Standing In The Shadows Of Love

Album: Reach Out (1966)
Charted: 6 6
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The Four Tops released this song as a direct follow-up to their #1 hit "Reach Out I'll Be There" and it features a similar musical arrangement. Despite the likeness to its chart-topping predecessor, the record was still a big hit, easily reaching the Top 10 in both the UK and US. Both songs were written by the Motown songwriting team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland), and while the instrumentation is similar, the lyrics are very different. "Reach Out" is about being there for a loved one, but "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" finds the singer heartbroken and despondent.
  • This song was recorded by The Four Tops during the first ever session at Berry Gordy's newly acquired Golden World Detroit studio, later dubbed Studio B.
  • The Holland-Dozier-Holland team wrote a song called "Standing At The Crossroads Of Love" that The Supremes recorded in 1964. They recycled the title for this track.
  • Andrew Hamilton penned a review of this depiction of mental torment for the Allmusic guide. It reads: "The emotions conjure up a world of negativity, sleepless nights, and excessive indulgences; you relish going to work because the activity keeps your mind off the pain. It's said Holland-Dozier-Holland gleamed ideas from the soaps; there must have been a real bawler on the day HDH's bulb went off and inspired this one."
  • A number of artists have covered the song including The Jackson 5 on their 1969 debut album Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, Barry White with an extended instrumental intro on his 1973 album, I've Got So Much to Give and Hall & Oates on their 2004 album, Our Kind of Soul . British R&B singer Craig David sampled the chorus of this track on "One More Lie (Standing In The Shadows)," the lead single from his 2010 collection of Motown classics, Signed Sealed Delivered.

Comments: 3

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaIt's interesting that that song title was the one picked out for the film about the Funk Brothers (except one word was changed- Love to Motown).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 28th 1967, the Fours Tops appeared in concert* at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England...
    At the time the quartet's "Standing In the Shadows Of Love" was in its second of two weeks at #6 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, and that was also its peak position on the Top 100...
    {See the next post below}...
    * The concert's supporting acts were The Dakotas, Madeline Bell, The Remo Four and Johnny Watson.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 15, 1967, "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" by The Four Tops peaked at #6 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 11th, 1966 and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100...
    Was track 8 on their 5th studio album, 'Reach Out', and what a super album it became for the quartet...
    Seven tracks from the album made the Top 100:
    1. "Reach Out I'll Be There" (#1 for 2 weeks)
    2. "Standing"
    3. "Bernadette" (#4)
    4. "7-Rooms of Gloom" (#14)
    5. "I'll Turn to Stone" (#76)
    6. "Walk Away Renée" (#14)
    7. "If I Were a Carpenter" (#20)
    Plus track 7 on the album was a covered version of the Monkees' "I'm A Believer"; and at the time it was in its 5th week as the #1 record on the Top 100.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

Adam Young of Owl City

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.

Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots

Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple PilotsSongwriter Interviews

Stone Temple Pilots bass player Robert DeLeo names the songs that have most connected with fans and tells the stories behind tracks from their Tiny Music album.

Michael Bolton

Michael BoltonSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.

Randy Newman

Randy NewmanSongwriting Legends

Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.

Grammar In Lyrics

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?