Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland. Recorded in just two takes, and practically forgotten until it was released, it was assumed by the group and producers to be a “filler” album track. (Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent sang backup. They later went on to form the vocal trio Dawn along with Tony Orlando!) Motown boss Berry Gordy said you guys must be nuts . . . and order it released as a single. The Reach Out single came out on August 18, 1966 and debuted on the Billboard chart on September 3, 1966, with a bullet, at #82. It reached the Billboard top ten on September 24 and was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, from October 14 to October 22 (It replaced Cherish by The Association). Reach Out was in the top ten for seven weeks.
Rolling Stone ranked Reach Out I’ll Be There at #206 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.