Top 10 Martha & The Vandellas Songs

Martha and the Vandellas

Photo: Public Domain

Our Top 10 Martha & The Vandellas Songs takes a look at the music of one of the most successful of the 1960s Motown Records acts. The group first formed in 1957. It consisted of Annette Beard, Rosalind Ashford, Gloria Williams, and Martha Reeves. Gloria Williams began as the group’s lead singer but eventually left and was replaced on lead vocals by Martha Reeves. The group signed with Motown Records in the early 1960s and the rest is history.

Martha & The Vandellas released eight studio albums throughout their career. However with Martha & The Vandellas as most Motown acts, it was all about the singles. Martha & The Vandellas released twenty nine singles while they recorded for Motown. Out of the twenty nine singles released, twenty five of them reached the Billboard Top 100.

# 10 – In My Lonely Room

We open up our top 10 Martha & The Vandellas Songs list with their great recording of the song “In My Lonely Room.” The song was written by the hit making Motown machine Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, Jr. The song was issued as a Motown single in 1964. It would eventually be released on their Greatest Hits album in 1965. Phil Collins of Genesis recorded the song on his 2010 solo album Going Back. It was also recorded by the Supremes.

# 9 – Honey Chile

In continuing with our Top 10 Martha & The Vandellas songs list we present their big hit “Honey Chile.” The song was released in 1967. It was the first time that a song released by Martha & The Vandellas was released as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas adding Martha’s last name  to the group title and replacing the “&” sign with the word “and.” The song hit number five on the Billboard Hot R&B chart and number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Richard Morris. “Honey Chile,” would serve to be the group last bug hit single.

# 8 – Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone

Martha & The Vandellas song “Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone,” was released in 1967 The song hit number fourteen on the Billboard Hot R&B chart and number twenty five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by the Richard Morris and Sylvia Moy.

# 7 – I’m Ready For Love

In the mid 1960s, The Supremes and Martha & The Vandellas battled it out for charts success constantly while the Motown Record executives counted their money. Motown Records dominated the R&B charts. The recordings of Martha & The Vandellas played a huge part in that domination. The song “I’m Ready For Love,” was released in 1966. The song hit number two on the Billboard Hot R&B charts. “I’m Ready For Love,” was also a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at the number eight position. The song was written by  Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, Jr

# 6 – Quicksand

The song “Quicksand,”was the third of three hit singles Martha & The Vandellas celebrated in 1963. The song hit number seven on the Billboard Hot R&B chart and number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. Martha & The Vandellas found themselves charting in the top 10 of both prestigious Billboard music charts many times in the 1960s. “Quicksand,” was another big hit by Martha & the Vandellas written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, Jr.

# 5 – You’ve Been In Love Too Long

Continuing with our Top 10 Martha & The Vendallas songs list we turn to the great recording of “You’ve Been in Love Too Long” This great single served as the follow up to the hit “Nowhere to Run.” While not as successful as “Nowhere to Run,” the song still succeeded as a top 40 hit. The song “You’ve Been in Love Too Long” hit number twenty five on the Billboard Hot R&B chart and number thirty six on the Billboard Hot 100.

# 4 – Jimmy Mack

Its amazing how many of Martha & The Vandellas songs were made into such huge hit by the group and inspired so many artists to do their own covers. The great song Jimmy Mack was released by Martha & the Vandellas in 1967. The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot R&B charts and just made the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 10. The song was written by  Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, Jr

# 3 – Heat Wave

“Heat Wave, was a huge hit for the band. The song “Heat Wave,” hit number one on the Billboard Hot R&B chart and number four  on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the band’s first big hut and the second single they released their their great run. Their first single “Come and Get These Memories,” also did well peaking at number twenty nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Billboard R&b Charts. However “Heat Wave,” would go on to become one of the most famous song ever released from the Motown Era.

The song was covered many times over the years. The most successful of those covers belonged to Linda Ronstadt who recorded the song in 1975. The song hit number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 for Linda Ronstadt. The song was written by  Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, Jr

# 2 – Nowhere To Run

One of our favorite Martha & The Vandellas songs has always been the great track “Nowhere To Run.” The song was released on the group’s third album entitled Dance Party. It was a huge follow up success to their mega hit “Dancing In The Streets.”  The song “Nowhere to Run,” hit number eight on the Billboard Hot R&B charts and number five on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965.

The song was written by the hit making machine Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, Jr

# 1 – Dancing In The Streets

We close out our top 10 Martha & The Vandellas songs list with group’s biggest hit of their career.  The song hit number two on the Billboard Hot R&B chart and number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. It was stopped from reaching number one Manfred Mann’s huge hit “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”. Dancing In The Streets was released by Martha & The Vandellas in 1966.

A great song is a great song and stands the test of time. The songs was covered by a diverse cross section of artists including Van Halen, The Kinks, The Carpenters, The Grateful Dead, Black Oak Arkansas and a great duet by by David Bowie and Mick Jagger

The song was composed  by Marvin Gaye, William “Mickey” Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter

 

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