Top 10 Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels Songs

Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels Songs

Photo: New Voice Records / Public domain via Creative Commons

Our Top 10 Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels Songs list takes a look at one of the most rocking and inspirational bands in classic rock history. Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels were formed in the late 1950s in Detroit, Michigan. The group was originally named Billy Lee & The Rivieras. The group consisted of Jim McCarty on lead guitar, Joe Kubert  on rhythm guitar Jim McAllister on bass, John Badanjek on drums and William Sherille Levise, Jr (Mitch Ryder) on lead vocals. The group would change their name to Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels when they met record producer Bob Crewe.

Bob Crewe and Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels would release three studio albums from 1966 to 1967. Their debt album entitled Take A Ride was released n 1966. They released their second album also in 1966 titled Breakout…!!!. The groups final album of new materiel was issued in 1967 entitled Sock It To Me!  A clear reference to the Goldie Hawn saying from Laugh In that became heavily ingrained in pop culture at the time.

Our Top 10 Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels songs list takes a look only at the materiel released by Mitch Ryder with his band the Detroit Wheels. This top 10 does not include Mitch Ryder’s solo materiel after the breakup of the Wheels.

# 10 – Shaking With Linda

We open up our top 10 Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels Songs list with the smoking track “Shaking With Linda,” The song opens with a true rock and roll line “I got a girl, she shakes so fine!” “Shaking With Linda,” was the eighth track on the band’s debut album Breakout…!!!. The album was released in 1966.

# 9 – I’d Rather Go to Jail

OMG! listen to that psycho riff, it never stops, it never ends, it will keep you shaking to you have a heart attack! Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels song “I’d Rather Go To Jail,” was released on the Sock It To Me! album. The record was released in 1966. It’s one of our favorite original Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels songs.

# 8 – Walking The Dog

The classic tune “Walking The Dog,” was the opening track on Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels debut album Breakout…!!!. The song was written by Rufus Thomas who had a top 10 hit with the song in 1963. The song has been covered by many artists from The Rolling Stones to Aerosmith to Bruce Springsteen to The Grateful Dead.

# 7 – I Never Had It Better

Mitch Ryder’s vocal performance on this great one is so darn killer, its soul planet killer. The song “I Never Had It Better,” was released on the Sock It To Me! album in 1966.

# 6 – Any Day Now!

We have always loved the Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels song “Any Day Now.” It was a bit of an outlier for the band with its slow groove. The song was written by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard.

# 5 -Too Many Fish in the Sea / Three Little Fishes

The song “Too Many Fish In The Sea,” was written by Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland. The song was originally a hit for The Marvelettes. “Three Little Fishes,” was a 1930s song that was a hit for Kay Kyser and His Band back in 1939. Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels combined the two songs and had their last charting hit with the combination in 1967.

# 4 -Little Latin Lupe Lu

The song Little Latin Lupe Lu was originally recorded by The Righteous Brothers. It was a song that Bill Medley had written that helped kick start The Righteous Brothers’ career. Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels released their own killer version of the song in 1966. They had a top twenty hit with it as the song peaked at number seventeen on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.

# 3 -Jenny Take A Ride

As we close in on the number one spot on our top 10 Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels Songs list we take a listen to the classic track Jenny Take A Ride. The song was released on the band’s debut album Take A Ride. It was the band’s first top 10 hi. The song peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965.

# 2 – Sock It To Me!

This killer song “Sock It To Me!” was the title track from the band’s third album Sock It To Me! The song would become the band’s second biggest hit of their career. The song reached all the way to number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967.

# 1 -Devil with a Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly

Our choice for the number one spot on this top 10 Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels songs list is their famous recording “Devil with a Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly.” The song “Devil With a Blue Dress On,” was written by Frederick Long and William Stevenson. “Good Golly Miss Molly,” was a Little Richard song.

Mitch Ryder combined the two and had the biggest hit of his career with the combination. “Devil with a Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly,” was a top 10 hit in 1965 peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The song would receive new life when Bruce Springsteen took the Mitch Ryder arrangement and added “Jenny Take A Ride, to it in 1979. It would become a stale encore of Springsteen’s shows all through the 1980s.

Mitch Ryder Solo Songs

Mitch Ryder has had a long successful career since his start with the Detroit Wheels. Below is a sampling of some of the great songs he released in his post-Detroit Wheels days.

Sugar Bee

Released in 1969 With Booker T. and the M.G’s

When You Were Mine

A cover of the classic Prince song. Released in 1983. His first charting hit since 1967.

Rock and Roll

A super cool cover of Lou Reed’s “Rock and Roll.” The song was released in 1979.

Updated May 21, 2023

Top 10 Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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