The 100 Greatest Motown Tracks by Mojo Magazine – Motown’s 50th Anniversary

mojo-motownTo mark our first Anniversary, we pay tribute to the label that, probably above all others, was crucial in putting black music and black superstars on the world stage – forever.  So, the idea is to reproduce a recent survey of The 100 Greatest Tracks on Motown as voted by various artists and presented by Mojo Magazine on February 2009 issue, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Motown(see here).  Our intention is to provide a musical catalogue in batches of 20 every other day spread over the coming weeks, and working up to that all-important number 1.

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There will be memories, there will cries of disbelief, there will be omissions from your knowledge base, there will be more cries of disbelief – but we sincerely hope this exercise will entertain, educate, anger and amuse you with some of the finest music ever to grace the human ear.

THE 100 GREATEST MOTOWN TRACKS:

Honouring Motown’s golden birthday celebrations in style, MOJO chronicles the Detroit hit factory’s remarkable history with a rundown of their 100 greatest tracks chosen by the likes of Iggy Pop, Mavis Staples, Mark E Smith, Kim Weston, MC5, Mary Wilson (The Supremes), Gnarls Barkley, The Clash, Martha Reeves, Paul Weller, Lamont Dozier, Brian & Eddie Holland, Smokey Robinson and many more, but above all Berry Gordy Jr.

Here is the whole Motown Story including, the Beginning, The Motown Sound, The Subsidiary Labels, The Artists, the List of Motown No. 1 singles in the United States and many more.

Mojo, also presented the Top ten Motown albums here and finally check Motown’s greatest clips here.

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01. Martha And The Vandellas - 1964 - Dancing In The Street
02. Marvin Gaye - 1971 – What’s Going On
03. Four Tops – 1966 – Reach Out I’ll Be There
04. The Temptations - 1972 - Papa Was A Rolling Stone
05. Stevie Wonder – 1972 –  Superstition
06.  Barrett Strong - 1959 -  Money (That’s What I Want)
07. The Miracles – 1965 - The Tracks Of My Tears
08. Marvin  Gaye - 1968 – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
09. Jimmy Ruffin – 1966 - What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
10. The Supremes – 1965 - Stop! In The Name Of Love

11. Edwin Starr - 1970 - War
12. Brenda Holloway - 1964 – Every Little Bit Hurts
13. The Marvelettes – 1967 - The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game
14. The Supremes – 1966 - You Keep Me Hanging On
15. The Contours – 1962 - Do You Love Me
16. The Temptations - 1964 - My Girl
17. The Miracles - 1960 - Shop Around
18. The Temptations – 1966 - Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
19. Four Tops – 1967 – Bernadette
20. The Temptations – 1967 -  I Wish It Would Rain

Download link 1-20

EasyBytez
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Here’s the 4th batch of tracks : 21 to 40

21. Smokey Robinson and The Miracles  - 1962 - You Really Got A Hold On Me
22. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - 1967 - Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
23. The Jackson 5 – 1969 -  I Want You Back
24. Stevie Wonder – 1973 – Living For The City
25. The Temptations - 1969 - I Can’t Get Next To You
26. Gladys Knight and The Pips – 1969 – Didn’t You Know You’d Have To Cry Sometime
27. The Supremes - 1967 –  You Can’t Hurry Love
28. The Four Tops – 1966 -  Standing In The Shadows Of Love
29. Marvin Gaye - 1971 - Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
30. Marvelettes - 1961 – Please Mr. Postman

31. Stevie Wonder - 1967 - I Was Made to Love Her
32. Marvin Gaye - 1973 -  Let’s Get It On
33. The Temptations – 1971 – Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
34. Eddie Holland – 1963 - Leaving Here
35. The Isley Brothers - 1966 - This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)
36. Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston - 1966 - It Takes Two
37. Stevie Wonder - 1965 - Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
38. The Miracles - 1965 – Ooh Baby Baby
39. Martha And The Vandellas - 1963 - (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave
40. Marvin Gaye  – 1971 - Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Download link 21-40

EasyBytez

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Here’s the 3nd batch of tracks : 41 to 60

