Our Top 10 Martha Davis And The Motels Songs list takes a look at one of our favorite 1980s bands. The sound of The Motels is like listening to the sound of summer’s past. There is just something special about the voice of Martha Davis and those songs that bring you back to the 1980s in a diffident way than most bands.
The Motels released their first album in 1979. From the release of their first record entitled The Motels in 1979 to 1985’s Shock the band released five great albums. In 2008, Martha Davis released another Motels album entitled This. The album featured a completely different lineup form the original Motels with of course the exception of Martha Davis. The most recent album Martha Davis released under The Motels name was the incredibly brilliant album The Last Few Beautiful Days. The album was released in 2018.
Our Top 10 Martha Davis And The Motels Songs list only focuses on the material that Martha Davis released under The Motels name. Martha Davis has released four solo albums that we will cover in a separate article. There is just not enough room on this list to cover both her solo materiel and The Motels albums because she has released so many great songs.
# 10 – Celia
We open up our Martha Davis And The Motels Songs list with a great track from their debut album The Motels. The song “Celia,” was never released as a single and that was probably a mistake. The song defined the promise of the band more than any other track on the record. What we must remember is the Motels arrived in 1979 smack in the middle of the New Wave era. You can hear it in the sound of the album. The rhythm part of the track is very Cars like. However the extraordinary talents of Martha Davis would soon reach out beyond the genre of New Wave in just a couple of years later.
# 9 – “Where Do We Go from Here (Nothing Sacred)”
The Motels’ song “Where Do We Go from Here (Nothing Sacred)” was the opening track from their legendary Little Robbers album. It is the first of three songs to appear from Little Robbers on this Top 10 Martha Davis And The Motels Songs list. In just a couple of years, The Motels had become one of the most popular bands in the world. The album even featured a songwriting credit between Martha Davis and Elton John’s long-time lyricist Bernie Taupin.
“Where Do We Go from Here (Nothing Sacred)” was never released as a single but it was a killer opening track that set the tone for one of the best albums of the 1980s.
# 8 – Lucky Stars
In 2018, Martha Davis released a new Motels album entitled The Last Few Beautiful Days. This was the first album released under The Motels’ name in ten years. The last record Martha Davis released under The Motels’ name was This. Everything she dd since then had been under her own name. There was a reissue of the unreleased Apocalypso album in 2011, but the music on that album had been recorded in 1981.
The Last Few Beautiful Days album sounded like it could have been released in 1983. That beautiful voice was just as strong and wonderful, the melodies just as haunting, the grooves just as addicting. Even the keyboards sounded like they are from the 1980s. This is a great record that we instantly fell in love with upon release. “Lucky Stars,” was the album’s single release. However, every track is great and the album’s title track and closing number are almost too emotional to listen to.
# 7 – In The Jungle
The Motels song “In The Jungle,” was released on the soundtrack to the 1984 motion picture Teachers which starred actors Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams and the Karate Kid Ralph Macchio. A great film that has kind of been forgotten much like this song. It’s too bad because they are both great. It’s why we write these articles. To remind people of all these great songs that have faded away.
# 6 – Danger
Continuing with our Top 10 Motels Songs we turn to the band’s second album. The song “Danger,” was released on the album Careful. The album was released in 1981. A great groove, great vocals and a sound that was developing with every new album they put out.
# 5 – Take The L
The song “Take The L,” was released on the album All Four One. The song is defined by a killer chorus that is unforgettable. “Take the L out of Lover and it’s over,” was a brilliant lyric carried along by a heart wrenching melody. Simply fantastic.
# 4 – Remember The Nights
As we move closer to the number one spot on our Martha Davis And The Motels Songs list, we turn to the great Little Robbers album. There were so many great songs on the Little Robbers album we could probably fill this entire list with every track from that great record. But there were so many other albums and so many great songs we had to be really picky. However, if you are going to buy just one Motels album, we highly recommend Little Robbers.
The Motels song “Remember The Nights,” was the album’s seventh track. It was the album’s second single. While not as successful as “Suddenly Last Summer,” it still did well breaking the U.S. Billboard Top 40 peaking at the number thirty nine position.
# 3 – Shame
The Motels song “Shame,” was released on the album Shock. The album was released in 1985. The album served as the follow up to the band’s most successful album of their career in the record Little Robbers. The song “Shame,” was released as the albums’ first single. It did relatively well commercially reaching number twenty nine on the Billboard Hot 100. The single’s video was very popular on MTV. Sex and cheating were very popular visuals on MTV in those days.
# 2 – Only The Lonely
Martha Davis And The Motels song “Only The Lonely,” was their biggest hit along with “Suddenly Last Summer.” The song “Only The Lonely,” was released on the album All Four One. The album was released in 1982. The accompanying video for the song helped fuel the sales of the single and album. Martha Davis was incredibly mesmerizing in the video. She earned an American Music Award for her performance in the video.
# 1 – Suddenly Last Summer
We close out our Top 10 Martha Davis And The Motels Songs list with the band’s most mesmerizing song. It’s a song about summer romance, and the loss of innocence that reminds everyone of their own summer romances or at least their own summers of the past. Even when the song was brand new it had that quality about it.
“Suddenly Last Summer,” was released on the Little Robbers album in 1983. “Suddenly Last Summer,” was the first single released from the album. It reached the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number nine. It also hit number one on the Billboard Top 100 Rock Tracks charts.
The Motels “Suddenly Last Summer,” is one of the most haunting songs ever released. It touches an emotional chord in people. That is the mark of great music and great art. Martha nailed it so well on this one.
Updated May 26, 2023.
Top 10 Martha Davis And The Motels Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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