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Monday, January 12, 2015

The Top 100 Motown Songs

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First posted 1/14/2012; updated 1/12/2015.

On January 12, 1959, Berry Gordy launched Tamla Records after borrowing $800 from his relatives. The label evolved into Motown. In celebration of the historic event, the DMDB presents this list of the top 100 songs in the history of Motown. The list was generated by looking at song’s status in Dave’s Music Database, which is determined by rankings on best-of lists, awards, chart appearances, sales, and airplay. Appearances on Motown specific lists and CD compilations is figured into the mix as well. Here are the results:

1. Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)
2. Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” (1971)
3. Stevie Wonder “Superstition” (1972)
4. The Temptations “My Girl” (1964)
5. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love” (1981)
6. Martha & the Vandellas “Dancing in the Street” (1964)
7. Four Tops “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)
8. The Miracles “The Tracks of My Tears” (1965)
9. The Jackson 5 “I Want You Back” (1969)
10. Boyz II Men “I’ll Make Love to You” (1994)

11. Boyz II Men “End of the Road” (1992)
12. Stevie Wonder “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (1984)
13. Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” (1973)
14. The Jackson 5 “I’ll Be There” (1970)
15. The Supremes “Stop! In the Name of Love” (1965)
16. The Temptations “Just My Imagination Running Away with Me” (1971)
17. The Temptations “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” (1972)
18. The Commodores “Three Times a Lady” (1978)
19. The Supremes “You Can’t Hurry Love” (1966)
20. Stevie Wonder “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (1973)

21. The Supremes “Baby Love” (1964)
22. The Supremes “Where Did Our Love Go” (1964)
23. Four Tops “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” (1965)
24. The Miracles “The Tears of a Clown” (1970)
25. Lionel Richie “Hello” (1984)
26. Martha & the Vandellas “Heat Wave” (1963)
27. Diana Ross “Upside Down” (1980)
28. Lionel Richie “All Night Long (All Night)” (1983)
29. Four Topss “Baby I Need Your Loving” (1964)
30. Mary Wells “My Guy” (1964)

31. Lionel Richie “Say You, Say Me” (1985)
32. Edwin Starr “War” (1970)
33. The Temptations “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (1966)
34. Diana Ross “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1970)
35. The Marvelettes “Please Mr. Postman” (1961)
36. The Jackson 5 “ABC” (1970)
37. Marvin Gaye “How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You” (1964)
38. The Supremes “Someday We’ll Be Together” (1969)
39. Rick James “Super Freak” (1981)
40. Little Stevie Wonder “Fingertips (Part 2)” (1963)

41. Stevie Wonder “My Cherie Amour” (1969)
42. Stevie Wonder “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” (1965)
43. Boyz II Men “On Bended Knee” (1994)
44. Stevie Wonder “Living for the City” (1973)
45. The Supremes “Love Child” (1968)
46. Stevie Wonder “For Once in My Life” (1968)
47. The Miracles “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” (1962)
48. Stevie Wonder “Higher Ground” (1973)
49. The Temptations “I Can’t Get Next to You” (1969)
50. The Temptations “Ball of Confusion” (1970)

51. Junior Walker & the All Stars “Shotgun” (1965)
52. The Supremes “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” 1966)
53. The Contours “Do You Love Me” (1962)
54. Martha & the Vandellas “Nowhere to Run” (1965)
55. The Miracles “Shop Around” (1960)
56. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967)
57. Jimmy Ruffin “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” (1966)
58. Gladys Knight & the Pips “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1967)
59. Lionel Richie “Truly” (1982)
60. The Supremes “I Hear a Symphony” (1965)

61. Smokey Robinson “Being with You” (1981)
62. Stevie Wonder “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” (1970)
63. Diana Ross “Love Hangover” (1976)
64. Diana Ross “Touch Me in the Morning” (1973)
65. Marvin Gaye “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology Song)” (1971)
66. Thelma Houston “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (1976)
67. The Temptations “The Way You Do the Things You Do” (1964)
68. The Supremes with The Temptations “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” (1968)
69. The Isley Brothers “This Old Heart of Mine” (1966)
70. The Supremes “Come See about Me” (1964)

71. The Commodores “Brick House” (1977)
72. Eddie Kendricks “Keep on Truckin’ (Part 1)” (1973)
73. Steve Wonder “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” (1980)
74. Four Tops “Standing in the Shadows of Love” (1966)
75. Diana Ross “Do You Know Where You’re Going To (Theme from Mahogany)” (1975)
76. The Commodores “Still” (1979)
77. Four Tops “Bernadette” (1967)
78. The Supremes “Back in My Arms Again” (1965)
79. Stevie Wonder “Sir Duke” (1977)
80. Michael Jackson “Ben” (1972)

81. Marvin Gaye “Got to Give It Up (Part 1)” (1977)
82. The Commodores “Easy” (1977)
83. Marvin Gaye with Kim Weston “It Takes Two” (1966)
84. Stevie Wonder “I Was Made to Love Her” (1967)
85. The Temptations “Cloud Nine” (1968)
86. The Miracles “I Second That Emotion” (1967)
87. Stevie Wonder “I Wish” (1976)
88. Four Tops “It’s the Same Old Song” (1965)
89. Smokey Robinson “Cruisin’” (1979)
90. Barrett Strong “Money (That’s What I Want)” (1960)

91. The Jackson 5 “The Love You Save” (1970)
92. The Temptations “I Wish It Would Rain” (1968)
93. Stevie Wonder “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” (1974)
94. Gladys Knight & the Pips “Neither One of Us Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye” (1973)
95. Marvin Gaye “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” (1971)
96. Boyz II Men “Water Runs Dry” (1995)
97. The Supremes “The Happening” (1967)
98. The Commodores “Night Shift” (1985)
99. The Temptations “I Know I’m Losing You” (1966)
100. Rockwell with Michael Jackson “Somebody’s Watching Me” (1984)


DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia Entries for:

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