41. Martha & The Vandellas  - 1963 - Come And Get These Memories
42. The Temptations – 1968 - Cloud Nine
43. The Four Tops – 1964 - Baby I Need Your Loving
44. Stevie Wonder - 1970 - Signed, Sealed, delivered, I’m yours
45. The Temptations - 1970 -  Ball of Confusion
46. Marvin Gaye – 1964 – Baby Don’t You Do It
47. The Four Tops - 1965 -  I Can’t Help My Self
48. Mary Wells - 1964 - My Guy
49. The Jackson 5 - 1970 –  ABC
50. Martha  & The Vandellas - 1965 – Nowhere To Run

51. Jr. Walker and The All Stars - 1966 - (I’m A) Road Runner
52. The Supremes - 1964 - Baby Love
53. The Miracles - 1965 -  (Come Round Here) I’m The One You Need
54. David Ruffin - 1969 - My Whole World Ended
55. The Temptations – 1964 – The Way You Do the Things You Do
56. Stevie Wonder – 1973 – Higher Ground
57. Smokie Robinson & The Miracles – 1967 – I Second That Emotion
58. Rick James – 1981 - Superfreak
59. The Miracles - 1965 - Going To A Go-Go
60. Diana Ross – 1973 - Touch Me In The Morning

Download link 41-60

EasyBytez

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Here is the 2nd batch of tracks : 61 to 80

61. The Supremes - 1970 – Stoned Love
62.  Stevie Wonder – 1977 -  Sir Duke
63. Marvin Gaye - 1976 –  I Want You
64. Diana Ross – 1976 -  Love Hangover
65. Marvin Gaye - 1962 - Hitch Hike
66. David Ruffin – 1975 - Walk Away From Love
67. Smokey Robinson and The Miracles - 1967 -  Tears Of A Clown
68. The Marvelettes – 1964 - Too Many Fish In The Sea

69. The Jackson 5 – 1970 - 2-4-6-8
70. Stevie Wonder – 1970 -  You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

71. The Velvelettes -1964 – He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’
72. The Temptations – 1972 – Take A Look Around
73. Marvin gaye - 1972 -  Trouble Man
74. Stevie Wonder – 1973 – Too High
75. Edwin Starr – 1969 - Twenty-Five Miles
76. The Undisputed Truth – 1971 – Smiling Faces Sometimes
77. Gladys Knight & The Pips – 1969 –  Friendship Train
78. The Spinners - 1970 - It’s A Shame
79. The Monitors –  1966 - Number One In Your Heart
80. Little Stevie Wonder – 1963 – Fingertips Pts. 1 & 2

Download link 61-80

EasyBytez

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Enjoy, the 1st batch of tracks: 81 to 100.

81. The Velvelettes - 1964 –  Needle In A Haystack
82.
Marvin Gaye - 1964 - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
83. Mable John – 1961 – Actions Speak Louder Than Words
84. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – 1968 – I’ll Never Stop Loving You Baby
85. Chris Clark – 1967 – I Want To Go Back There Again
86. Jr. Walker & The All Stars – 1965 – Shotgun
87. Marv Johnson – 1959 - Come To Me
88. Franki Valli & The Four Seasons - 1972 - The Night
89. The Elgins - 1966 – Heaven Must Have Sent You
90. Marvin Gaye - 1969 - Gonna Give Her All The Love I’ve got

91.  Kim Weston – 1966 – Helpless
92. Eddie kendricks – 1973 - Keep On Truckin’ (part 1)
93. Diana Ross – 1980 –  Upside Down
94. Stevie Wonder – 1981 – Happy Birthday
95. R Dean Taylor – 1967 – There’s A Ghost In My House
96. Frank Wilson – 1965 – Do I Love You
97. Thelma Houston – 1976 –  Don’t Leave Me this way
98. Singin’ Sammy Ward – 1960 – who’s the fool
99. Lionel Richie – 1983 – All Night Long (All Night)
100. Rockwell & Michael Jackson - 1984 – Somebody’s Watching Me

Download link 81- 100

EasyBytez

We encourage you to provide comments of what Motown means to you – your favourite artists, what you think of Berry Gordy, what songs are especially important to you, the artists that lost out, or whether the whole Motown machine is an over-hyped balloon.  And our favourite story will get an exclusive ride back in time to meet all the stars in their hey day courtesy of my Time Machine that should be ready in a fortnight.  Now where did I put that elastic band ?

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Comments

  1. bowlisha1 says:

    Very interesting first part. I’ll admit I have not listened to any of the tracks yet so I’m going from straight memory.

