There is infinite number of dance tracks sitting in the music vaults. I know that DJs spend hours seeking out new tracks to play for us and in this blog I want to heap praise on those that resist playing the same old, same old (click here to read my piece ‘The Same Old Song’). Like any dance music enthusiast I have my own favourites and I thought I might dare to suggest a few that might be given the once over in the hope they might get played. My third choice is Chairman of the Board’s You’ve got me dangling on a string.
You can bet your mortgage that this track will be played at any Motown Night, yet surprisingly it was not in fact released by Berry Gordy’s Motown label. However this track does have Motown running through its veins by way of its writers – brothers Brian and Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier. Holland – Dozier – Holland (as they are affectionally remembered) were the most celebrated of the Motown writing and production teams creating 25 no 1 hits.
They wrote 10 No 1 hits for the Supremes alone, including Baby Love, Stop in the name of love and You keep me hanging on. They also wrote for Marvin Gaye and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, but one of their greatest collaborations was with the Four Tops. It was for The Four Tops Can’t help myself that they wrote the immortal opening line ‘Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch’. They are also credited with writing my all time Motown favourite This old heart of mine for the Isley Brothers.
After finally falling out with Berry Gordy they left to form their own record label, Invictus, and instantly had two major hits – Freda Payne’s Band of Gold and Chairman of the Board’s Give just a little more time. You’ve got me dangling on a string was the follow up track. The production has elements of Holland, – Dozier – Holland’s trademark sound that served them so well at Motown – a catchy guitar riff to kick it off, a simple but dominant drum beat and layers of strings over a lead and backing vocal.
Its the Four-four drum beat of these tracks and their catchy melodies, that make them so easy to dance to and it goes some way to explaining why Motown has been able to re-establish itself as a retro dance scene. It’s testament to Holland – Dozier – Holland’s genius as songwriters that You’ve got me dangling on a string is today one of the most popular tunes played at Motown dance nights.
If this Chairman of the Board track is good enough to be the standard bearer for Motown dance nights, then surely it’s worthy of a play at Modern Jive venues. If there’s been space on the floor at Motown Nights I always modern jived to it and it’s so easy to connect with its infectious beat. Why wouldn’t it be? This song is a dance classic and I think it’s got what it takes to enthral a modern jive dance floor.