"Bernadette" is a 1967 hit song recorded by the Four Tops for the Motown label. The song was written and composed by Holland–Dozier–Holland, Motown's main songwriting team, and produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier.
|Single by Four Tops|
|from the album Reach Out|
|B-side||"Something About You" or "I Got a Feeling"|
|Released||February 16, 1967|
|Recorded||Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A); January 25, 1967|
|Producer(s)||Brian Holland |
|Four Tops singles chronology|
Billboard described the song as a "hard-driving rocker" with an "outstanding performance by the group." Cash Box called the single a "pulsating Detroit lid underscored by that steady, danceable rhythm." The song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was The Four Tops's final Top 10 hit of the 1960s. On the soul chart, "Bernadette" went to number three. It also reached #8 in the UK on its first release and was a hit again in 1972, reaching #23.
The song is notable for its false ending, where the instruments drop out and the background singers hold a chord. Lead singer Levi Stubbs then shouts "Bernadette!" and the song resumes, ending in a fade-out. Critic Maury Dean described the effectiveness of Stubb's shout of "Bernadette!" as being the key ingredient in getting listeners to buy the record, even if Bernadette herself may not have heard him.
AllMusic critic John Bush calls it "dramatic" and "impassioned."