Marvin Gaye – “Pride and Joy,” Pop #10, R&B #2
The bouncy piano that opens and propels this track may be pure Chicago blues and Gaye’s singing more jazz than soul, but the backing vocals are pure Motown.
Supported by Martha and the Vandellas, Gaye reunited with Norman Whitfield and Mickey Stevenson for this jaunty ode to label boss Barry Gordy’s sister, Anna. This songwriting trio may have misfired on “Beechwood 4-5789,” but everything works here. Not only was the song Gaye’s first Top 10 hit, but Anna Gordy went on to marry Gaye. — By Joel Francis