    I hope The Mighty Temps and The Miracles are going somewhere at the top of this list. Those are my favorite Motown artist I don’t care how many more come and go.

    I was young America during the hey day of Motown. This music was and still is the music of my life. When I hear these songs I’m instantly transported back in time. I remember where I was, who I was with and what I was doing or was not supposed to be doing. ;-)

    There’s a couple of songs in this group that make me scratch my head. Then again it’s my head and everybody’s got their differences but Rockwell? LOL. I’m sorry can’t help it. It’s how I feel. Don’t get me wrong. I like the song but I just don’t see it as top all time 100 greatest.

    Ok those with different opinions may now take me to task. :-)

    Thanks Nikos. Very very nice.

  2. Lafayette says:

    Hehehe…that’s an impossible task – picking a favourite Motown artist! I have e new one like on a daily basis, depending on stuff like mood, weather, whereabouts etc etc. Right now it could be Eddie Kendricks, because I listened to him on my way to work in heavy rain…but still, just thinking about the Motown output made me change my mind…eh, early Stevie?! You see….impossible! Great post, but impossible question! Suddenly I feel like Jermaine Jackson! :¬)

  3. Romanos says:

    Excellent idea nikos! I expect my favorite Motown track “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” to be in top 5. It’s a very big record. The Temps are the best black group ever.

  4. haroon says:

    My mom turned me onto Motown when she gave me all of her 45s and LPs.

    But when I grew up and found Stax, I couldn’t look back.

  5. Anastasis says:

    Still remember myself dancing with Thelma’s ‘Don’t leave me this way’ and Diana’s ‘Upside down’. Classic songs and Artists. Especially Diana Ross. i am sure there are a lot of Supremes’ songs close to the top of the list.

  6. senor pocopico says:

    Can’t wait for the rest. I started backwards on, so Rockwell was a litlle akward, but hey, we’re talking about a company that printed a Bruce Willis LP at the very end(he he)As for my favourites are way sooo cliche-but i dont care :) – Marvin Gaye and the GREAT Litlle Stevie Wander. And I have a soft spot for Rare Earth, the first whities to cut for Hitsville. Right on Nick!

  7. Flame says:

    Well, The Elgins “Heaven Must Have Sent You” is a pleasant surprise on this first part. Rockwell and Lionel Richie are the 80’s Motown sound. Not Bad at all. Yes Marvin and Stevie are so hugh artists. I wonder about Undisputed Truth(Smiling Faces Sometimes) and Edwin Star(War),two of my favourite motown songs.

  8. derek says:

    Everything’s blocked! Shit, are they messing with you?

  9. Bobby Fever says:

    Bummer… looks like the man is getting wise…

    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/26/208246&from=rss

    Fsssh… I’ll make ‘em a deal… reissue these records with the original art @ 300dpi and audio @ 320 and I WILL BUY THEM…

  10. nikos1109 says:

    The link will be available in the next hour.

  11. oksikemia says:

    well motown has been the second best record company (after stax)! i am maybe exaggerating… keep up the very good job!

  12. Marcha says:

    Motown was the label that introduced me to soul. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, all that “ettes” groups, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Temptations, The Four Tops… That was a heaven for a guy that was starting to discover the soul world. I Thank motown and all the artists that recorded on it for my love for soul music. Most of these tracks i have (i think 85% of it), but i will download it to make my days easier when i want to listen to some good old motown stuff. Thanks for this Nikos

  13. Soul is the Music says:

    That “Undisputed Truth” video blew my mind. Fantastic live version. Like the name of the group, this song is an undeniable monster of a record.

    Motown and Norman Whitfield was known for recording dramatically different versions of the same song with different Motown artists, including Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” ( hit records for Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Marvin Gaye) and
    The Temptations’ “War” (re-recorded as a hit for Edwin Starr). After Kendricks left The Temptations, an undaunted Whitfield re-recorded the song with his latest protégés, psychedelic trio Undisputed Truth.

  14. invisiblenigma says:

    Much Thanks Nikos for this very unique post!! I can’t wait to hear these tracks. Some I remember well. Some Look unfamiliar. Great Video as well!! Peace

  15. Gea says:

    Wonderful post nikos! i love Motown. I thought Marvin’s “i want you” would be higher. Such a fantastic song.

