Gladys Knight's 6 best songs ever

20 October 2017, 15:46

Gladys Knight 2017

Gladys Knight is known as the ‘Empress of Soul’, and for good reason.

She is a four-time Grammy Award-winner, and is best known for the songs she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s and beyond, both as a solo artist and with her group Gladys Knight and the Pips.

To celebrate Gladys' amazing career, we've picked just a handful of her very best...

1. 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' (1967)

 

Originally recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles in 1966, that version was rejected by Motown owner Berry Gordy, who told writers Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong to make it stronger.

After recording the song with Marvin Gaye in 1967, which Gordy also rejected, Whitfield produced a version with Gladys Knight & the Pips, which Gordy agreed to release as a single in September 1967. However, Marvin went on to release the most famous version on his own.

2. 'Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)' (1973)

Released in 1973 from the album Neither One of Us, this song spent four weeks at number one on the US Soul Singles chart. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and was one of the group's last hits with Motown before leaving for Buddah Records.

It also won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, so a huge success all round!

3. 'Love Overboard' (1987)

 

This was a Grammy Award-winning single, and was the first Top 40 hit for Gladys' group in over a decade, and also their final Pop Top 40 release.

4. 'Licence to Kill' (1989)

Former Motown singer Gladys was selected to sing the theme tune to Timothy Dalton’s second and final James Bond movie of the same name.

Vic Flick, who had played lead guitar on Monty Norman’s original 007 theme, and Eric Clapton were asked to write and perform the theme song, and they produced a theme to match Dalton’s performance, but the producers turned it down.

5. 'Midnight Train To Georgia' (1973)

This was a number one hit single for Gladys Knight & the Pips, and won them the 1974 Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus.

It has since become Knight's signature song, and gave her one of her biggest hits in the UK.

6. 'Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me' (1974)

Gladys Knight & The Pips’ cover of Ray Price's song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot Soul Singles for two weeks.

It was later certified gold by the RIAA for sales of one million copies, and reached the top 10 in the UK. And it's a soul classic!