The Best Motown Music Songs

Martha & The Vandellas

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)

Written and produced by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, ‘My Girl’ was the Temptations' first American number one single and to this day, remains their signature song. 

I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye (1967)

‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966 but was made famous by Marvin Gaye in 1968.

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. 

Reach Out, I'll Be There - Four Tops (1966)

Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland-Dozier-Holland, this is one of the most well-known Motown tunes of the 1960s.

Baby Love - The Supremes (1964) 

Written and produced by Motown's Holland-Dozier-Holland, ‘Baby Love’ reached the Billboard pop singles chart and in the UK pop chart at the same time.