Martha and the vandella's - DANCING IN THE STREET

First performance: 17/07/1970


Coverinfo

Bruce played the song 6 times as Regular opening song for Steel Mill.

1970-07-17 - SUNSHINE IN, ASBURY PARK, NJ
One show, double bill, with Steel Mill headlining and Lotus opening. Following a nice show-opening "Dancing In The Street" Springsteen jokingly comments "It's all happening out there in the street, so what are we doing in here?"

1970-08-14 - 7TH AND MARSHALL STREET PARKING DECK, RICHMOND, VA
one show, triple bill, with blues band Marlo Mays & The Stingers opening, Mercy Flight performing second and Steel Mill headlining and closing. This is one the most famous of all Steel Mill’s gigs

1970-10-17 - MC GYM, MONMOUTH COLLEGE, WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ
One show, double bill, with Steel Mill headlining and Sunny Jim opening. On the soundboard tape, drummer and background vocalist Vini Lopez's voice microphone is abnormally dominant in the mix, sounding like he was a co-lead singer.

1970-11-27 - SUNSHINE IN, ASBURY PARK, NJ
Two shows, triple bill, with the bottom-billed Steel Mill opening for the second-billed Cactus and headliner Black Sabbath (fronted by a spooked Ozzy Osbourne, who received death threats before the show). About eight minutes into "Dancing In The Street" the generator power fails for 12 seconds, much to the frustration of Bruce who comments "we must be the guinea pigs here tonight.
 
1971-01-18 - D'SCENE, SOUTH AMBOY, NJ
One show, double bill, with Steel Mill headlining with support from Godzilla. The song is played in a medley 
Dancing in the street - Honky Tonk woman
 
1971-01-22 - THE UPSTAGE, ASBURY PARK, NJ
One show, double bill, with Steel Mill headlining and National Debt opening. The song is played in a medley Dancing in the street - Honky Tonk woman - Proud Mary
 
1999-09-09 - THE PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS, AUBURN HILLS, MI
a snippet of the song was played as introduction to Don't look back  
 
 
 
a snippet of the song was played as part of Mary's place  
 
Bruce performs "Heat Wave" with Martha Reeves and "Mary's Place" includes in the intro "Dancing In The Street".
 

Songinfo

"Dancing in the Street" is a song written by Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter. It first became popular in 1964 when recorded by Martha and the Vandellas. It is one of Motown's signature songs and is the group's premier signature song. The song highlighted the concept of having a good time in whatever city the listener lived. The idea for dancing came to Stevenson from watching people on the streets of Detroit cool off in the summer in water from opened fire hydrants. They appeared to be dancing in the water. The song was conceived by Stevenson who was showing a rough draft of the lyrics to Gaye disguised as a ballad. When Gaye read the original lyrics, however, he said the song sounded more danceable. With Gaye and Stevenson collaborating, the duo composed the single with Kim Weston in mind to record the song. Weston passed on the song and when Martha Reeves came to Motown's Hitsville USA studios, the duo presented the song to Reeves. Hearing Gaye's demo of it, Reeves asked if she could arrange her own vocals to fit the song's message. Reeves recounted that she initially regarded the song as too repetitive. Gaye and Stevenson agreed and including new Motown songwriter Ivy Jo Hunter adding in musical composition, the song was recorded in two takes. The song's writers made sure to include Detroit as one of the cities mentioned with the lyric: "Can't forget the Motor City". While produced as an innocent dance single (it became the precursor to the disco movement of the 1970s), the song took on a different meaning when riots in inner-city America led to many young black demonstrators citing the song as a civil rights anthem to social change which also led to some radio stations taking the song off its play list because certain black advocates such as H. Rap Brown began playing the song while organising demonstrations. "Dancing in the Street" had two meanings. The first is the one Martha Reeves asserted to reporters in England. "The British press aggravated Reeves when someone put a microphone in her face and asked her if she was a militant leader. The British journalist wanted to know if Reeves agreed, as many people had claimed, that "Dancing in the Street" was a call to riot. To Reeves, the query was patently absurd. 'My Lord, it was a party song,' she remarked in retrospect".
 
 
 

Bruce on the artist

Lyrics

Calling out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat
Summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the street
They're dancing in Chicago (dancing in the street)
Down in New Orleans (dancing in the street)
In New York City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music (sweet music), sweet music (sweet music)
There'll be music everywhere (everywhere)
There'll be swinging and swaying and records playing
And dancing in the street

Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy grab a girl
Everywhere around the world
There'll be dancing (in the street)
They're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)

This is an invitation across the nations, a chance for folks to meet
There'll be laughing, singing, and music swinging, dancing in the street
Philadelphia, PA (dancing in the street)
Baltimore and DC now (dancing in the street)
Can't forget the Motor City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music (sweet music), sweet music (sweet music)
There'll be music everywhere (everywhere)
And there'll be swinging and swaying and records playing
And dancing in the street

Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy grab a girl
Everywhere around the world
They're dancing
They're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)

Way down in LA, every day they're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Let's start a big time now, get in time with dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Across the ocean blue, me and you we're dancing in the street, yeah (dancing in the street)
[Fades out]