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.

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