I Can’t Help Myself – The Four Tops

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………….on June 19th of 1965 The Four Tops had their first US number one record with “I Can’t Help Myself”. Lead singer Levi Stubbs had not been satisfied with the recording session and was promised that he could do it again the following day, but no other session ever took place. The track that became a hit was just the second take of the song. This was the first US #1 hit for The Four Tops, and it was a big one, topping the Hot 100 for two weeks and the R&B chart for an amazing nine. The group had paid their dues: they formed in 1953 and didn’t get a Motown deal until 10 years later. Their first Motown single, “Baby I Need Your Loving,” did very well, but this one established them as one of the top acts in the company. The song was written by the wildly successful Motown team of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Eddie Holland, who wrote most of The Supremes’ hits. The melody of this song is very similar to “Where Did Our Love Go,” which Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote for The Supremes. According to Lamont Dozier, the title came about because he couldn’t help himself from working with the same tune. The Four Tops were signed to Columbia Records in 1960, releasing one single: “Ain’t That Love.” After “I Can’t Help Myself” hit, Columbia re-released “Ain’t That Love,” which set a fire under Motown, which needed a follow-up so Columbia couldn’t steal their thunder. They had Holland-Dozier-Holland quickly come up with a new song, which was essentially a rewrite with the apropos title “It’s the Same Old Song.” Recorded and pressed in just one day, it reached #5 on the Hot 100, while “Ain’t That Love” stalled at #93. In the UK, this was the group’s first single, issued with their American Motown debut, “Baby I Need Your Loving,” as the B-side. It was released to coincide with their first European tour in the summer of 1965, and reached #23. In 1970, it was re-released in the UK and hit #10.