Motown turns 50

Motown turns 50

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Motown, the CBC has listed 13 of the legenary Detroit record label’s most memorable songs.  Among the hits on their list are:


Money (That’s What I Want) by Barret Strong

Stop! In The Name Of Love by The Supremes

The Tracks Of My Tears by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

I Want You Back by The Jackson 5

Warr by Edwin Starr

What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone by The Temptations

Superstition by Stevie Wonder

Brick House by the Commodores

I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross

All classics for sure.   Although the Marvin Gaye track is my favourite on the list, there’s no denying the massive influence the rest of these tunes have had.  The scene from Platoon in which the main characters sing “The Tracks Of My Tears” is maybe the best part of that film (I did my best to find a clip but couldn’t come up with anything).  Many of the tracks have also been sampled to great effect, the most obvious example perhaps being Notorious B.I.G.’s use of “I’m Coming Out” on “Mo Money Mo Problems,” which, coincedentally, was turned into one of the best music videos ever (no joke):

The best part about this story, though, is that despite its age, Motown continues to produce good music.  With artists like India.Arie, Erykah Badu, Damian and Stephen Marley and Q-Tip on its roster, there’s no denying the label will remain an important force in American popular music for years to come.

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