The 5 most iconic Motown Musicians

Motown Records is one of the world’s most influential labels and helped to launch the careers of many of the world’s biggest artists – let us explore some of the very best.

Motown Records, launched in Detroit in 1959 and named after the city of the motor, has a long and storied history. As an African-American owned label hiring black artists they achieved huge crossover success which brought a whole range of amazing black artists to the forefront of popular music.

Their cultural significance can not be overstated, but as socially powerful as their movement was they are also that a bunch of the world’s most iconic artists are known to us.

In celebration of this incredible label we wanted to take a look at 5 of Motown’s most significant, most talented, and wonderfully brilliant artists.

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

After years of writing hits like Reet Petite and Lonely Teardrops, Berry Gordy met the talented Smokey Robinson when he was just a teenager. Years later, as the two advanced themselves separately but working closely together – Smokey as a singer and Berry working on his own label and eventually recording studio to boot – Motown Records was launched and Smokey became Vice President.

After gathering a band together – The Miracles – Smokey and his Miracles made Motown Records their first number 1 R&B hit in ‘Shop Around’ which helped put the label on their path to musical greatness.

The Marvalettes

You know this one. Another defining moment in the early years of Motown Records was the release of ‘Please Mr. Postman’ which saw the first number one record for Motown.

Their success with this song has reached far into the future. It even reached number one again in 1975 when The Carpenter’s covered it and revived the success of this great song and pivotal moment in Motown’s life.

The Supremes

The Supremes took the nation by storm with their fully female fronted act releasing hit after hit with the support of Motown behind them. They were one of the periods most notorious acts and are still beloved and regularly played today.

The group set a record with twelve number one singles in the US. They are recorded as the best-charting female group in US history and one of the best-selling female groups in the world.

Of course another spectacular thing about The Supremes is that they birthed the unstoppable power of Diana Ross upon us and all that her voice gave us after her years with The Supremes.

The Jackson 5

Do I really need to say any more than the name here? Well okay if I must. The Jackson 5, later The Jacksons, put the Jackson family into a limelight which it never left.

Before Michael Jackson took their name to super stardom the family unit was already cementing their voices through radios around the world and into the hearts of keen listeners everywhere with hit after hit, including: ABC, I Want You Back, I’ll Be There, and many more.

Marvin Gaye

Known variously as the ‘Prince of Motown’ and the ‘Prince of Soul’, Marvin Gaye was musical royalty without question. He was pivotal in shaping the iconic Motown sound which became so notorious and popular as a session musician before going on to write and record his own mind-blowing music.

He recorded multiple phenomenal albums throughout his lifetime including a duet with Diana Ross. Iconic albums like ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ and ‘What’s Going On’ have ensured that Gaye will live on through the stereos of generations to come with the beauty of his pure, unbridled soul for all to hear.

Meet the 2 Scottish rappers who trolled the world right into a record deal with Sony

They say “fake it ’til you make it” and for these lads from Scotland didn’t make it until they faked it – and they faked it hard.

This new mini-doc from Vice takes a look at two guys from Scotland who couldn’t make it in Hip-Hop because of their origins. So they did what anyone else would do and put on American accents, claimed that Eminem taught them how to rap and got a gig supporting D12 after signing with a record label.

Listen to one half of ‘Silibil n Brains’ recount his crazy trip through fame on the back of a completely fabricated backstory. Do we need to write a disclaimer saying not to try this at home? Ah who cares, it worked for them… sort of.

DJ Regard releases his own online game Regard Runner

Kosovo-based producer Regard with Ministry of Sound have released a new game to promote his latest track Secrets.

After the success of his track Ride It which became viral on TikTok last year, Regard, currently signed to Ministry of Sound, releases his new endless running game Regard Runner. The game has players jumping over gaps and obstacles on mobile and computer. It was commissioned by Ministry of Sound and developed by The Creative Corporation. The game can be played while listening to Regard’s discography on Spotify, after connecting your Spotify profile and consenting to Sony access your email address and listening data.

Regard’s manager runs his label Leaf Management through RouteNote. RouteNote can be a great solution for label’s distribution needs, with free publishing on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and many more.

