First Hit #1: November 19, 1966
You Keep Me Hanging On has one of the great openings in music, with the morse-code inspired instrumental leading into a great kiss-off anthem. It not only sounds good, but it’s a clever tie in with the song itself, which is essentially about a message that isn’t getting through. It’s also one of the most interesting breakup songs there are, because it’s about a subject not many think about – the futility of being “just friends”. Whatever the man in the song might think, the emotional baggage makes it impossible, so we’ve got a song about trying to send him a message, which works by using different forms to send that message. Sure, Diana Ross and co. outright saying “Go on, get up, get out of my life” is a bit more explicit than morse code, but it’s an interesting way to tie the two together.