I just recently crafted the perfect playlist for anyone that needs a serious Motown fix (Playlist: The Motown Machine,) celebrating the record label’s overall genius in impact. If you take a scroll through the list, most of the artists and songs are easily identifiable. Their catalog, even beyond just their highly prolific and iconic material from the late-50s and 60s, is almost overwhelmingly jam-packed with classic hits from the likes of The Temptations, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Rick James, Boyz II Men, just to name a few. Still, there are some amazing tracks that have more or less gotten trapped in the sands of time that need to be brought back into our musical consciousness. Of all of the songs on the playlist, there was one song and group in particular that I knew would read as an “obscurity” to most. The Velvelettes aren’t a championed Motown act the same way their sister girl groups (The Supremes, The Marvelettes, Martha & The Vandellas) were. They had a very short-lived run, in general, are never really had the opportunity to rack up any major hits, but the most recognized piece, “Needle In A Haystack” is one of Motown’s greatest, most under-appreciated products. The song fits in beautifully with the “assembly line” brilliance of their early days. Between the stunningly melodically lyrics, intricate backing vocals, and a spot-on instrumentation, this is a song that only a genius like Norman Whitfield could craft, and only a talented group like The Velvelettes could pull off with such finesse. It may not be “My Girl” or “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” but “Needle In A Haystack” is a perfect song.