5 dogs who are very good at music

Dogs are often left out of musical conversations. “No fingers” they say, or “got no rhythm”. Well the next time you’re in an argument over the canine capacity for musicality prove those naysayers wrong with these fine specimens.

1. I could listen to these beautiful droplets all day. I can see this dog on stage with a big double bass accompanying his groove. Through the smoke clouded room under the pavement in the forgotten jazz club, Cookie the blind and deaf dog channels Beethoven in the 21st Century.

2. This dog has better tone than you and you know it. The Blues revival starts here. Petition for Glastonbury 2021?

3. That last dog is gonna need a support act. This dude’s pitch might need some work but he’s got that pure unbridled southern soul that gets the cowboys kicking boots and launching knees at the midnight hoedown.

4. Maple is a drummer. They were born to play the drums and that is what they do. They do it in time, they do it with style, they do it with an exalted class. Can you even picture going to a gig and having to put up with a human drummer again after watching this? There is a solution: We just breed and refine an endless line of Maples.

5. Avant-Garde music has become stale in the last few decades. Pushing the boat out with something weird and jarring is more common than popular boybands. That’s a real stat – don’t look it up! This dog has proven that their are still boundaries to be pushed. Art is still possible in a world over-encumbered with creation. This is the FUTURE! Music starts here and don’t you forget it. Where were you when the new age of artistic expression was born into this world? Right f**king here, baby.

Learn guitar with Ellie in The Last Of Us 2

Everyone’s talking about the last of us for it’s groundbreaking graphics, intense story, exciting gameplay – but you can also play the guitar along to classic rock songs.

You can actually learn to play songs in The Last Of Us 2 on guitar. There is a minigame in which you control Ellie playing the guitar and can scroll through a bunch of chords, finger pick the notes and strum away.

It’s incredibly well built with Ellie’s fingering accurately playing each position on her guitar. The possibilities of it are being discovered by players all across the internet who are recreating rock classics like Californication by the Chili Peppers, Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes and much more!

The five chords you have available to pick at any time are built using the Circle of Fifths in music theory so they’re guaranteed to sound good no matter how you decide to play with it. It’s an incredible amount of detail from the game producers.

Check it out in action below and if you’ve got the game, why not try and work out some songs of your own:

Win a Noise Machine palm sized MIDI beatmaker

The Noise Machine is a crowdfunded tiny MIDI beatmaker that fits in your hand. Noise Machine are holding a competition to win one.

Create music on the go with a physical controller. The beatmaker features 12 notes, 7 octaves using a slider and a MIDI expression knob. It charges via USB-C and connects wirelessly to most popular DAWs on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac, with an impressive 7.5 – 10 millisecond latency. You can connect up to 12 different channels to one device. “You can play one in each hand, or find 12 friends and create an ensemble.”

The Noise Maker will soon be crowdfunded. Head to their site to enter the giveaway and subscribe for updates on pricing and availability.

Richie Sambora’s biggest hits with and without Bon Jovi

Richie Sambora has brought us some of the most notorious hits in history so we thought we’d explore the best tracks the Bon Jovi frontman has given us.

From country to glam to blues to heavy, if there’s rock in the title Richie Sambora has played it. Best known for his work in Bon Jovi of course, Sambora has an entire discography of hits alone and with some of music’s biggest personalities like Cher and Desmond Child.

Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer

Well… duh!

Bon Jovi – It’s My Life

He ain’t gonna live forever, he just wants to live while he’s alive.

Richie Sambora – Hard Times Come Easy

That’s just how it goes.

Cher – We All Sleep Alone

Dream team? Absolutely.

Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive

My personal favourite, best enjoyed whilst playing Red Dead.

Richie Sambora – When a Blind Man Cries

I’m not crying, you are.

Got a favourite we didn’t mention? Share it in the comments.

Social distancing rave in Slovakia (video)

While the majority of the world stays at home waiting for pubs and clubs to re-open, Slovakia have got the right idea, with dancers separated in a taped off grid.

