100 Greatest Motown Songs

Background: Motown Records was founded in Detroit, Michigan, 1959, as "Tamla Records" by songwriter Berry Gordy Jr. The company name changed to "Motown Record Corporation" in 1960. Soon after Gordy acquired the songwriting & production team Holland–Dozier–Holland and the hits flowed by artists such as Smokey Robinson, The Miracles, Mary Wells, The Marvelettes, Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, Jackson 5, and many more.

Criteria: The rankings of these greatest Motown songs (1959-roughly early 1980s) are based on critical/musician acclaim, initial and lasting popularity and influence in the music industry.
Greatest Motown Songs
1. I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Marvin Gaye
2. My Girl
Temptations
3. Reach Out I'll Be There
Four Tops
4. Where Did Our Love Go?
Supremes
5. What's Goin' On?
Marvin Gaye
6. Dancing in the Street
Martha & The Vandellas
7. I Want You Back
Jackson 5
8. Superstition
Stevie Wonder
9. Please Mr. Postman
Marvelettes
10. My Guy
Mary Wells
11. (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave
Martha & The Vandellas
12. Do You Love Me?
Contours
13. Let's Get It On
Marvin Gaye
14. Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
15. The Tracks of My Tears
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
16. Shotgun
Jr. Walker & The All Stars
17. I'll Be There
Jackson 5
18. Baby Love
Supremes
19. Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
Temptations
20. Uptight (Everything's Alright)
Stevie Wonder
21. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)
Four Tops
22. The Tears of a Clown
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
23. Stop! In the Name of Love
Supremes
24. You've Really Got a Hold On Me
Miracles
25. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
Temptations
26. Baby I Need Your Lovin'
Four Tops
27. You Are the Sunshine of My Life
Stevie Wonder
28. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
29. Money (That's What I Want)
Barrett Strong
30. Leavin' Here
Eddie Holland
31. Shop Around
Miracles
32. You Keep Me Hangin' On
Supremes
33. You Can't Hurry Love
Supremes
34. Endless Love
Lionel Richie & Diana Ross
35. Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Stevie Wonder
36. Ooo Baby Baby
Miracles
37. Nowhere To Run
Martha & The Vandellas
38. It Takes Two
Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston
39. War
Edwin Starr
40. I Second That Emotion
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
41. Super Freak Part I
Rick James
42. Living For the City
Stevie Wonder
43. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Gladys Knight & The Pips
44. Higher Ground
Stevie Wonder
45. Ain't Too Proud To Beg
Temptations
46. I Can't Get Next To You
Temptations
47. Cloud Nine
Temptations
48. Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)
Temptations
49. Smiling Faces Sometimes
Undisputed Truth
50. This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You)
Isley Brothers
51. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?
Jimmy Ruffin
52. Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)
Marvin Gaye
53. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
Marvin Gaye
54. Playboy
Marvelettes
55. Jimmy Mack
Martha & The Vandellas
56. Don't Mess With Bill
Marvelettes
57. Since I Lost My Baby
Temptations
58. Don't Leave Me This Way
Thelma Houston
59. All Night Long (All Night)
Lionel Richie
60. Going To a Go-Go
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
61. Fingertips Part II
Stevie Wonder
62. The One Who Really Loves You
Mary Wells
63. Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)
Gladys Knight & The Pips
64. Love Hangover
Diana Ross
65. Upside Down (Inside Out)
Diana Ross
66. Brick House
Commodores
67. I Wish It Would Rain
Temptations
68. Beechwood 4-5789
Marvelettes
69. The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game
Marvelettes
70. Bernadette
Four Tops
71. Somebody's Watching Me
Rockwell
72. Hello
Lionel Richie
73. It's the Same Old Song
Four Tops
74. You've Made Me So Very Happy
Brenda Holloway
75. Jamie
Eddie Holland
76. Your Precious Love
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
77. Quicksand
Martha & The Vandellas
78. Come and Get These Memories
Martha & The Vandellas
79. Keep on Truckin' Part I
Eddie Kendricks
80. Needle In a Haystack
Velvelettes
81. (I'm a) Roadrunner
Junior Walker & The All-Stars
82. ABC
Jackson 5
83. I'm Coming Out
Diana Ross
84. Give It To Me Baby
Rick James
85. Cruisin'
Smokey Robinson
86. My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)
David Ruffin
87. Three Times a Lady
Commodores
88. Heaven Must Have Sent You
Bonnie Pointer/The Elgins
89. Let It Whip
Dazz Band
90. It's a Shame
Spinners
91. Baby I'm For Real
Originals
92. The Bells
Originals
93. He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'
Velvelettes
94. Come To Me
Marv Johnson
95. I Need Your Lovin'
Teena Marie
96. The Love You Save
Jackson 5
97. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love?)
Jr. Walker
98. Function At The Junction
Shorty Long
99. Does Your Mama Know About Me?
Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers
100. Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam)
Monitors/Valadiers
Honorable Mentions
I Was Born This Way
Carl Bean
Do I Love You? (Indeed I Do)
Frank Wilson
Fight the Power
Public Enemy
Quiet Storm
Smokey Robinson
Happy Birthday
Stevie Wonder
Blowin' In the Wind
Stevie Wonder
Silent Night
Temptations
Love's Gone Bad
Underdogs
Marvin Gaye Four Tops
Supremes Temptations
Stevie Wonder

