To say I am excited about the impending arrival to Shaftesbury Theatre of Motown The Musical February next year is an understatement. I decided to compile a list of my top five songs that featured in the Broadway run of the show that tells the story of the great Berry Gordy and his founding of the Motown Record Label…and the rest ladies and gentleman is history.
"Stop! In The Name Of Love" (music by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier with lyrics by Edward Holland, Jr.)
Such a classic song that I defy you to find one person who doesn’t recognise the song and possibly the dance moves too! Covered by many artists, this song is most famously sung by The Supremes and works incredibly well in a Musical Theatre context with it’s tale of pleading and impending heartbreak.
"The Tears of A Clown" (music by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Hank
Cosby with yrics by Smokey Robinson)
A song of heartbreak and despair there is nothing remotely clown-like about this number with lyrics such as “My smile is my make-up I wear since my break-up with you..” I can go as far as saying this contains some of the most soul baring lyrics in musical history and has the ability to cause a lot of tears with it’s sheer depth.
"My Guy" (music and lyrics by Smokey Robinson)
You know that feeling when you are annoyed at your partner but you wouldn’t want them to change for the world because you love them just the way they are? Well this song pretty much summarizes that feeling, with it’s incredibly infectious lyrics and powerful message- that love conquers all.
"Dancing In The Street" ( music and lyrics by Marvin Gaye, Ivy Jo Hunter and William Stevenson)
If you are having a bad day where it feels nothing is going your way listen to this song and it will instantly cheer you up, that is a near cert. This track is certainly closely associated with Motown, embodying it’s spirit and uplifting those who hear it. Being covered by artists such as David Bowie and Mick Jagger, it is not diffucult to see why.
"My Girl" ( music and lyrics by Ronald White and Smokey Robinson)
With an instrumental introduction that gives me goosebumps, "My Girl" is one of the most special songs that Motown ever produced. The Temptations really do tempt us to be their girl, if they are going to sing such gorgeous lyrics (such as those from "My Girl") to us all day long!
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