A Tamla Motown Hot 100

I was never a massive Tamla Motown fan, but over the years I’ve amassed a surprising number of “favourite” recordings, most of which figure in a Tamla Motown Hot 100 compiled by Mojo Magazine.

I’m going to try a countdown of the 100 using internet videos - maybe I’ll get 'em all, maybe I won’t … :wink:

At 100, Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me (1984)

Rockwell’s debut single release features guest vocals by brothers Michael Jackson (in the chorus) and Jermaine Jackson (additional backing vocals).


Comments Welcome


At 99, Lionel Richie - All Night Long (All Night) (1983)

Taken from his second solo album, Can’t Slow Down, it combined Richie’s soulful Commodores style with Caribbean influences.

The music video was produced by former Monkee and TV video pioneer Michael Nesmith.


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At 98, Singin’ Sammy Ward – Who’s The Fool (1961)

“Who’s The Fool”, which became Ward’s only chart success, was only the fourth successful chart hit for Motown.


At 97, Thelma Houston - Don’t Leave Me This Way (1976)

Originally assigned to Diana Ross, Don’t Leave Me This Way was intended to be the follow-up to her hit “Love Hangover” but was reassigned and given to the upcoming Motown artist Thelma Houston instead - Houston’s version became a massive international hit.



Nice tunes Omah Somebody’s Watching Me was a good one in its day never heard Who’s The Fool before today liked that one as well.
Gotta admit though I am a Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes fan and their version of Don’t Leave Me This Way for me is the best.
But we all have our own favs and so far your’s ain’t so bad. :lol:
Keep posting em fella Motown was my era so I will enjoy this thread.

I like Singin’ Sammy Ward. Very bluesy,doesn’t sound like a typical Motown record at all to me.

At 96, Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Yes I Do) (1965)

“Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” was Wilson’s only Motown single and was first pressed on the Motown subsidiary label Soul.

Approximately 250 demo 45s of the song were scheduled for release on 23 December 1965 but Motown’s Berry Gordy was unimpressed and ordered the demos to be destroyed. Fortunately, several copies survived and owing to the demand generated by the song being played at Wigan Casino, it was first officially released in the UK in 1979 on the Tamla-Motown label.

The original version of this song is the most sought-after Motown and Northern Soul record of all time - one copy was sold for £25,742 in May 2009.



Frank Wilson went on to become a highly successful songwriter and record producer for Motown Records.

I feel sick whenever I hear that.Someone tried to get me interested in the Northern Soul scene.I can’t stay awake all night (and I’m not going to take speed to do it) and I can’t dance.Music gets repetitive too.Apart from that…

Smithy I was brung up on Northern Soul maybe the first record I danced to was N/S. Probably at the local Speakeasy or Sloopys off Newport Road in Boro.
Also Whitby Redcar Scarborough all had their N/S disco’s.
We would turn up at any one of them that took our fancy in the early 70’s.
Great music to dance to and yes a bit repetitive in some songs I must admit. It also had a wide range of labels noy just Motown.

At 95, R. Dean Taylor – There’s A Ghost In My House (1966)

Originally recorded by Taylor in 1966 and released as a single on the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. label in April 1967, There’s A Ghost In My House was not a hit. However, after it had become a popular dance song in Northern soul clubs in Britain, R. Dean Taylor’s record was reissued on EMI’s Tamla Motown label in 1974.



Never the most likely looking “pop star”, Canadian Richard Dean Taylor was part of “The Clan” writing team (for Diana Ross, in particular) and the same man who released “Indiana Wants Me” in 1970 on another Motown subsidiary Rare Earth (for white artistes).

At 94, Stevie Wonder – Happy Birthday (1981)

A song written, produced and performed by Stevie Wonder for the Motown label. Wonder, a social activist, was one of the main figures in the campaign to have the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. become a national holiday, and created this single to make the cause known.

Ironically, the song was never released as a US single, so it never reached its intended audience but, in the UK, the single peaked at No. 2 in the pop charts.

