Poll: All Time Best Motown Single

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I was listening to Motown 50 - it's like I know all these songs by heart but it just struck me how classic and timeless the best of these singles are. I have my own ideas of the best of the Motown singles - I'm wondering what ILM thinks? Let's get it ON.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Temptations - Papa Was A Rollin' Stone 6
Stevie Wonder - Superstition 5
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Tears Of A Clown 5
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Tracks Of My Tears 4
The Supremes - You Can't Hurry Love 4
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Dancing In The Street 4
Jackson 5 - I Want You Back 4
Four Tops - Reach Out, I’ll Be There 3
Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke 3
Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine 3
The Temptations - My Girl 2
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On 2
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours) 2
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Jimmy Mack 1
Commodores - Easy 1
Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) 1
Jimmy Ruffin - What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted 1
The Supremes - Baby Love 1
Thelma Houston - Don't Leave Me This Way 1
Mary Wells - My Guy 1
Rick James - Super Freak 1
The Supremes - Stop! In The Name Of Love 1
Jackson 5 - ABC 1
Jr. Walker & The All Stars - Shotgun 1
Lionel Richie - All Night Long (All Night) 0
Michael Jackson Got To Be There 0
Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston - It Takes Two 0
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On 0
The Isley Brothers - This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You) 0
Commodores - Brick House 0


John Lennon, Friday, 20 April 2012 14:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Impossible.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 20 April 2012 14:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Of the ones there, Tracks of My Tears. But yes, impossible. And that list only scratches the surface.

Manfred Mann meets Man Parrish (ithappens), Friday, 20 April 2012 14:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

There can be only one.

John Lennon, Friday, 20 April 2012 14:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Between Dancing In The Street, The Tracks Of My Tears, The Tears Of A Clown, You Can't Hurry Love, and I Want You Back, went with Martha. great backing track, epic vocal performance (both lead and backing), evocative lyrics, just an all around great time.

skip, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Supremes and Martha seem the most platonic-ideal Motown to me, yeah. It's amazon to me how a lot of these songs are only 2+ minutes but seem much longer, even though they are exactly the right length.

John Lennon, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

There's an upcoming Motown poll in the rolling email artist/label poll series, so it's too bad we might be getting a spoiler here.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

My favorite Gaye song isn't on the list: "That's The Way Love Is."

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

too many hours having to hear radio stations that play nothing but the above tracks on repeat = I cannot judge these songs objectively and sorta hate them all...except super freak and brick house

iatee, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

SIR DUKE

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just for that bass/horn breakdown, which is like the greatest thing in history, musical or otherwise.

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

   horn break (unison)
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
G||-----------1----|--------4-678---|13--11------------|---------------|
D||-------1----4---|------46--------|---13--1113-119---|11-9--9--------|
A||2-----2-4-4-----|2-456-----------|---------------119|----11---------|
E||--------------24|----------------|------------------|---------------|

| | | | | | | | | | | | | |
G||8----------------|----------------|------1414--1-1-|----------------|
D||--119119--9------|4-4-------------|----14-------4--|414-44----------|
A||--------11-11911-|-6--6464242-----|--24------------|----------------|
E||-----------------|------------4-2-|24--------------|----------------|

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think my favorite Motown singles are "Money (That's What I Want)," "I Promise To Wait My Love," and "Love's Gone Bad"

Off of the list, it was hard, but I went with "Sir Duke"

nicky lo-fi, Friday, 20 April 2012 16:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

Voted Jacksons cos if you ever try to learn the bass lines it will blow your mind. Also the song is the best.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

Mercilessly paring this list down left me with:

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Dancing In The Street
The Supremes - Baby Love
Mary Wells - My Guy
Jr. Walker & The All Stars - Shotgun
Stevie Wonder - Superstition
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke
Thelma Houston - Don't Leave Me This Way

jungleous butterflies strange birds (Eric H.), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

A few I'm tired of, a few I'll never tire of. Probably "Tears of a Clown" from the list, though there are other Motown songs I'd rank ahead of it.

clemenza, Friday, 20 April 2012 16:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

If "You Keep Me Hangin' On" had been on the list, I wouldn't have even had to bother paring down.

jungleous butterflies strange birds (Eric H.), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

Throwing chairs through windows over here at the placement of Dancing in the Street and Jimmy Mack above Nowhere to Run and Heat Wave.

fruitsbs (beachville), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Papa Was a Rolling Stone narrowly over ABC.

heavy is the head that eats the crayons (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Smokey is great of course, for his melodies and lyrics, but his hits don't have the danceability of other stuff on this list.

