The Left Banke were a 1960s American pop-music group best remembered for their two hit singles, “Walk Away Renée” and “Pretty Ballerina”. The band often utilized what was referred to as “baroque” string arrangements, which led their music to be termed “Bach-rock”. Their use of harmonies saw them compared to contemporaries such as The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Zombies, and other British Invasion groups. Rolling Stone has placed “Walk Away Renée” at number 220 in the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. (SOURCE)
Composed by teenage prodigy Michael Brown as keyboardist and chief songwriter, Bob Calilli and Tony Sansone, this song appeared on the group’s first album released in 1967 entitled “Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina”
#15 R&B, #14 Pop, #7 UK
The members of the Four Tops had been singing together ever since they were in high school. Their first label was Chess Records and they were called the Four Aims — but the label already had the Ames Brothers signed so their name was changed to the Four Tops.
Lead singer Levi Stubbs (a cousin of Jackie Wilson and brother of The Falcons’ Joe Stubbs), and group-mates Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton remained together for over four decades as the Four Tops – first leaving Chess for Motown and then creating history and an extraordinary body of work (with a few more label changes along the way0.
The Tops “Walk Away Rene” cover is outstanding IMHO and bests the original. It is from the Tops 1967 album release “Reach Out” which contained a mix of Holland-Dozier-Holland tunes and pop covers such as “Renee”, “If I were A Carpenter”, “Cherish”, etc.
Many others have covered this great tune, but I would love to hear which of these two hit versions YOU prefer?
Let’s keep this music alive.