Forty years after they first rolled off the assembly line, the love songs of Motown sound fresh and still run reliably, with lyrics that balance literary elegance and a hip, street vernacular. By this measure alone, it's clear that Motown has written its own chapter in the Great American Songbook. Courtesy Motown Records Archives hide caption.
In its heyday, Motown was a music-producing empire that is still often compared to the assembly lines of the automobile industry. Herb Jordan sees it a little differently: "It was really this creative enclave, a salon, if you will, where the brilliant musicians from many different traditions -- from jazz, from gospel -- convened and passed on musical knowledge and a love for a lyric and for a great song.
Berry Gordy recognized the value of a great song. Songs were chosen in a trial by fire and it was very competitive between songwriters.
Smokey Robinson was a charter member of the Motown "salon," and recalls the competitive spirit, and how it fell into a weekly ritual. Nobody was not competition in our eyesight. And we had better come with a great song, because when it came to Monday morning meetings, your song was either shot down, or given the thumbs up.
Not surprisingly, as Robinson notes, "the writers and the producers wrote songs that were pinpointed or designated for a said artist -- like 'My Girl' was definitely a Temps song. Love em both! Dear Friends, Sorry for the absence. Health is about the same. No worse-no better. Will continue with once a month chemos.
Worth hearing at least once. I have actually spoken with Mr Wilcox on the phone. Four Tops version — Basically a fine song though I tend to prefer their more atypical stuff. Welcome back Landini. It actually managed to get to 35 Pop on Billboard. Mark V said:. April 16, at am. I love the burst of drums there are a number of tunes around this time that begin with just that, and they all are slightly different.
This is a dynamic opening. It sounds almost like a live performance, and that adds to the excitement. April 17, at pm. I love the song. Any thoughts anyone??? Yeah I have heard it. Latest Cat Scan shows no big change — but not worse. Will continue to take monthly chemos for awhile.
Thanks for asking about me! Blessings to you! I will have to search deeper into their cataloge. Reminds me of my Freshmen year in college! April 18, at pm. Confession time. Your narrator is a bit of an oddball in a number of ways, most notably in that I was 14 or 15 before I started listening to the radio or buying records when they were new, as opposed to just playing and playing old tapes and LPs from the likes of Kraftwerk and T.
And ELO, obviously. They are heavily indebted to the Beatles, almost to the point of parody in places. Indeed, there was a mid-Seventies quote from one of the Fabs Harrison, I think? They are chronically silly. Crucially — brilliantly — they are completely unashamed by both of these things. This is admirable, and it demands a similar adjustment in the listener; leave all self-consciousness at the door. ELO are not cool. They are so very un-cool; in many ways, they are the anti-cool.
They also made some amazing records. By Variety Staff. Follow Us on Twitter. It is difficult to think of a more impossible task than attempting to rate the 60 all-time greatest Motown songs.
While this list may not be definitive — what could be? This single hit No. One of the rawest recordings in the Motown canon, the track features only piano, guitar, drums and tambourine and has seen its share of covers from rock bands such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Kingsmen, Paul Revere and the Raiders and others. Dobbins would leave the group before making the record. Eventually, Holland and his then-partner Robert Bateman worked on the song with an actual postman, Freddie Gorman.
After the song — a droll slice of mother-to-son romantic advice — was released to Detroit radio, Gordy had second thoughts and hauled the Miracles out of bed for a 3 a. The smoother, more up-tempo remake connected with national listeners: A No.
Drafted on the spot in the studio, the Contours responded with one of the most rocking entries in the Motown discography. Its famous fake fade-out was the inspiration of studio engineer Sammy Mack, a former member of the first group to release a single on the label, the Satintones. The propulsive dance beat, punctuated by a honking baritone sax, builds to a fiery crescendo. The single, which went to No. The crowd then claps along to his extended harp solo before he returns to the stage, James Brown-style, for an extended encore.
The Grateful Dead even released it as a single in after making the song an unlikely staple of their live shows. The Isley Brothers. Going to a Go-Go. Michael Jackson. With You I'm Born Again.
Billy Preston. Endless Love. Track Listing - Disc 2. My Girl. You Can't Hurry Love. It's the Same Old Song. The Track of My Tears. Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday. Martha Reeves. Eddie Kendricks. What was the first hit for Motown that reached number one on the Billboard Hot chart? Who received the title, "The First Lady of Motown"?
Gladys Horton."It's the Same Old Song" "Your Love Is Amazing" Four Tops Tamla Motown TMG United Kingdom September "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" "Don't Compare Me with Her" Kim Weston: Gordy G United States September "Things Are Changing" "Things Are Changing" The Supremes: Eeoc S14m (Advertising Council promo-only).