At 93, Diana Ross - Upside Down (1980)

“Upside Down” was issued as the lead single from Ross’s tenth studio album, Diana. It was a huge hit internationally, topping the singles charts in the USA, Sweden, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland, while reaching number five in Canada and number two on the UK singles chart.

The song was written and produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers (of the band Chic). As would be widely reported later, their studio liaison with Ross was not a success. She disliked the results of their sessions and gave them specific remixing instructions; they made slight changes and suggested that if she still did not like them, she could get them remixed herself. Ross did so, reworking the whole album with Motown producer Russ Terrana to downplay the funk element and make her voice more prominent.

Not one of my favourites … :102:

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At 92, Eddie Kendricks - Keep On Truckin’ (Part 1) (1973)

Eddie Kendricks had split from The Temptations in 1971 - it took two years for him to achieve a major hit on his own. “Keep On Truckin’” was produced and partly written by Frank Wilson.

The song’s title was, apparently, inspired by Robert Crumb’s artwork “Keep On Truckin’”:



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At 91, Kim Weston - Helpless (1966)

Kim Weston’s biggest solo hits with Motown were “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” and “Helpless”. Her biggest claim to fame was singing the classic hit “It Takes Two” with Marvin Gaye in 1966 - the success of that single encouraged Motown to partner Gaye with Tammi Terrell, a highly successful move for the label.

Weston left Motown in 1967 and later sued the label over disputes about royalties. She and her then-husband William “Mickey” Stevenson (former A&R head at Motown) both went to MGM Records. Weston cut a couple of singles for MGM which went largely unnoticed due to lack of airplay and promotion.

At 90, Marvin Gaye - Gonna Give Her All The Love I’ve Got (1969)


“Gonna Give Her All the Love I’ve Got” was originally recorded and made a hit by Jimmy Ruffin on Motown’s Soul Label imprint in 1967. The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and produced by Whitfield.

The single by Marvin Gaye, from the album That’s the Way Love Is, was similarly producer by Norman Whitfield.

Another Motown act, The Temptations, recorded the song as part of their album “The Temptations Wish It Would Rain”.

At 89, The Elgins - Heaven Must Have Sent You (1966)

This song was very popular on the Northern soul scene in the UK and was reissued in by Tamla Motown in 1971.

At 88, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons - The Night (1972)

Although the single failed to chart when first released, it became a popular track on the northern soul circuit, which led to a successful UK re-release in the spring of 1975.

At 87, Marv Johnson - Come To Me (1959)


“Come to Me” is the debut single by American singer Marv Johnson and is notable as the first ever single to be released by what would eventually become known as Motown, on the newly formed Tamla Records label.

Originally the label was to be called Tammy Records, which Berry Gordy named after the Debbie Reynolds hit, “Tammy”, that is until a record label of the same name took notice, forcing Gordy to alter the name to Tamla Records.

At 86, Jr. Walker & The All Stars - Shotgun (1965)


“Shotgun” was written and composed by Walker and produced by Berry Gordy Jr. and Lawrence Horn. The song utilises only one chord throughout the entire song – A-flat seventh. Other songs featuring this same structure (or non-structure) are “Chain of Fools” and “Land of 1000 Dances”.

At 85, Chris Clark - I Want To Go Back There Again (1967)

Chris Clark was a six-foot platinum blonde soul singer who was one of the few white artists signed to Motown Records. She achieved little commercial success but co-wrote the screenplay for the 1972 motion picture Lady Sings the Blues starring Diana Ross. During the early 1970s, she was an executive with Motown’s Film and Television Production Division in Los Angeles. In 1975 Clark was the Creative Assistant on the motion picture Mahogany. Ultimately Clark served as Head of Creative Affairs for Motown from 1981 to 1989.

A good song, but, IMO, Clark stuck out like a sore thumb - not only white and tall but also not particularly talented. She was, though, ambitious.