1981)
Singer-songwriter Fogelberg tapped into the sounds of soft rock in the 1980’s, soaring into the top ten with 1980’s “Longer” and this single the year after it. As the autobiographical story-song goes, he and an old flame unexpectedly reunite in a grocery store, share a few moments together in the car as the drink away a few bottles, and then depart to the narrator’s dismay. Largely seen as a Christmas song today, you’re unlikely to hear it on the radio outside of the months of November and December despite the fact that it actually peaked in mid-February. However, it still remains one of the late performer’s most popular songs.

“Stay The Same”, Joey McIntyre (#10, 1999)
Step by step, he got to those girls. As a member of New Kids On The Block, he grew up in the public eye, scoring several #1 songs with the band and the support of millions of screaming fans. Outside of singing lead on several of their hits, this was McIntyre’s only major solo smash, going to #10 on the Hot 100 thanks to strong physical sales. A followup release, “I Love You Came Too Late”, only went to #54 nationally. Today, he’s back together with his band mates on The Package Tour with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men. He was also recently in a minor role in the film The Heat, starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.

For more of the “same” (and a lot of articles that are different), follow the blog below and find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Retro