“Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” Performed by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1968) & Aretha Franklin (1974)

January 21, 2010


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Just about every song Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell performed together was a smash hit for Motown. There is not a single song they recorded that I don’t adore.  I don’t think  anyone could surpass what those two put on wax together!

“Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing,” composed by the extraordinary songwriting couple of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, was surely no exception.   “Real Thing” was just one of  many of Ashford and Simpson’s  long string of hits on Gaye & Terrell that had started with 1967′s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

“Real Thing” topped the R&B singles chart at #1 in 1968 and was #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song appeared on the duo’s 1968 LP  (#4  R&B #60 Billboard Top 200 Albums)  entitled “You’re All I Need ” –  pictured above.

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One of my personal favorite covers of this tune was by the Jackson 5 with Jermaine and MJJ sharing lead,  but this month’s theme is Aretha covers and of course her cover version,  recorded in 1973 and released as a single in 1974, charted a respectable #6 R&B and #47 Pop.

This time around Aretha didn’t best the original,  but she sure made a great showing! Don’t you agree?  Besides — this cover  earned Aretha the 1974 Grammy for  Best Female  R&B Vocal!

Aretha’s cover version appeared on her 1974 LP release “Let Me In Your Life” — pictured above.

Ok, now that you have voted for your fave please enjoy the bonus video below. This is my all time favorite version of  “Real Thing.”

MJJ – I miss you.  Jermaine is that an afro wig or did you actually groom your hair into that perfect halo? ;-)   Jackie and Marlon  your moves are great: smooth temptation-like unison fellas!

Musically Yours,

Updated 1/24/09

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Filed under:Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing,Aretha Covers and Hits,Aretha Franklin,Atlantic,Covers That Hit!,Dynamic Duos (Duets),Grammy Gold,Marvin Gaye & His Women,Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell,Motown,Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson,Pop/Soul,R&B/Duets,R&B/Motown,R&B/Soul,Seventies,Sixties

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