500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Marvin Gaye, 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'

81. Marvin Gaye, 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'

Writers: Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield
Producer: Whitfield
Released: Oct. '68, Tamla 
15 weeks; No. 1

Motown producer Whitfield had a reputation for recording the same song with a number of acts, changing the arrangement each time. This irritated some of the label's artists, but every now and then he would get a golden idea — as happened with Gaye's 1968 version of "Grapevine," which had been a hit the year before for Gladys Knight. Whitfield and co-writer Strong set the track in a slower, more mysterious tempo, and the song — which Gaye initially resisted recording — became the bestselling Motown single of the decade.

Appears on: Every Motown Hit (Motown) 


The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Marvin Gaye

The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time: Marvin Gaye

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