Underrated Motown songs?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tamla Junkie, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Champagne Boot

    Champagne Boot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago


    Gotta add this one for the way it just turns round about the 20 second mark. Totally weird, but so, so great.
     
    CliffL and greelywinger like this.
  2. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Not particularly obscure, but not a huge hit either: my favourite Motown song has always been When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes by the Supremes.

    I fully agree re Gotta See Jane by R. Dean Taylor. I heard it a couple of times in the spring of 1968, then it disappeared. Much to my delight, it reappeared in 1971 and became a hit.

    Operator by Brenda Holloway got plenty of airplay up here (or so it seemed) in 1965. There are few Motown songs I heard more frequently when they were current.

    I could probably add some lesser-known releases by most of the big names, Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone by Martha and the Vandellas for example..

    With regards to Motown-related labels, is Ascot one of them? Two of the very best songs I've discovered recently, namely Someone and Don't Let It Get You Girl by Debbie Rollins, were released on that label in 1963-64. The kicker is that both were at least co-written by one W. Robinson, which I presume to be Smokey.
     
  3. Kill Uncle Meat

    Kill Uncle Meat Forum Resident

    A Motown Non Hits compilation is something I would like to buy right now. Does such a thing exist? Is it possible to get all this great stuff on CD?

    The Hitsville USA box is all I have but I love that sound so much that it makes me wonder where could I get the rest of it.
     
    Jacline likes this.
  4. Champagne Boot

    Champagne Boot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Ascot wasn't a Motown label. Never heard of Debbie Rollins, doubt Smokey would have been writing for someone else by then.
     
  5. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Okay, it could have been another W. Robinson I suppose. Someone was credited entirely to W. Robinson, Don't Let It Get You Girl co-written by N. Meade. Norman Meade (I just read) was a pseudonym that Jerry Ragovoy (who produced both Debbie Rollins tracks) used. I had thought I had seen long ago that Smokey co-wrote songs with "Norman Meade", but perhaps I was mistaken.
     
  6. Tamla Junkie

    Tamla Junkie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    Hits yes, but they don't seem to have held up in the public's imagination the way, say, "Stop! In The Name Of Love" has.

    Technically "Bad Girl" by the Miracles was a hit, but few people remember it today... not a fair comparison, but close.
     
  7. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I guess some people have taken the Northern Soul concept too far. :D
     
  8. Champagne Boot

    Champagne Boot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Uh... Money was recorded by the Beatles and gets airplay and adoration across the board. Do You Love Me has been covered by everyone from Springsteen to the Blues Brothers. And got huge airplay from being featured in Dirty Dancing. If you're going to pick two songs that are "underrated" in the Motown catalog, those ain't it. They're not even in the same category as "Bad Girl," even if that was a minor hit during the Eisenhower administration. Barely even cracked the top 100 at that.
     
    Grant likes this.
  9. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    Oh sure they have! "Do You Love Me" made a new chart appearance in 1987.
     
  10. Tamla Junkie

    Tamla Junkie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    You're right. "Do You Love Me" has enduring popularity at the very least. I rarely hear "Money" on the Detroit oldies stations, but I'm sure someone is playing it somewhere...
     
  11. Tamla Junkie

    Tamla Junkie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    Always loved this single. My father plays this a lot... I must have picked it up from him.


    The instrumental on the flip side, "Uptight" is rather nice.
     
  12. Tamla Junkie

    Tamla Junkie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    This is another single I've always liked. Never did anything on the charts, and it isn't your typical Motown side, but it's plenty likeable.
     
  13. Tamla Junkie

    Tamla Junkie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    This one is downright weird, but a great single nonetheless:

    Not really hard to imagine why it didn't do so hot though...
     
    Bob J, trebori, CliffL and 1 other person like this.
  14. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I loved this song as a kid. I always saw it as a fun take on Sgt. Carter from Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.. This is the better version of the original done by The Valadiers (?).

    Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam) - The Monitors

     
    JohnnyQuest likes this.
  15. Tamla Junkie

    Tamla Junkie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    Yup, the Valadiers did a positively dreadful version on Miracle. The Monitors version is rather nice.
     
    Grant likes this.
  16. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    This is another favorite from my childhood:

    Do The Boomerang - Jr. Walker & The All Stars


     
    CliffL and Jacline like this.
  17. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    ...and the flipside of that 45:

    Tune Up - Jr. Walker & the All Stars

     
    g.z. and Tamla Junkie like this.
  18. Tamla Junkie

    Tamla Junkie Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of covers, but Jr. Walker and the All Stars version of "These Eyes" will always be the definitive version for me. This isn't exactly obscure or underrated per se, but definitely not as well known as The Guess Who's rendition.
     
  19. motownmaniac

    motownmaniac Forum Resident

    The Andantes/Darnells - Too Hurt to Cry , Too Much in Love to Say Goodbye .

     
    jmj190 likes this.
  20. Champagne Boot

    Champagne Boot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago


    It's the flip to a megahit, but has a certain awkward charm to it.
     
  21. Champagne Boot

    Champagne Boot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Another flip to a huge hit, always thought it was a really nice ensemble piece.

     
  22. Picca

    Picca Forum Resident

    Location:
    Modena, Italy
    I like this one
     
  23. stem

    stem Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hertfordshire, UK
    There is a series entitled "A Cellarfull of Motown" which features previously unreleased Motown songs. I guess these songs were initially discarded as not up to standard, so maybe not quite what you are looking for. But possibly worth checking out.
     
    Kill Uncle Meat, mrpleasant and Mr. D like this.
  24. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    The original:

    "Devil With the Blue Dress" - Frederick Earl "Shorty" Long, 1964.
     
    g.z., Jacline and Tamla Junkie like this.
  25. vivatones

    vivatones Forum Resident

    How about this masterpiece, "I Promise To Wait My Love" by Martha and The Vandellas:
     

Share This Page