TOP 15 MOTOWN ARTISTS
1. Stevie Wonder
2. Marvin Gaye
3. Diana Ross/The Supremes
4. The Temptations
5. Smokey Robinson/The Miracles
6. The Four Tops
7. Martha & The Vandellas
8. Marvelettes
9. Mary Wells
10. Michael Jackson/The Jackson 5
11. Lionel Richie/The Commodores
12. Gladys Knight & The Pips
13. Jr. Walker & The Allstars
14. Rick James
15. Edwin Starr
TOP 10 MODERN MOTOWN CLASSICS ('90s)
1. I'll Make Love To You
Boyz II Men
2. End of the Road
Boyz II Men
3. I Love Your Smile
Shanice
4. On Bended Knee
Boyz II Men
5. Anytime
Brian McKnight
6. Back At One
Brian McKnight
7. U.N.I.T.Y.
Queen Latifah
8. Bag Lady
Erykah Badu
9. Video
India.Arie
10. Anniversary
Tony! Toni! Tone!
TOP 5 NON-MOTOWN SINGLES BY MOTOWN ARTISTS
1. Michael Jackson
Billie Jean (Epic)
2. Marvin Gaye
Sexual Healing (Columbia)
3. Gladys Knight & The Pips
Midnight Train to Georgia (Buddah)
4. The Isley Brothers
Shout! (RCA)
5. The Spinners with Dionne Warwicke
Then Came You (Atlantic)
TOP 6 MOTOWN "LEFT FIELDERS"
1. Rare Earth
  (Get Ready)
2. Charlene
  (I've Never Been to Me)
3. R. Dean Taylor
  (Indiana Wants Me)
4. Frankie Valli
  (The Night)
5. Debbie Dean
  (Don't Let Him Shop Around)
6. Bruce Willis
  (Respect Yourself)
TOP 10 MOTOWN REMAKES (non-Motown)
1. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Creedence Clearwater Revival
2. Please Mr. Postman
Carpenters
3. You've Made Me So Very Happy
Blood, Sweat, & Tears
4. Baby I Need Your Lovin'
Johnny Rivers
5. You Keep Me Hangin' On
Vanilla Fudge
6. Dancing In the Street
Mick Jagger & David Bowie
7. You Can't Hurry Love
Phil Collins
8. War
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
9. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
James Taylor
10. Shop Around
Captain & Tennille

Edited By:
Last Updated: 2007-03-18
Newly added names are in Red