  16. Michael says:

    Thank you so much. I love this blog, but the latest Motown Post is incredible. I had read the article and was about to search out some of
    the obscure songs I did not have. I appreciate your hard word.

    michael

  17. Brunols says:

    Hi, this blog expose the best funk there is.Thanks for providing it.
    A have a doubt, is it possible to download the first part of the compilation, 1-60?
    I didn’t find the link!
    Thanks

  18. nikos1109 says:

    Brunols, we’ve posted 2 parts till now. Songs 61 to 100. Every two days
    i post 20 songs. Tomorrow comes the next batch of songs (41 -60).Stay tuned!

  19. hooch says:

    My best motown moment was holding Frank Wilsons – Do I love you in my hand, when Russ Winstanley the wigan casino dj had a copy.
    I honestly felt like jumping off the stage and running like a bastard out the exit.
    Wish i had now lol

  20. Jake says:

    if only music nowadays were this good. Great oblation. Tempations & Four Tops are my best Motown artists.

  21. Anonymous says:

    After reading this issue of Mojo, I started putting the top 100 together but ended up going off on a tangent. Gotta love that quote by Axelrod on the Four Tops haha. The number 1 could of gone to anyone though.

    Thanks for all your effort with the blog, I’m a big fan. C

  22. Hector says:

    Thanks a lot for this one (As always).

  23. Danny says:

    ‘Nothing u can say can tear me away from my guy’ oh! Mary Wells, a monster hit in 1964. Great feat considering the pop radio stations in the US were dominated by the British Invasion of the time. Very touching, even today. Sweet and pure. This is a Smokey Robinson joint…..

  24. Pierre says:

    Man, amazing post. Happy anniversary. Nothing like the Temps……no matter how many times they had different members. Their sound was unique and never will be duplicated. I consider them not only Motown’s best group but as the best black group ever. They knew to re-adapt themselves as band as any other soul ensemble with three master-songs , “Papa was a rolling Stone”, “Psychedelic shack” and “Ball of confusion.”

  25. Outerpsych says:

    Amazing post, yeah !
    Thanx so much for it
    And happy birthday for your blog !

    Outerpsych

  26. Yiannis says:

    Wonderful post! Marvin & Stevie, Temptations and Four Tops, Diana with Supremes and Martha with Vandellas. Gladys, Tammi, Kim and Thelma. Smokey with his Miracles and the Marvelettes. The story of our lives. Amazing!!!!

  27. R.S. says:

    Congrats for the excellent work on this post and for one year of happiness and education you gave us. R.S. Barcelona

  28. Trakbuv says:

    Motown – where would we be without it and its stars ? My first acquaintance was a friend selling me 2 singles from ‘Innervisions’, prompting me to rush out and buy ‘Don’t worry ’bout a thing’ which was just in the charts. I then bought a Pickwick LP of Stevie’s called ‘Uptight’ from the local grocery store, my first 12″ black pot of gold – I’d stare at it for hours !! And my first ever stereo (as opposed to mono) experience was buying ‘Innervisions’ on cassette. So no Motown would mean goodbye to many of my first musical adventures. Furthermore, Stevie made sure he never lost his crown from that moment on – bliss !! My second and third musicasettes were ‘Dancing Machine’ and ‘Quiet storm’, both of which are also amazing stereo extravaganzas, yielding ‘Visions’, ‘I am love’ and ‘Quiet storm’ as 3 of the most perfect songs to grace two ears (with headphones !!).

    So, I was a late-comer to the Motown machine, and although I do have favourites from the golden tamborine-bashing era (‘Baby, I’m for real’ and Smokey’s ‘Flower girl’ being two of them for sure), my heart lies more with the renaissance era where the stars started to find their own feet, the blue label and those annoying double LPs with side 1 and 4 on the same disk. For me, the emerging real talent within the Motown machinery blew me sideways – Lamont Dozier, Leon Ware, Willie Hutch, Johnny Bristol et al, with fabulous new acts like Syreeta, Tata Vega, Teena Marie, DeBarge & Switch. And acts like the Four Tops & Gladys went on to bigger and better things outside the confines of the label.

    All this coupled with the fact that Motown compilations are still doing huge business, it’s still hard to grasp the full impact of Berry’s dream.

    Dimension shattering !!

