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I love Motown. There. I said it.

I was raised in a house filled with Motown. Rarely was there a Saturday morning where the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Smoky Robinson were not ringing out. The ‘Motown Chartbusters’ albums became some of the first LPs that I was truly familiar with. Right down to the detail of their sleeves – the silver cover of volume 3, the fly-as-spaceship of volume 6, and the one armed bandit of volume 7. All magnificent albums, and a perfect introduction to soul. Honestly, there was barely a rough tune on these albums. They taught me a lot about music – soul music was accessible, and was great fun. My early Motown exposure bypassed ‘What’s Going On’ and ‘Innervisions’, and went straight to pop. And that’s no bad thing. As my tastes matured, so I had somewhere to go, and I could stay true to my love of Motown.

And here’s the thing: I’m still learning.

A few weeks ago, on a regular freethinking nyc night, Jamison dropped a slab of soul which was so upbeat, so perfectly pitched, and so clearly targeting the dancefloor that I was at first mildly annoyed that I didn’t know it. I was mid conversation with a friend, and I had to just back away, to listen to the song. I was knocked sideways. Heading over to ask my colleague who the tune was by, I was absolutely not prepared for the answer: Diana Ross & The Supremes. How could this be? Why didn’t I know the song? I felt at once ashamed and completely uplifted. There’s so much more to Motown than the pop hits – great though they are. There’s more than the socially-conscious funk from the early 70s – landmark albums though they may be. There are these tracks, buried under the volume of output from the label, which most people – myself included until about three weeks ago – just don’t know.

If you ever need a reason to come to freethinking nyc, here it is. This song is just perfect. There are not many club nights that would play this. I can only thank Jamison for introducing me to it. Enjoy ‘He’s My Sunny Boy’…

3 replies on “I love Motown. There. I said it.”

Wow! Im just 33 and live in south africa yet am so into Motown music. Strange cause when i was growing up and came home from boarding school for holidays, i would listen to this music my dad then my brother put on. For some reason it sounded so good and deep i fell inlove with it, didnt even know it was from motown stable. Today im a hopeless romantic and would go to the end of the world to find love, i wont settle for less even though im sometimes impressionable but i beleive in old school love and music. Just love Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson when they sing ” only heaven can wait…”

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