John Lennon, Friday, 20 April 2012 16:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

eric h otm

hologram ned raggett (The Reverend), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

too many hours having to hear radio stations that play nothing but the above tracks on repeat = I cannot judge these songs objectively and sorta hate them all

yeah this is pretty much how I feel about all pre-Norman Whitfield Motown.

sorry.

heavy is the head that eats the crayons (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 20 April 2012 17:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

I kind of felt the same way, I guess I've been away from them for long enough - sucked down the mp3 black hole for so long - that they sound sort of fresh, but also still familiar. I was also thinking a lot of pre-internet music that got totally burned out on the radio is still filed away in the 'never need to hear that again' category for me.

John Lennon, Friday, 20 April 2012 17:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Papa Was a Rolling Stone

Brad C., Friday, 20 April 2012 22:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

There's an upcoming Motown poll in the rolling email artist/label poll series, so it's too bad we might be getting a spoiler here.

― Johnny Fever, Friday, April 20, 2012 11:20 AM (10 hours ago) Bookmark

seriously, this thread should be locked imo

some dude, Saturday, 21 April 2012 01:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just voted FP

aboulia banks (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 21 April 2012 01:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

"John Lennon" my cock

aboulia banks (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 21 April 2012 01:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Temptations were magical. Dozens of perfect songs.
Gotta go with "My Girl" - reppin for Ruffin.

mr.raffles, Saturday, 21 April 2012 03:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

better poll question = how many of these can you cut before it becomes impossible. mine:

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Dancing In The Street
The Supremes - You Can't Hurry Love
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Tears Of A Clown
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Tracks Of My Tears
Commodores - Easy
Four Tops - Reach Out, I’ll Be There
Jimmy Ruffin - What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke

JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Saturday, 21 April 2012 05:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Almost all of these are classics. Went for What's Going on just ahead of Easy but some of my favourites are not listed.

These would be my top five Motown singles.

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons-The Night
Commodores-The Zoo (The Human Zoo)
The Four Tops-Seven Rooms Of Gloom
Marvin Gaye-One More Heartache
The Marvelettes-The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game

Kitchen Person, Saturday, 21 April 2012 10:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

This is i]very difficult because there are so many strong songs. I still feel that "Reach Out I'll Be There" represents the pinnacle of what classic Motown was about, so it has to be that one.

There are Stevie Wonder album track ballads from the 70s that I like even better, but they are not included here anyway, so....

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Saturday, 21 April 2012 10:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

There's an upcoming Motown poll in the rolling email artist/label poll series, so it's too bad we might be getting a spoiler here.

― Johnny Fever, Friday, April 20, 2012 11:20 AM (10 hours ago) Bookmark

seriously, this thread should be locked imo

― some dude, 2012. travanj 21 03:50 (13 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

gospodin simmel, Saturday, 21 April 2012 15:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

What is this rolling email artist label poll series? I posted this thread on the main board first
Maybe we should cancel the 'upcoming motown poll' that you speak of. Why don't we also cancel every time makes a nestles stones or rap thread too, because somebody else was planning to make a similar poll later in another thread? That seems petty, guys.

John Lennon, Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh jeez are you serious.

John Lennon, Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's not a big deal, dude. if you wanna honor other posters' preferences and tell the mods to lock your thread you might win a popularity contest, when we go through the proper channels to schedule a 'most popular posters' poll, maybe not, it's up to you.

some dude, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just voted FP

― aboulia banks (Noodle Vague), Friday, April 20, 2012 8:52 PM (Yesterday)

On 2nd thought, NV otm.

improvised explosive advice (WmC), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ok mods please close.

John Lennon, Saturday, 21 April 2012 20:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

If "You Keep Me Hangin' On" had been on the list, I wouldn't have even had to bother paring down.

― jungleous butterflies strange birds (Eric H.), Friday, April 20, 2012 9:42 AM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this. nearly impossible decision but went with I Want You Back

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 20:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Cmon, we're gonna lock this poll because of a poll scheduled for 5 months from now???

