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Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

Detroit's Motown Records will forever be important as both a hit factory and an African American-owned label that achieved massive mainstream success and influence. We select our 25 favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America".

Recent
Music

You're Such a Lovely Audience: 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'

Celebrating Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with a little help from their friends; Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker, Neil Young and the Mona Lisa Twins.

Books

The Strength of "Anatomy of a Song" Is Found in Its diverse and Impressive Group of Interviewees

A self-described “oral history jukebox” gives behind-the-scenes details about popular songs and the historical circumstances that shaped pop culture as we know it.

Music

Common: Black America Again

Chicago veteran returns with his 11th album, a record that sees Common reinvigorated and at his most potent and inspired, marking another entry into one of the most consistent discographies in hip-hop history.

Music

Songs of the Summers: The '60s

As it turns out, America's infatuation with sometimes kooky summer tunes is an old one.

Music

Various Artists: The Motown 7s Box Volume 2

The second set of Northern Soul-flavored 7x7"-singles from the legendary soul label highlights just how tough it is to consider the Motown sound objectively these days.

Reviews

Hangout Fest 2013: Stevie Wonder Thanks You

On a beach in southern Alabama, Stevie Wonder delivered a historic performance that moved the crowd's feet and their hearts.

Kate Russell
Television

The Super Bowl of Selling: The Best and Worst Ads

Did the big game deliver? What was the best moment? What was so quirky that you kept on thinking about it? And what was a complete waste of everybody’s time?

Music

Counterbalance No. 111: Stevie Wonder's 'Talking Book'

The many sounds that meet our ears the sights our eyes behold will open up our merging hearts, and feed our empty souls. I believe when I fall in love with the 111th most acclaimed album of all time it will be forever.

Reviews

Austin City Limits: Saturday 17 September 2011

Once you get to Stevie level, people are going to wait for you and not really complain.

Music

Various Artists: Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love

The music is uniformly solid, even groovy. But there’s a sweetness to the singles.

Music

Counterbalance No. 46: Stevie Wonder’s 'Songs in the Key of Life'

Just as all is born is new, do know what I say is true—that Stevie Wonder's 1976 opus is next on Counterbalance. It’s the 46th most acclaimed album of all time. You can feel it all over!

Music

Nguyên Lê: Songs of Freedom

Here's a trick: a five-minute "In A Gadda da Vida" that's more self-indulgent than the original!

Music

Counterbalance No. 42: Stevie Wonder’s 'Innervisions'

He’s been to, y'know, Paris, Beirut, y'know, I mean, uh, Iraq, Iran, Eurasia... y'know he speaks very, very, um fluent Spanish... He’s Stevie Wonder, and Counterbalance is looking at his 1973 landmark this week.

Music

On Losing Superman: Gil Scott-Heron's Rise, Fall, and All-Too-Brief Second Act

We thought Gil Scott-Heron was bulletproof. He wasn’t. We thought he’d know better. He didn’t. He was human. And I‘m New Here, not his greatest work, is his most human work.

Music

The Year in Music: September 2010

September 2010, the subject of our latest look at the year’s biggest events in music, was a month of TV events, celebrity arrests, and a lot of new music.

Music

Cassandra Wilson: Silver Pony

The pazz/jop contralto’s latest—live and studio tracks mixed together with too little distinction.

Music

The Year In Music: July 2010

July 2010, the subject of our latest look at the year’s biggest events in music, was full of new releases, high-profile concerts, and TV specials.

Music

The Year in Music: January 2010

Let’s single out the biggest events that happened in the world of music one month at a time, starting with January 2010.

Events

On TV This Week: Paul McCartney and the PBS Special with a Long Title

As a fan of both Paul McCartney and the Beatles, I heard quite a bit about this special, and had low expectations. The event seemed focus too much on itself and its guests instead of the real reason they were there.

Music

20 Questions: Nona Hendryx

In 1962, Nona Hendryx shared a bill with everyone from Bo Diddley to the Marvelettes. She took some time with PopMatters to talk about Buster Crabbe and her knack for fixing TVs.

Music

"Zoom, I wish the world were truly happy": Barack and the blues

In Grant park on the night of America’s victory in November 2008, Barack opened with: "It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America." It is my sincere hope that readers don’t miss that. Barack has a deep and personal understanding of this unique and complex American history. A cool, smooth, blues man has come to lead the nation.

Music

What It Was Like

In the early '80s Detroit, Motown was as unquestionable as air. Who didn't like air?

Music

Yesterday's Dreams: Motown in the 1980s

The music of Motown's third decade does not quite deserve the close attention that the label's first two decades warrant, but even a cursory look at the label in these years reveals that things weren't all bad.

David Camak Pratt
Music

Twirling the Dial: My Motown Memories

For those of us in tune with the sounds of the genre-redefining decade, a transistor radio was the seminal social sidekick. We loved listening to that little mono wonder, its tiny shrill speaker sparking a hundred journeys directly into the center of our mind.

Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

From the Four Tops and the Temptations to the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes, we narrow down our favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America" era to 25 indisputable picks.

Reviews

All You Need Is Love

Tony Palmer's compelling yet frustrating 15-hour television series on the history of popular music, originally broadcast in the 1970s, finally sees a DVD release.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The Best Re-Issues of 2007

From '60s soul to bluegrass and Krautrock to post-punk, PopMatters counts down the year's best re-issued albums.

Music

Queen Latifah: Travlin Light

The rapper/ actress/ singer bids for jazz legitimacy. One wonders why she bothers to try.

Music

Reflections: Motown in 1967

The latest installment in Hip-O Select's impressive reissue series, The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 7: 1967 collects every A-side and B-side released that year, including planned and deleted singles, as well as alternate and promotional mixes -- 120 tracks in all.

Music

Snoop Dogg: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment

Snoop Dogg invites a bunch of friends to the studio, records a small army of songs, accomplishes not much of anything.

Music

Stevie Wonder: A Time to Love

If you care about being cool, walk away now. We won't miss you.

Justin Cober-Lake
Reviews

The Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons

For classic rock fans, the set contains some fascinating moments, and it's a testament to Cavett's willingness to play with format that they don't seem dated.

Michael Buening
Music

Stevie Wonder: Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

It's a long-overdue retrospective of one of the most influential artists in pop music history.

Andy Hermann
Music

Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life

Songs in the Key of Life is the sprawling vision of a man whose sight has been rendered infinite by the power of love and faith.

John Kreicbergs
Music

Stevie Wonder: Where I'm Coming From

Personal, ambitious, sprawling, underrated: Where I'm Coming From still has its pleasures.

Kandia Crazy Horse

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