  29. Mona Street says:

    As a reglar reader of Mojo and listener to Mowtown, boy was I glad that I already had your blog in my list at mine as maybe otherwise I might have missed this wonderful post…
    A really BIG thank you to all for this!
    Regards/

  30. Mona Street says:

    I forgot to wish you all a happy birthday!
    I have a link to this post at my blog. I trust that this is not a problem?
    Regards/

  31. jean paris says:

    a medic

  32. Mona Street says:

    There is just one little problem guys. No’s 46 & 48 in your download are both ‘My Guy’ by Mary Wells, although one of the tracks is corrupted. There is NO ‘Baby Don’t You Do It’ by Marvin Gaye! Sorry to be the bringer of a little bit of bad news.
    Regards/

  33. nikos1109 says:

    Mona Street, thanks for your help. There’s a new link (41-60)now including 46. Marvin Gaye “Baby Don’t You Do It”. For those who had already downloaded and miss the song here it is : http://rapidshare.com/files/233562577/46._Marvin_Gaye_-_1964_-__Baby_Don_t_You_Do_It.rar

  34. Mona Street says:

    Thanx guys…I had added MG to my 100 but I only had a crappy bitrate, so I am indebted!
    Regards/

  35. Mary G. Robinson says:

    Who would have thought back in ’59, when Barrett Strong sang “Money (That’s What I Want)”, that Hitsville U.S.A., our beloved Motown, would become one of the most renowned, groundbreaking record labels in modern music history – and that we would be celebrating with great affection its 50th Anniversary in 2009. Incredible team of staff writers, producers and studio musicians and ofcourse the amazing galaxy of artists! Motown was, and still is, The Sound of Young America.

  36. ahawk says:

    Incredible post, many thanks Nikos and Happy Anniversary!!!

  37. Antreas says:

    Can you imagine the musical landscape without the songs such as “My Girl”, “The Tracks of My Tears”, “You Are The Sunshine of My Life” and “What’s Going On” to name a few? or without Marvin, Stevie, Temptations, Four Tops, Diana Ross and the Supremes and the rest of the stars? NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanx nikos. Excellent post, happy anniversary!

  38. Ray says:

    Many thanks for these excellent tunes

  39. Giannis says:

    geia sou Niko to blog sou G-A-M-A-E-I !!!!..mipws xereis ti apegine to What Da Funk blog tou Mr. Moo?

  40. aaron says:

    Amazing post. Bravo!

  41. Rob says:

    Great list! I see that very music magazine has his own list of the best 100 Motown songs. Differs very much with the list of muziekkrant Oor.

  42. Jack Flash says:

    There will never be a list that will satisfy everyone. This list is pretty good though. My fav artist is ‘The Temptations’. Always have been, always will be. All the Motown songs on this list have a special meaning to me. I’m ‘Ol School, most young folks don’t know how to associate good times with music like this.
    Nikos, this is your Best post to date, keep it up, and thanks for the memories.

  43. asdf says:

    THANK YOU SOO MUCH

  44. Geewiz says:

    This is just too cool!!!!

  45. Rob says:

    This issue and CD kept me going through many wet winter drives on my work route travelling from location to location. I’d stop for a coffee and read it but I rationed the reading of it to cover only 5 or 6 tracks at a time so as i could really focus on the info and then get on the internet to listen to those tracks if i didnt already have them. Motown has influenced soooo many lifes in soooo many good ways. Rob

  46. Matt says:

    sad… last link (Download link 81- 100) is dead =(
    [The file could not be found. Please check the download link.], check it please!! =)
    Matt Anikes

  47. sonic eric says:

    Motown is one of the reasons why, us Europeans, are so envious of you, American People. Motown, the greatest record label ever. Personnal favorite artist, Marvin Gaye! Favorite single, Reach out I’ll be there (The Four Tops)

  48. seb66 says:

    1000 thx for re up !!!!

  49. mister no says:

    Motown means GREAT MUSIC for me! Personally I prefer Motown in the 70s, a decade with less dictator style control from Gordy, more single artist driven, with Marvin, Stevie, The Commodores, Gladys Knight and the Jackson 5. I love Motown but my idea of soul is more Stax/Volt/Hi Records oriented, I personally prefer a raw ”blood & guts” way to rhythm and blue, by the way it’s just my two cent. Love your blog, it keeps the faith in soul music!!! Greetings from Italy, the country where soul is not loved so much (even if we had some great blue eyed soul singers like Lucio Battisti, or Mina… nemo propheta in patria, as the Romans said.

  50. SCOTT says:

    THANK YOU FOR ALL THE MUSIC.

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