The Return of the Magnificent 7

by: The Supremes & The Four Tops

Despite its title, The Return of the Magnificent 7 didn't simply offer more of the same: in fact, it took a considerably different tack than the debut, emphasizing new songs instead of covers. This is a sharp move, since the Supremes and the Four Tops didn't quite seem like an oldies act in hiding when they were singing new songs with modern productions courtesy of Clay McMurray, Henry Cosby, Johnny Bristol, Bobby Taylor, and Ashford & Simpson. That's a lot of producers for an 11-track album, but this isn't a case of two many cooks spoiling a soup: all the producers are complementary, with the glitzy, fuzz-toned '70s cuts from McMurray sitting nicely along the lightly funky "One More Bridge to Cross" and proto-quiet storm "I'm Glad About It" from Ashford & Simpson, and Taylor's deeply soulful "What Do You Have to Do (To Stay on the Right Side of Love)." Although there are no real knockouts here, the songs are all solid, adding up to a thoroughly underrated record and the best duets set the Supremes and the Four Tops recorded. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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