Limiting the selection to the “Original Three” plus the CCR version, since the CCR version is pretty popular.
The Motown recordings were released in the opposite order from the order in which they were recorded. The song was floating around within the walls of Motown for quite some time getting recorded and not released.
Since each of the first three acts recorded a song that had not yet been released by another artist, I would say that none of them were doing a cover version. So, we’ll call these the “Original Three”:
In order of release: Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
In order of recording:Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips
When CCR did it, they were definitely doing a cover. Lots of other acts have covered the song, but this one is the most popular cover version- so I am including it in the poll.
Have another favorite version?
Feel free to include it in discussion, but this is a “forced choice” poll limited to the four acts described above.
Hint: The CORRECT ANSWER is: Gladys Knight and the Pips because their version kicks all the other versions’ asses. Cheat on Marvin, you’ll make him sad but cheat on Gladys and she’ll hunt you down and chew your ass out!