500 Greatest Songs of All Time

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

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Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, 'Dancing in the Street'

40. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, 'Dancing in the Street'

Writers: Marvin Gaye, Ivy Hunter, William "Mickey" Stevenson
Producer: Stevenson Released: Sept. '64
14 weeks; No. 2

Gordy Stevenson, who gave Martha Reeves her first job, as his secretary, approached the group with this song after it was turned down by Motown labelmate (and future Mrs. Stevenson) Kim Weston. The trio agreed to record "Dancing in the Street" as a demo with its songwriters singing background. "When Martha got into the song," Stevenson said, "that was the end of the conversation!" Against a backbeat that cracks like a gunshot, Reeves reinvents the world as a giant block party.

Appears on: The Ultimate Collection (Motown)


The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Martha and the Vandellas

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