No one can sing like Levi Stubbs could. Absolutely no one. His voice carried all the pop tunefullness of Motown, with all the desperate, passionate yearning of the best soul. Listen to Reach Out and tell me you don’t feel it in every part of your body — even with just that little “hah!” after the first bass breakdown. He told the LA Times: “Well, I’m rather loud and raw. I don’t really even have a style; I just come by the way I sing naturally. When I learn a song, I try to live it as best I can.”
Levi had been sick for some time, but that doesn’t make it any easier to lose him.
Above: a medley featuring one of my favorite songs of all time, “Bernadette,” one of the great vocal performances in soul history. Below: one of the Tops’ Northern Soul classics, “Seven Rooms of Gloom.”
On a sillier note, how about Levi tearing apart the role of Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors? I’m missing him terribly already.