IN some ways, the story of Motown mirrors that of the England football team.
Kings of the world in the sixties, a slow decline in talent during the 70s and bloody awful from the 80s onwards as genuine skill is traded for sub-standard crap. Just replace Marvin Gaye and Geoff Hurst with Bruce Willis and Carlton Palmer and you get the picture.
The Detroit label – home to Smokey Robinson, The Supremes and The Jackson 5, among many others – turned 50 this week, which would usually be something to celebrate if not for the fact that Stevie Wonder’s criminal record ‘Happy Birthday’ will inevitably get plenty of airplay as a result.
Acts as diverse as George Michael, The Beatles, The Jam, The Beach Boys, The Slits and Delroy Wilson have recorded Motown covers.
Sadly so have David Bowie & Mick Jagger, Blue and Michael Bolton.
You can’t win them all.


Best moments
1) Anything by Stevie Wonder before 1978
2) ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ The Supremes
3) ‘Heard it Through The Grapevine’ Marvin Gaye
4) ‘I Want You Back’ The Jackson Five
5) ‘Tracks of My Tears’ Smokey Robinson

Worst moments
1) ‘Under the Boardwalk’ Bruce Willis
2) The video to ‘Hello’ by Lionel Richie
3) ‘Dancing in The Street’ Jagger & Bowie
4) ‘End of The Road’ Boyz II Men
5) Anything by Stevie Wonder after 1978

• WITH the novelty value of The Mighty Boosh finally starting to wear off (it had to happen some time), there could soon be a bedroom-poster-sized vacuum in the hearts of students across Britain.
Step forward Flight of The Conchords whose Emmy-nominated second series launches in the USA this week with songs released online the following day.
A huge 250,000 people watched an online preview which was only supposed to be available to people in America. Distribution laws mean nothing in the age of YouTube, however, and British Balls spent Sunday night pissing ourselves at the pair’s attempt to write a jingle for Femadent – a women-only toothpaste.


REMEMBER when getting to number one actually meant something? When songs stayed at the top of the charts longer than a couple of hours and Bryan Adams was permanently the last song on Top of The Pops for half a year? Thank fuck all that’s over eh?
Alas, Justin Timberlake and Leona Lewis think otherwise and plan to team up to release a cover of Whitney Houston’s chart-swallowing cheese beast ‘I Will Always Love You’ which stayed at number one for ten excruciating weeks back in 1992.
A shady source said: “They will record the track in the next few months and are just waiting for a period when they’re both free to go into the studio.
“Leona and Justin are huge fans of each other’s music and are raring to go.”
‘SexyBack’ singer Justin has previously admitted how desperate he is to work with the British star after they met at his concert ‘Justin and Friends’ last year.
He said: “I’m going to go pimp myself to Leona Lewis because I think she’s an amazing singer.”
Just how you release a cover of a cover remains to be seen but don’t say we didn’t warn you.


U2 ARE the ‘big act’ performing at next month’s BRIT Awards – which considering they aren’t British is a slightly odd choice.
Bono (pictured) and his band of aging Irish rockers will debut new single ‘Get On Your Boots’ at the ceremony which takes place on February 18 in London.
Ged Doherty, Chairman of the BRITs committee, said: “We’re thrilled to confirm U2 have chosen the BRITs for their first global TV performance of their new single.”
Another BRITs spokesperson added: “U2’s addition to the line-up makes it possibly the best we’ve ever had.”
Also confirmed to appear at the prestigious event are The Pet Shop Boys, who will perform after collecting the Outstanding Contribution to Music prize, while Kylie Minogue will host the event.
Expect Shakespears Sister to scoop the best new act award as organisers try to make it feel like the early 90s never ended.