The 40 Best Motown Songs That Defined the Era

A legendary period in music history

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Motown, Motown, Motown. Where would be without you? A truly legendary record label that brought us the likes of musical icons such as Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and The Temptations to name a few, if you are anything like me—you got your introduction to the Motown catalog by way of your parents and grandparents during Saturday morning housecleaning sessions. Or, perhaps, you were fortunate enough to have actually experienced Motown at its height. Whatever category you fall into, it's clear that Motown music has not only had an impact on all of us, but has also served in connecting us by way of our musical interests. Founded in January 1959 by Berry Gordy in Detroit, many of Motown's most classic records took place at the renowned Hitsville U.S.A. aka the Motown Museum (which you can tour by the way), and today we're going to be taking a look at the best Motown songs that defined its era of dominance.

Whether its dreamy tracks with smooth buttery vocals like Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," the instantly catchy classic "Baby Love" by The Supremes, or the dynamic "I Want You Back," from The Jackson 5, we're going all in on this Motown catalogue folks. If you want to jam with us, scroll down to checkout the list.

RELATED: The 20 Greatest Early 2000s R&B Songs, Ranked

1. "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" - Marvin Gaye

2. "I Want You Back" - The Jackson 5

3. "Please Mr. Postman" - The Marvelettes

4. "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" - The Temptations

5. "The Tears of a Clown" - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

6. "Baby Love" - The Supremes

7. "Higher Ground" - Stevie Wonder

8. "Can't Help Myself" - Four Tops

9. "Dancing in the Street" - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

10. "My Girl" - The Temptations

11. "My Guy" - Mary Wells

12. "Sir Duke" - Stevie Wonder

13. "Love Hangover" - Diana Ross

14. "End of the Road" - Boyz II Men

15 "All Night Long" - Mary Jane Girls

16. "Brick House" - The Commodores

17. "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough" - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

18. "It's a Shame" - The Spinners

19. "ABC" - The Jackson 5

20. "All Night Long (All Night)" - Lionel Richie

21. "Where Did Our Love Go" - The Supremes

22. "What's Going On" - Marvin Gaye

23. “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” - The Temptations

24. "I'll Be There" - The Jackson 5

25. “Money (That’s What I Want)”

26. "War" - Edwin Starr

27. "Bernadette" - Four Tops

28. "Keep on Truckin'" - Eddie Kendricks

29. "The Love You Save" - The Jackson 5

30. "Upside Down" - Diana Ross

31. “Got to Give It Up” - Marvin Gaye

32. "Shop Around" - The Miracles

33. “Shotgun” - Junior Walker

34. “This Old Heart of Mine" - The Isley Brothers

35. "If I Were Your Woman" - Gladys Knight & The Pips

36. “Lady Soul” - The Temptations

37. "I Want You" - Marvin Gaye

38. "Dancing Machine" - The Jackson 5

39. "What Becomes of The Brokenhearted" - Jimmy Ruffin

40. "Motownphilly" - Boyz II Men

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