The Best Motown Music Songs
We celebrate some of the best songs to come out of Motown Records.
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted - Jimmy Ruffin (1966)
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted was released by Jimmy Ruffin in 1966. It remains one of the most-popular Motown's hits ever.
What’s Going On - Marvin Gaye (1971)
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1967)
Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was written by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson in 1966 for the Tamla Motown label. The original version from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, became a hit again in 1970 when recorded by Diana Ross.
My Girl - The Temptations (1967)
I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye (1967)
Originally recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles in 1966, that version was rejected by Berry Gordy, who owned Motown Records. He went on to reject Gaye’s 1967 version too and it fell to Gladys Knight & The Pips to release their version in 1967. Gaye's version, however, was released in 1968 and topped the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks.
The Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (1967)
‘The Tears of a Clown’ was originally released on the 1967 album Make It Happen. It was re-released in the UK in 1970, where it became a number one hit. The song’s success caused Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, who had announced plans to leave the act, to stay until 1972.
Dancing in the Street - Martha and the Vandellas (1964)
The original version of ‘Dancing in the Street’ was recorded in 1964 by Martha and the Vandellas. It is one of Motown's signature songs - and is certainly Martha and the Vandellas’ most well-known song.
This Old Heart Of Mine - The Isley Brothers (1966)
‘This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)’ was released in 1966 after The Isley Brothers’ brief time at Motown's Tamla label.