Nowhere to Run (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Nowhere to Run"
A-side label of one of U.S. vinyl releases
Single by Martha and the Vandellas
from the album Dance Party
ReleasedFebruary 10, 1965
RecordedHitsville U.S.A. (Studio A); October 21, 1964
G 7039
Producer(s)Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland
Martha and the Vandellas singles chronology
"Wild One"
"Nowhere to Run"
"You've Been in Love Too Long"

"Nowhere to Run" is a 1965 song by Martha and the Vandellas for the Gordy (Motown) label and is one of the group's signature songs. The song, written and produced by Motown's main production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, depicts the story of a woman trapped in a bad relationship with a man she cannot help but love.


Holland-Dozier-Holland and the Funk Brothers band gave the song a large, hard-driving instrumentation sound similar to the sound of prior "Dancing in the Street" with snow chains used as percussion alongside the tambourine and drums.

Billboard described the song as a "good dance beat piece of material which features a gospel piano and a wailin' vocal."[1] Cash Box described it as "a hard-driving, fast-moving, raunchy bluesy stomper with a contagious teen-oriented, danceable beat."[2] Record World said it features "a strong, strong beat and wailing by all the girls in concert."[3]

Included on their 1965 third album, Dance Party, "Nowhere to Run" hit number eight on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, and number five on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.[4] It also charted in the UK peaking at number twenty-six on the chart. The single release was backed with "Motoring".

This version was ranked #358 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[5]

This song is featured in Vinyl,[6] Bringing Out the Dead,[7] Baby Driver and the 2012 video game Spec Ops: The Line.




Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 200,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "Singles Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. February 20, 1965. p. 24. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  2. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. February 20, 1965. p. 12. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  3. ^ "Singles Reviews" (PDF). Record World. February 20, 1965. p. 12. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 378.
  5. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  6. ^ "Vinyl (1965)". Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  7. ^ "Bringing Out the Dead (1999) - Soundtracks". Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Warriors (1979) - Soundtracks". Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  9. ^ "The Warriors (Video Game 2005) - Soundtracks". Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  10. ^ Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, 12th Edition, 1999
  11. ^ Liner notes. The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 5: 1965, Hip-O Select – B0006755-02, August 4, 2006
  12. ^ "British single certifications – Martha Reeves & the Vandellas – Nowhere to Run". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 9, 2021.