Wednesday, July 27, 2011

School of Soul

They just don't make 'em like they used to. Of course, music of every era and genre is always noteworthy and wonderful in its own way - but, something about the Motown era is just so memorable. This groovy, soulful time of heartwarming ballads and steamy two-stepping hits is just a whole story on its own; from its inception, to the controversies, to the stars bred by it, to its effect on almost every other genre - the influence is astounding. What began as Motown Records (a term made up of "motor" and "town" to properly represent Detroit, its birthplace), actually became so much more - specifically a movement that was on the forefront of racial integration into the popular music scene. It also became its own "sound," as opposed to just a record label name; a soulful sound with obvious pop ingredients that made it so suitable for radio play or "crossover" to the mainstream.

Growing up, I was a true Motown-loving child, which I've mentioned before. As a kid, I spent countless hours and car rides with The Big Chill Soundtrack and Motor City Classics Box Set on repeat - because it was all of the things I needed in music. It was catchy, friendly, crammed with talent, and my favourite thing to move to. It might still be, in fact. So, here are some of the great classics to perk up your mid-week. It's unbelievably important we don't overlook or forget these influential hitmakers, who as far as I'm concerned, birthed some of the most important musical ideologies.

I Can't Get Next To You - Al Green

Bring It On Home - Sam Cooke

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? - The Shirelles

I Second That Emotion - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Where Did Our Love Go? - Diana Ross & The Supremes

This Magic Moment - The Drifters

Rescue Me - Fontella Bass

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - Marvin Gaye

Think (Freedom) - Aretha Franklin

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