I was recently booked to play a Motown and Soul night in Cheshire. I jumped at the chance to spend a whole evening playing these wonderful records and lots of thought and preparation went in to the evening. I thought I’d share with you five of my Motown favourites in no particular order.
The Supremes: Stoned Love
Often mistook as an ode to drug taking this track was actually recorded as “Stone Love” but thousands of copies were distributed before the typo was noticed. This was the Supremes’ biggest post Diana Ross hit and it was co-written by my next choice Frank Wilson.
Frank Wilson: Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
Wilson’s only Motown single before he decided he didn’t want the limelight and moved in to songwriting. Just 250 copies were pressed, only 2 of which are thought to exist today. The track only came to prominence after it was played at Blackpool and Wigan’s legendary Northern Soul clubs.
The Temptations: I Can’t Get Next To You
Probably overlooked here for bigger Temptations UK hits but that amazing intro and funky percussive backing ensures that it keeps the floor full during my Motown sets.
The Spinners: It’s a Shame
Or the “Detroit Spinners” as they’re known in the UK. This track was co-written and produced by a prodigal 19 year old called Stevie Wonder. One of my top ten records of all time.
Stevie Wonder: Living For The City
Talking of Stevie, here’s my last one. A 7 minute long track tackling race and poverty may not sound like the recipe for a floor filler but that’s the genius of Stevie Wonder. It features field recordings of city soundscapes and Moog Synthesizers, pure heaven!