The Motown Song

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"The Motown Song"
Single by Rod Stewart featuring The Temptations
from the album Vagabond Heart
B-side "Sweet Soul Music" (live)
Released July, 1991
Genre Rock, soul
Length 4:00 (album version)
4:17 (single remix)
4:45 (power mix)
Songwriter(s) Larry John McNally
Producer(s) Richard Perry

"The Motown Song" is a song performed by Rod Stewart and featuring The Temptations. The song is from Stewart's 1991 album Vagabond Heart. The song peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 21, 1991. It also peaked at #3 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It was written by Larry John McNally and was originally recorded by McNally for the soundtrack to the film Quicksilver in 1986.

The writer Larry John McNally recorded a new version 2015 for the compilation "I. C. Independent Celebration, Vol. 1" for the German label "Birdstone Records".

Music video[edit]

The music video with Rod Stewart was produced by Animation City, an animation company in London, England, directed by Derek Hayes. It followed the success of the Madonna video "Dear Jessie", and Elton John's "Club at the End of the Street", by the same company.

It paid tribute to Motown (featuring animated versions of The Temptations, The Supremes and former Motown artist Michael Jackson) and featured other headline-making stars of the time, including animated versions of rapper Vanilla Ice, and singers Sinéad O'Connor, Madonna and Elton John; along with both a live action and an animated Rod Stewart with his animated dog. At the end of the video, the live action Stewart is sitting in his art studio and crumbles up a piece of paper where the animation was. Then, he proceeds to kick the paper into a bin, smiles, and leaves.

  • Director: Derek Hayes
  • Producer: Maddy Sparrow
  • Animators: Jimmy Farrington, Andy Goff, Malcolm Hartley, Derek Hayes, Ric Machin, Gaston Marzio, Paul (Robert) Stone.
  • Additional Animation: 'A' For Animation
  • Production Company: Animation City


Compilation appearances[edit]

  • I. C. Independent Celebration, Vol. 1 (2015, Birdstone Records) (song: "The Motown Song (2015)")