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"Motown Ballads" featuring Marvin Gaye...

Updated on July 7, 2013

Great Ballads of Motown

Music released from the famed Motown label has enthused music lovers like myself for well over 50 years now! I am privileged to have had happenstances of wooing females with the silky smooth rhythms that came from the sounds of Motown! Groups like The Temptations, The Four Tops, although not featured in this spread, have influenced my manhood and spirituality! As I write this header it's probable that somewhere in the world a seed is being conceived off the soulful ballads of Motown! These records chosen have a vicinity in my heart that will forever remain! If you enjoy these selections as much as I do then consider yourself a binary advocate of passionate melodies! Let the ballads begin...

Brenda Holloway

"Every Little Bit Hurts"

Released in 1964, the record peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Undoubtedly one of my favorite Motown ballads!

Hailing from the Watts section of Los Angeles, Brenda Holloway at age 17 was Motown's first West Coast signing.

Smokey Robinson

"The Agony and the Ecstacy"

1975 single from the highly acclaimed album "A Quiet Storm". His voice sounds as gentle as the breeze that concludes this record!

Smokey Robinson has been dubbed "The King of Motown". And rightfully so!

Stevie Wonder

"Superwomen(Where Were You When I Needed You)"

1972 single from "Music on My Mind". In my opinion this is the best recording period during Stevie's illustrious career(72-76). His string of albums throughout this span can only be matched by a few!

In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists with Wonder at number five.

The Jackson 5

"I Found A Girl"

When I first heard this record, I reminisced about the times I'd shared these heartfelt words with my own mother! One of my favorite numbers by The Jacksons!

The Jackson 5 were one of very few in recording history to have their first four major label singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Marvin Gaye

"If I Should Die Tonight"

I love Marvin for his soulfulness and sultry lyrics! There's a short list of singers who's voices embrace my vitality! I could imagine surrendering these sanctifying words to my future bride to be!

In 2008, The Rolling Stone magazine ranked Marvin Gaye at number 6 on its list of the Greatest Singers of All Time, and ranked at number 18 on 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

The Commodores


With so many beautiful ballads, it's hard to chose just one by The Commodores. Released in 1977, "Zoom" was never issued as a commercial single but stands as one of their most well known and renowned tunes!

The Commodores have sold over 75 million records worldwide! What a feat!

The Dynamic Superiors

"Shoe Shoe Shine"

Watching this performance makes me ask the question, "what the hell happened to r&b?" Although I can't remember when a shoe shine used to cost a dime, I can remember when recording artists use to perform with the same style and grace as The Dynamic Superiors did in this Soul Train episode!

The Dynamic Superiors are a group representing Washington D.C., my birthplace!


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    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Happy 73rd Birthday to Smokey Robinson! (2/19/13)

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      I grew up listening to Motown and still think it's some of the best music ever. Voted up and awesome!

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 6 years ago

      @ Daisy

      You're always on point with the birthday pimping! The good thing about these outfits that these singers are wearing is that it makes them look like entertainers! Today's artist dress so normal now!

      @ Sunshine

      Some of my favorite songs are featured on this hub and I'm glad you enjoyed them as well! I was just debating on Motown artists this morning on the way home!

      @ Sunnie Day

      Thanks for the comment! After strolling up and looking at the song selections, I think my favorite song featured here might be Marvin's If I Should Die Tonight! Stevie's Superwomen would run a very close second. All these songs are so great, tomorrow I'll probably select another as my favorite! Motown just simply has some wonderful music!

      @ weestro

      To me looking at these pictures and their wardrobes remind me of why we love these singers so much! The music was well crafted and so were the outfits!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Great artist here, these songs are still great today....I want the Jackson 5 wardrobe! Voted up!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Great hub! Motown is my favorite of all music. Thank you for sharing..The Commodores, Jackson 5, and Lionel..were so great!


    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Love me some Motown and I love this hub! Marvin and MJ will always live on. Smokey and Lionel are superb!!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 6 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


      Happy April 21, 2012 Birthday!

      This is a great music compilation! Thanks for putting it together.

      Lionel Ritchie is still recognizable in that Commodores photo, but those outfits...(I don't know what polite thing I can say about them...)

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 6 years ago

      Hey Colin, hey Vincent! You two guys look very familiar! Oh that's right! We belong to the same music group! Everytime someone comments on one of these music hubs, it gives me an opportunity to come back and listen to a song or two!

      @ Vincent

      That Commodores record usually gets played at least two times in a row by me, and the record is about 7 minutes long! Can't get enough!

      A few years ago when I was working the nightshift, I played Marvin Gaye's If I Should Die Tonight out loud and a guy in his twenties said, play that song again, Sam! It seems the soul crept up on him that night because he went and downloaded the tune the next day!

      @ Colin

      Thanks for the invite to one of the most popular groups in FB! With so much diversity in that group, more and more members will continue to drop in and have themselves a funky good time! I know I sure do!!

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 6 years ago

      I love it all, but my two choices are the Commodores and Marvin Gaye If I were to die tonight. He died way before his time, how sad that his father should end his life. Lionel Ritchie what can we say about his ongoing talent. He wrote and sang so many hits, it's wonderful. I love soul music and little Stevie Wonder I cut my teeth on as a boy growing up in the city of rock n roll and blues. Voted way UP and pressed all buttons and shared.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      Hello Samuel - well my friend you will see this hub tribute as posted in our music group at FB - a group and group of people in which you have made better in so many ways with your support of others and the fact that you have posted so many videos with your own love, expertise and passion - sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 6:59pm

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 6 years ago

      Absolutely! With so many great Motown acts, I had to select some of the ones that were on my mind at the time. I love Diana as a solo act but some of favorite songs by her are anything by The Supremes!

    • unvrso profile image

      Jose Juan Gutierrez 6 years ago from Mexico City

      Great hub of Motown artists. Isn´t Diana Ross suppose to be in the Motown sound list?

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Had to come back and share this great hub on the Motown sound.

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment! Kool & the Gang and Shalamar aren't from the Motown label, but I love their music! Songs by Shalamar that I love would be A Night To Remember and For The Lover In You! Kool & the Gang has so many hits that I love! Ladies Night could possibly be my favorite!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Aaaah... those were the days. lol. I've never heard of Brenda Holloway though.

      Motown ballads are great. I can still remember lots of lyrics. Do you think Kool & the Gang and Shalamar fit into Motown? I think they were about at that time.

      Great Hub. :)

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 6 years ago

      Thank you! I appreciate your comment! Some of my friends that are around my age look at me funny when I play these records so it's a pleasure to share them here!

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment! I couldn't help but revisit this page and take a look at The Dynamic Superiors again! Too bad I didn't grow up on these sounds. I'm sure glad that I found them now!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 6 years ago from East Coast

      Awesome list, these songs are all great and your hub brings back good memories with these great songs.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent list of some of my all time favorites. I have them on vynyl LP!

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 6 years ago

      Thank you Tammy! Please don't get me started on The Spinners! I love Rubberband Man. As far as The Commodores, I was close to choosing their hit Just Be Close To You, but I play Zoom so many times I felt compelled to select that one!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent list! I think my favorite on this list are the Commodores. Those are some funky outfits. One of my favorite all times songs is "The Rubberband Man".. I LOVE feel good songs! Well done!


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