The 25 Best Motown Tracks

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10. “Heard It Through The Grapevine” — Marvin Gaye (1967)

Gladys Knight & The Pips and countless others recorded their own admirable versions of this song, but the pain audible in Marvin Gaye’s rendition lends the lyrics some added pathos.

9. “Who’s Lovin’ You” — The Jackson 5 (1969)

This song made the rounds at Motown, with The Miracles, The Supremes and The Temptations all recording their own versions of it. Surprisingly, it was young Michael Jackson who absolutely nailed it, delivering a beyond-his-years lovelorn performance on the track.

8. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” — The Temptations (1966)

Fact: It is virtually impossible to resist dancing to this song, as evidenced in pop culture by everyone from Jeff Goldblum to the Fresh Prince.

7. “Do You Love Me” — The Contours (1962)

A song so great, it cracked the Top 40 twice—once in 1962, and again in 1988 after Patrick Swayze and friends shook their naughty parts to it in Dirty Dancing.

6. “Superstition” — Stevie Wonder (1972)

By this point, Little Stevie was all grown up and ready to drop one of the most instantly recognizable Clavinet riffs of all time on the unsuspecting public.

5. “Let’s Get It On” — Marvin Gaye (1973)

If you’ve got two ears and a pulse, we don’t need to tell you that this is one of the sexiest songs of all time.

4. “My Girl” — The Temptations (1964)

David Ruffin’s smiling vocals, that bass hook and those pentatonic scales all make this feel-good track unforgettable.

3. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” — Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1967)

This legendary duet ranks among the best of all time—Motown or otherwise—and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of songwriter Nick Ashford, who sadly passed away last year. It’s inspired countless “singing into a hairbrush” moments, in film and real life alike. Plus, it helped those boys in Remember The Titans work out their differences.

2. “What’s Going On” — Marvin Gaye (1971)

“Let’s Get It On” would later inspire countless acts of babymaking, but Gaye’s socially conscious, multi-tracked vocals here are simply unparalleled.

1. “I Want You Back” — The Jackson 5 (1969)

Well, lemme tell ya now: With that piano slide and a bassline that just can’t be beat, this one’s a shoe-in. We’ve never met a human being who will admit to disliking this song (that’s your cue to take to the comments section if you exist, you poor, misguided souls), and for good reason; no matter how many times we hear this one, it simply doesn’t get old.

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