Culture, London, Music, Theatre, Theatre, Top Five, West-End

Top Five Motown Covers

GUYS GUYS GUYS! After a hugely successful run on Broadway and a US Tour, Motown The Musical is coming to the West End next Spring! Whilst I can sometimes be a leeeeetle bit snobby about Jukebox Musicals (though I swear to god, the day that Cher’s back catalogue is turned into a musical I will claw out the eyes of a thousand bitches to get my hands on a part in that) I am SUPER excited about this one simply because I’m such a massive fan of the soundtrack. SMOKEY, STEVIE AND DIANA this is gonna be awesome!


Rather than cobble together a story that shoehorns the songs of the decade in, the show focuses on the career of Berry Gordy and his creation of the Motown Records label. I mean the guy signed, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations- WHAT A ROLL CALL!

In preparation, I thought it’d be fun to share my favourite cover versions of classic Motown songs, plus a couple of reimagined hits in a Motown style. ENJOY!

1. Stevie Wonder Tribute- Beyonce, Ed Sheeran and Gary Clark Jr. 

Filmed at the Grammy tribute show to Stevie Wonder earlier this year, this is nine minutes of PURE JOY. Together they weave their way through ‘Fingerprints’, ‘Master Blaster (Jammin’) and ‘Higher Ground’. SING IT QUEEN BEY.

2. Lake Street Dive- I Want You Back

‘I Want You Back’ is one of my all time favourite Motown tracks, and I LOVE this version for the completely different vibe it give from the original Jackson 5 version. The Boston based Lake Street Dive have an incredible bassist (Bridget Kearny) and this lazy, harmonic version is just BLISS.

3. Amy Winehouse and Paul Weller- Heard It Through The Grapevine

When I listen to Amy, I still get goosebumps and feel so sad at such a loss to British Music. Here she is with Paul Weller, slaying it on Jools Holland with this Marvin Gaye classic.

4. David Bowie and Mick Jagger- Dancing In The Streets

Originally recorded by Martha and the Vandellas, this cover is GREAT for two reasons: 1) David Bowie. Just always David Bowie and 2) Mick Jagger in the video. THOSE MOVES THOUGH.

5.Ben Harper- Sexual Healing

Ben Harper’s cover of Marvin’ Gaye’s Sexual Healing ramps up the raunch factor even MORE  than the original. OH IT IS JUST SO SEXY. That creak in his voice? Swoon.

And as an added bonus (and mainly because 11 year old me is screaming for it) here’s Boyzone doing ‘Reach Out (I’ll be there)’ originally recorded by The Four Tops. SUCH GREAT MAN BANDING!


This post was in collaboration with Motown the Musical. 

Motown the Musical opens at The Shaftesbury Theatre in February 2016. For more information and tickets, visit the website. 




1 Comment

  1. Frankie The Mayfairy

    October 20, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I want the Cher musical to be here now and I want to see you in it. That’s all I’m going to think about for the next 24 hours.

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