Make beats in Roblox with new Splash music maker

Popgun have added their music-making app Splash into Roblox to get kids, or anyone else, making music.

Popgun are a music startup with a focus on how to make music creation interesting using AI. Their debut app Splash is supposed to be a music-making app for teenagers and now it’s a game in Roblox they’re hoping to get people of all ages playing and making music.

The new zone Splash Zone in Roblox lets players perform to crowds and become the hottest DJ in the virtual world. There are DJ style pads covering different vocals, bass, keys, drums sections and more to mix into your sets and easily discover how to mix in elements together to make a great DJ set.

You can customise your virtual stage and your DJ to create a set of your very own design. You can also unlock access to the VIP sections and become one of the high rollers in this virtual music kingdom.

You can play in the Splash: Music and Beat Maker world of Roblox with friends and others together. So if you’re missing you’re friends and having a good dance, why not get everyone together to do a set of your very own from the comfort of your own homes.

Roblox is a free game and you can check out the Splash section of it here.

Pandora bring the soundtrack to your favourite games from Hasbro

Finding yourself playing a lot more board games at home now? Ease the family feuds over Monopoly with a musical backdrop from Pandora.

Pandora have teamed up with Hasbro to launch ‘Bring Home the Fun with Sound On’. It’s a new series of playlists which have been specially curated to provide the perfect soundtrack to 12 of Hasbro’s most popular games.

Artist like Taylor Swift, Rihanna, AC/DC, Justin Bieber, Prince and many more have been selected as the ideal backing for the next big family board game. Check out all the games that now have their very own mix on Pandora:

MONOPOLYAs you roll the Monopoly dice, our rich mix of tunes will keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind with songs including “It’s All About the Benjamins” by Puff Daddy and “Material Girl” by Madonna.

OPERATION: Before you grab the tweezers and try your surgical skills on Cavity Sam, press play and let our anatomical melodies steady your hand. But, careful … you can’t unbreak his heart. Check out this playlist with songs including “Your Body Is a Wonderland” by John Mayer and “Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa.

BATTLESHIPReady to embark on a game of Battleship? Our unsinkable mix of nautical songs including “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish and “Float On” by Modest Mouse will steer you right … if you catch our drift. 

CANDY LANDAs you indulge in a game of Candy Land, these delectable songs including “Yummy” by Justin Bieber and “Candy” by Doja Cat will sweeten your path through the Peppermint Forest, the Lagoon of Lord Licorice and Princess Frostine’s Frosted Palace. 

TWISTERAs you spin the Twister spinner, cue up these colorful songs including “Red” by Taylor Swift and “Green Light” by Beyoncé to motivate some hand-over-feet acrobatics.  

CLUEAs you interrogate Miss Scarlet in the Conservatory, let our mysterious melodies give you some clues with songs including “Killer Queen” by Queen and “Walking with a Ghost” by Tegan and Sara.

RISKAs you mobilize the troops for Risk, turn up the volume on these adventurous anthems that name-drop map locations and inspire world domination like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears and “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay.

SCATTERGORIES: While brainstorming Scattergories, turn up the volume on our quick-thinking blend of tunes that reflect your cards … maybe you’ll get a few ideas. Check out this playlist with songs including “Day ‘N Night” by Kid Cudi and “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. 

TRIVIAL PURSUITAs you outwit all around you in Trivial Pursuit, these inquisitive songs including “How Do You Sleep” by Sam Smith and “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston provide a few bonus questions. 

JENGA: Want to inject even more intensity into your Jenga? Press play on our hand-picked high-pressure songs including “Brick by Brick” by Arctic Monkeys and “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus.

THE GAME OF LIFESitting down for a round of The Game of Life? Press play on our eclectic mix of songs that celebrate your major milestones and capture every aspect of your 9 to 5, with songs including “Work” by Rihanna and “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors.

CONNECT 4Don’t just play Connect 4 … make a stronger connection by singing along—and counting along—with these numerical shout-out songs including “Hotel Yorba” by The White Stripes and “1234” by Feist. 

For more family-focused resources and ways to connect at home, stop by Hasbro’s bringhomethefun.com.