I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) by Four Tops

Summary

"'''I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)'''" is a 1965 hit song recorded by the Four Tops for the Motown label.

Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland-Dozier-Holland, the song is one of the most well-known Motown tunes of the 1960s. The song reached number one on the R&B charts and was also the number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks, from June 12 to June 19 and from June 26 to July 3 in 1965. It replaced "Back in My Arms Again" by labelmates The Supremes, was first replaced by "Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds, then regained the top spot before being replaced by "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 2 song of 1965. It was also the Four Tops first Top 40 single in the UK, reaching #23.

The song finds lead singer Levi Stubbs, assisted by the other three Tops and The Andantes, pleadingly professing his love to a woman: "Sugar pie, honey bunch/I'm weaker than a man should be!/Can't help myself/I'm a fool in love, you see." Like most of his lead parts, Stubbs' vocals are recorded in a tone that straddles the line between singing and shouting, similar to the tone of a black Baptist preacher. The melodic and chordal progressions are very similar to the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go". Allmusic critic Ed Hogan claims that the song uses the same chords as The Supremes' 1964 hit "Where Did Our Love Go," also written by Holland-Dozier-Holland.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song #415 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It has been covered extensively since 1965, including versions done for several television commercials.

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