Tuesday, July 31, 2012


MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS                                                                                              DANCING IN THE STREETS                                                                                                                  GORDY RECORDS                                                                                                                                 WRITTEN BY MICKEY STEVENSON, MARVIN GAYE & Ivy Jo Hunter                       PRODUCED BY MICKEY STEVENSON                                                                                                                                        

"I didn't like it. Why I can't dance in the club and in the ballroom. Here they got me dancing in the streets. So I said can I sing it the way I feel it and I have the anthem for Motown Records with Dancing In The Streets. Martha Reeves on Motown 40 1998.                                                                                                                

I know that Martha Reeves & The Vandellas are so glad that they recorded their classic hit single "Dancing In The Streets." Not only did it become the trio's biggest hit, it became a classic and an worldwide anthem that helped keep Motown Records and the city of Detroit in the hearts, minds and mouths of people for several decades. The song which was written by Mickey Stevenson, Marvin Gaye & Ivy Jo Hunter, has a great funky horn and rhythm section, hot drum licks, and great call and response performances between Reeves and Betty Kelley and Rosalind Ashford, who also add some sweet and soulful harmonies that blends with the strings and horns. The other thing that makes this song the classic that it is are the lyrics which in addition to encourage listeners to get up and dance, it also features famous cities including Chicago, New York Philadelphia and the Motor city of course. Martha & The Vandellas cooked up a great tune that became a party anthem which still has fans dancing in the streets all around the world.                              

FACTS ABOUT THE CLASSIC Co-writer and producer Mickey Stevenson got the inspiration for the song by watching a group of kids turning on the fire hydrant and dancing in the water as a way to keep cool from the heat. He originally wrote it in a form of a ballad, but when Marvin Gaye heard the track, he told him that the song should be more uptempo and added lyrics while Ivy Jo Hunter wrote additional music.            

In her memoirs, Martha Reeves wrote how the original demo featured Marvin Gaye singing the song in a sexy, seductive way. She decided to sing it with feeling, and after she recorded it, she was informed that the producers and engineer didn't tape the session, so Reeves and the Vandellas redid the song in one take, and it became a hit.                                                                                                                                              

This song has been covered by many artists including Dusty Springfield, Mick Jagger & David Bowie and Human Nature, who asked Reeves to appear on their rendition of her classic "(Love Is Like A) Heatwave" on their Motown cover CD "Get Ready."                                                                                  

Billboard Magazine had listed this classic as the most played dance song. When the song was released, many critics thought that the song was a protest song. When asked, Martha's response was "My Lord, it's a party song.


div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES REFLECTIONS MOTOWN RECORDS.                                                               WRITTEN BY BRIAN HOLLAND-LAMONT DOZIER-EDDIE HOLLAND.                                 PRODUCED BY BRIAN HOLLAND AND LAMONT DOZIER.                                                  ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JULY 24, 1967                                                                                    LEAD VOCALS-DIANA ROSS BACKGROUND VOCALS-FLORENCE BALLARD AND MARY WILSON.                                                                                                                                            

The Supremes have released several classic hits for Motown, and out of all the hits the trio has recorded, their classic "Reflections" is one of the group's most famous and innovative songs throughout their career. Unlike their previous hits that had a Pop and Soul feel, "Reflections" contains an Psychedelic Soul feel, courtesy of the sound affects, bass, percussion and tamborine, and the haunting lyrics about having flashbacks of a relationship that had gone sour and holding on to the good times as well. It was 25 years ago that I became interested in the history of Motown Records and the Supremes, and this song had became my all-time favorite song, and it sounds just as great as it was when first released forty-five years ago. A great song to play to at parties and to help you have reflect on the bad and good times of life.                            

This review is dedicated to the memories of Florence Ballard, Gladys Horton, Georgenna Tillman, Michael Jackson, Marv Tarplin, Ronnie White, The Funk Brothers, Nick Ashford, Mary Wells,  Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, Esther Gordy, Sandra Tiley, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Ali-Ollie Woodson, Levi Stubbs, Renaldo Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton, Rick James, Teena Marie, Bobby DeBarge, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Gwen Gordy, Harvey Fuqua and Norman Whitfield.                                                                                                                                        

FACTS ABOUT THE SONG Reflections is the last single to feature The Supremes' founder Florence Ballard, who was dismissed due to the label's politics and unfair treatment. This single was the first to be released under the name Diana Ross & The Supremes. This song was used as the theme song of the hit television show "China Beach." Many artists have remade this classic including The Four Tops, The Jackson 5ive, Michael Mc Donald, The Temptations and Luther Vandross, who sampled the songs intro for his rendition. Both Diana Ross and Mary Wilson still perform this song in their concerts. The late Donna Summer performed this song at the Diana Ross Divas special in 2000.