Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Saturday, May 29, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, #69

Dancing In The Street

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas
This song is important for a number of reasons. Firstly,  it charted twice, once in 1964 when originally released, then again when reissued in 1969. Secondly, Marvin Gaye co-wrote the song and played drums on the track. Thirdly, it seems like an innocent dance tune, but took on an additional meaning when riots in inner-city America led to many young black demonstrators citing the song as a civil rights anthem to social change, which also led to some radio stations taking the song off its play list because certain black advocates such as H. Rap Brown began playing the song while organizing demonstrations.

When Martha and The Vandellas (the 'Reeves' was tacked on in the late '60s) visited the UK, a British journalist aggravated Reeves when he asked her if Dancing In The Street was a "call to riot". She just rolled her eyes and said "My Lord, it was a party song."

The song also received a resurgence in popularity when it was famously re-recorded by David Bowie and Mick Jagger for Live Aid in 1985 and subsequently became a chart smash. This version was also the first video to be shown in movie theatres prior to the start of the film.

Sorry. I had to put both in. Oh come on! You'd have done the same.


  1. love this the boys done good

  2. I know I'm not alone in liking the cover by Mick and David, but so many people laugh at me when I admit it. Maybe it's the video that just puts it over the edge

  3. I love the video because it's a hoot to watch them try to out-camp and out-preen each other!


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