7 Deadly Sins from the Book of Motown

DIGRESSIONS

Motown Morality

Motown songs of the late 1960s and early 1970s were a rare hotbed of pop-music morality. Let’s recount seven deadly sins against which songwriters of nearly a half-century ago – tremulous, perhaps, of the changing society all around them – powerfully inveighed on Top 40 radio.

Who says pop music is bad for kids? Who says music can’t change the world?

AVARICE
“For the Love of Money,” The O’Jays

COVETOUSNESS
“Back Stabbers,” The O’Jays

DUPLICITY
“Smiling Faces Sometimes,” Undisputed Truth

IRRESPONSIBILITY
“Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” The Temptations

PERFIDY
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” Marvin Gaye

POLLUTION
“Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” Marvin Gaye

WAR
“War,” Edwin Starr

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