Gold

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Motown, 2006

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokey_Robinson

REVIEW BY: Michael Ehret

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/24/2008

Smokey Robinson has one of those instantly identifiable voices. When he whoops and hollers, as in “Shop Around,” one of his greatest hits, his voice is all energy and motion. With a softer song – say, “I’ll Try Something New” – his voice is a caress of silk as soft as a lover’s sheet.

Throughout his career, both with The Miracles and solo, Smokey moved musically with grace and aplomb from song to song, create little mini-masterpieces of pop music: “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks Of My Tears,” “The Tears Of A Clown,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Quiet Storm,” “Cruisin’,” and “Just To See Her,” among countless others, are all perfection.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

And that is what’s great about Gold, this two-disc collection that covers both parts of Smokey Robinson’s career – it’s all good: all of the hits and none of the filler Motown releases are often known for.

But it’s not just the romantic smashes that came to define Smokey. He was also a prolific songwriter not only for himself but for other artists, and he served as a vice president for Motown Records. He, as much as Berry Gordy and more than other label artists from the day, shaped what has become known as “the Motown sound.”

You like the balladeer? It’s all here in hits such as “I’ll Try Something New,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” and “One Heartbeat.”

How about the funkier Smokey? Yep, “Mickey’s Monkey,” “Going To A Go-Go,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Baby That’s Backatcha,” “Ebony Eyes” (with Rick James) are all present as well.

Pop smashes? “Shop Around,” “The Tracks Of My Tears,” “The Tears Of A Clown,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Being With You,” and the incomparable Smokey and The Miracles track, “More Love.”

Every song on this collection is a hit, some more successful than others, but each one helps tell the complete story of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. For all but the completists, Gold is the collection you need. It has every master hit as well as all of the important lesser hits.

Rating: A

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© 2008 Michael Ehret and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Motown, and is used for informational purposes only.