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Motown's Greatest Hit...From the Detroit Era

The weekend's here, and I'm tired of reading -- and writing -- about corruption, high unemployment, political strife, the deaths of our babies and just about every other malady that's been kicking us in the butt lately. (Plus, even the Wife has been on my case about grousing about so many problems; this from a woman who reports about the public schools.)

So I figured I'd take a break from anything contentious. Set out to find a nice, positive story about the city. Flipped on the TV. Scanned the newspapers. Surfed the 'Net. Eventually, I ran across news of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Motown Records. Just what I wanted, I figured. Something iconic about Detroit that most of us can agree we dig.

But not so fast...

I happened to be talking to a friend of mine at the time I was thinking of the idea. I mentioned it to him -- and this led to a conversation about the history of the label...and that led to conversation about the Motown songs we grew up listening to our parents listen to...

...and that led to an argument...

Soon, we were debating about what was the best Motown song ever recorded. Before long, though, the argument changed a bit: It wasn't just "name the best Motown song made," but (us being Detroit chauvinists when it comes to R&B) now it was "name the best Motown song recorded before 1972," the year Berry Gordy moved the company to Los Angeles.

Oh the argument spun out along even more tangents, but I'll won't drag you down those roads. Instead, I'll just ask you to jump at the earlier point: In your estimation, what is the best Motown Records song ever made -- between 1960 and 1972.

For the record, my homie votes for "Baby Love," by the Supremes. The Wife, always happy to participate in anything that keeps me from being grouchy, weighs in with "You're All I Need To Get By," by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Me, I'm partial to "Reach Out I'll Be There," by the Four Tops (a bit of a darkhorse, I think).

What do you think? Obviously, there's no right or wrong answer, but I'm hoping for a few suggestions that many of us may not commonly think about. Any vote is valid as long as it stays within the boundaries: The best Motown song ever -- made during the label's greatest era ever, 1960 to 1972.

Let's hear it.

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