Godzilla vs. Rodan Rodannadanna (The Yellow Kid), Saturday, 21 April 2012 21:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

Closer to a year, probably. I don't have any problem with this poll, ftr -- I don't think it will lessen the campaigning/debate/general fun of the ballot poll.

improvised explosive advice (WmC), Saturday, 21 April 2012 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh man that Motown poll's gonna be awesome

This one seems kinda dumb, just bcz this seems like the rong 50 (Two Lionel Richie songs but no Money or Shop Around or Where Did Our Love Go or Keep Me Hangin On? Fuuuuck yooooou) but this is like an actual official list innit, and my gut response has no bearing on whatever it measures or something.

Anyways, right now I'm thinking Jimmy Mack vs Stop in the Name of Love tho there's probably stuff on this list I like more than either

when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Saturday, 21 April 2012 22:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

of these, "Grapevine."

crüt, Sunday, 22 April 2012 16:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

Truly impossible. Ended up picking 'Easy' by the Commodores - always loved it. Would have liked to have voted 'Behind a Painted Smile' if it had been an option

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

Oh man that Motown poll's gonna be awesome

This one seems kinda dumb, just bcz this seems like the rong 50 (Two Lionel Richie songs but no Money or Shop Around or Where Did Our Love Go or Keep Me Hangin On? Fuuuuck yooooou) but this is like an actual official list innit, and my gut response has no bearing on whatever it measures or something.

Anyways, right now I'm thinking Jimmy Mack vs Stop in the Name of Love tho there's probably stuff on this list I like more than either

― when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Saturday, April 21, 2012 5:19 PM (1 week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

*rolls eyes*

Right... this thread is dumb because I have Jimmy Mack but not Stop in the name of love. But that other poll will be awesome because, what - they will have Keep me hanging on? Someone else will just think, oh great - where's Jimmy Mack? Or needs more Commodores. You can't please everyone.

John Lennon, Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:52 (1 year ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

So do we count Superstition/Tears of a Clown as a split Stevie vote or go with Tracks of My Tears/Tears of a Clown as a split Smokey vote? I need to know who was robbed.

Popture, Monday, 30 April 2012 01:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

The Isley Brothers - This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You) 0

That's who was robbed.

Mr. Snrub, Monday, 30 April 2012 01:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

otm

timellison, Monday, 30 April 2012 01:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

John Lennon purchase one clue

albert rotman (loves laboured breathing), Monday, 30 April 2012 01:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

58 votes in this one...a number to shoot for when the ballot poll comes around.

improvised explosive advice (WmC), Monday, 30 April 2012 01:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol totally didn't expect the one I voted for to win

Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 30 April 2012 16:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

glad to see a big turnout, my poll is gonna be awesome when we do it properly.

Thoughts? You must have loads. (a hoy hoy), Monday, 30 April 2012 16:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

Really excited about the Motown poll, a hoy hoy. Have you thought about how large it will be?

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Monday, 30 April 2012 16:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah, looking forward to the proper poll. My No. 1 isn't on this list anyway

Number None, Monday, 30 April 2012 16:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

i think 100 will be justified considering how many people voted herre. maybe 150 if i do big ballots?

Thoughts? You must have loads. (a hoy hoy), Monday, 30 April 2012 16:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

nah 100 tops

some dude, Monday, 30 April 2012 16:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

that poll won't be until over a year from now, and in that one people get to vote for more than one song and there are more than 50 options to choose from.

billstevejim, Monday, 30 April 2012 16:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol, I didn't realize the poll was that far out! I've been putting stuff on reserve at local libraries, scrambling to get my hands on retrospectives and compilations and things.

frogsclovetofu (beachville), Monday, 30 April 2012 17:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

I've been feeling "My World Is Empty Without You" lately.

billstevejim, Monday, 30 April 2012 17:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

Love that one. It's got an unusually bleak vibe for a Supremes song

Number None, Monday, 30 April 2012 17:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

def go for 100. this thread has been great for getting me pumped up for it...

albert rotman (loves laboured breathing), Monday, 30 April 2012 18:06 (1 year ago) Permalink

Motown poll is going to be so epic.

jungleous butterflies strange birds (Eric H.), Monday, 30 April 2012 18:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

a hoy hoy, can you plan your vacation time around the reveal? kthx

improvised explosive advice (WmC), Monday, 30 April 2012 18:32 (1 year ago) Permalink


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