Motown is both a style of music and a label, the latter beginning as straight R&B before later moving into styles like psychedelic soul and swing. It played an important role for the racial integration of popular music and boasted artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross. Here, we’ve listed 10 of our favorite Motown covers by rock bands in our scene.
“I Want You Back” – Abandoned By Bears
The Jackson 5 released this track back in 1969, but it recently got a pop-punk update from Swedish rockers Abandoned By Bears. Lucky for you, this is the first time this cover has been available to view!
“We chose this song because it brings back so many memories from our youth,” shares drummer Max Fahlman. “It would be a complete lie if we told you that Michael Jackson didn’t inspire us in our songwriting. The way he grew up as a child star to become the undisputed King of Pop, his legacy has touched artists of all kinds – musicians, actors, poets, and the general world of pop culture. It’s nearly impossible to name a bigger star from his era. This is our way of thanking and honoring him.”
“Shout” – Green Day
Green Day covered this The Isley Brother’s well-known ‘wedding song’ on their 2005 Bullet in a Bible live album. The original was released back in 1959.
“My Girl” – A Loss For Words
Surprisingly, this is just one song of a whole album of Motown covers released by pop-punk outfit A Loss For Words. In this cover, they give their take on the Temptations’ “My Girl” (1965).
“Where Did Our Love Go” – Against Me!
Against Me! covered this 1964 track by the Supremes at the 2017 APMAs. You can find the song in the video at 5:20.
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” – Kaiser Chiefs
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1966, and was released by Gladys Knight and the Pips in 1967, reaching No. 2 in the charts. Kaiser Chiefs released their version of the song in 2005.