Our Top 10 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles songs list looks back at the fabulous career of The Miracles from their early days through the years when original member Smokey Robinson put his name in front of the band’s name. The Miracles first formed in Detroit Michigan in the mid 1950s when original members Smokey Robinson, Warren “Pete” Moore, Ronnie White, Clarence Dawson and James Grice formed the group they called the Five Chimes. Dawson and Grice were soon replaced by Emerson and Bobby Rogers. With the addition of Emerson and Bobby, the group changed their names to the Matadors. When Emerson Rogers left the group in 1957 to join the U.S. Army, he was replaced by his sister Claudette Rogers. With the addition of Claudette Rogers, the group the changed its name to the Miracles.
Berry Gordy Jr. heard the band at an unsuccessful record label audition. However, Berry Gordy Jr took the group out on his own and released their first single “Get A Job.” At Smokey Robinson’s urging, Berry Gordy Jr would then start his own record label entitled Tamala Records which would become the origins of Motown Records. While its is widely know that Berry Gordy Jr. is the founder of Motown Records, not many people realize that it was Smokey Robinson’s idea. An idea that would eventually land Smokey Robinson in an executive chair of Motown as well as being its most important artist and songwriter at the start and for many years after.
From 1961 to 1965, the group released seven albums under the name the Miracles. In 1965, the group changed its name to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and released eleven more studio albums from 1965 to 1971. Over a ten year period, the group had released eighteen studio albums. Smokey Robinson left the group in 1972. He was replaced by Billy Griffin. The group The Miracles continued on releasing seven more studio albums between 1973 and 1978. In the end, the group had released twenty five studio albums, fifty seven singles and a handful of live and compilation albums. Most importantly, The Miracles had left an everlasting mark on music history. They inspired countless artists and bands. Fueled by the songwriting and voice of Smokey Robinson, The Miracles stand as one of the most important musical acts in the history of pop culture.
Our Top 10 Smokey Robinson and the Miracles songs list will focus on the period when Smokey Robinson was in the group. Although the Miracles had chart success with Billy Griffin, especially with their huge hit “Love Machine,” this article will focus on the period between 1961 and 1972.
# 10 -Baby, Baby Don’t Cry
We open up our Top 10 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles Songs list with the great song ” Baby, Baby Don’t Cry,” The song was released as a single in 1968 by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. The song “Baby, Baby Don’t Cry,” was a huge hit for the group. It broke the Billboard top 10 peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a non-album track that was eventually released on greatest hits compilations. The song featured on vocals Smokey Robinson, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Pete Moore, Ronnie White, Bobby Rogers and Marv Tarplin on guitar.
# 9 – More Love
Continuing with our top 10 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles Songs list we turn to the great song “More Love.” The song was released in 1967 on the Make It Happen album. “More Love.” was issues as a single from the record. “More Love.” reached the number three position on the Billboard Hot 100. It did extremely well on the Billboard R&B charts where it reached the top 10 peaking at number five. The song was written by Smokey Robinson for his wife Claudette who had just retired from the band for medical reasons.
# 8 – Shop Around
The great song “Shop Around,” is one of those great pop records that helped define the Motown Sound. The song was released as a single in 1960 and also appeared on the Miracles first album entitled Hi… We’re The Miracles. “Shop Around,” was a huge hit for the Miracles. The song went all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. It hit number one on the Billboard R&B Charts making it their first charting number one record.
# 7 – Going To A Go-Go
“Going To A G0-Go,” was the title track to the Smokey Robinson and The Miracles album Going To A Go-G0. Hands down this was one of the greatest albums of the 1960s. The Going To A Go-G0 album was the group’s highest charting album of their career. It was their only record to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hit 100. Not an easy feat to do in 1965 when the competition was fierce from bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and so many other great groups of the 1960s.
The album featured Smokey Robinson, Ronnie White, Bobby Rogers, Warren “Pete” Moore, Claudette Robinson, Marv Tarplin, The Funk Brothers and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The song “Going To A Go-Go,” hit number eleven in the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles charts. The songs great r&b groove served as an inspiration for so many more r&b classics to come from hundreds of artists.
# 6 – Mickey’s Monkey
In similar fashion to “Going To A Go-G0,” the Miracles upbeat great rocking tune “Mickey’s Monkey,” instantly became an r&b dance classic. “Mickey’s Monkey,” was released in 1963 on the album Doin’ Mickey’s Monkey. The song turned out to be one of the band’s biggest hit singles of their career. “Mickey’s Monkey,” broke the Billboard’s Hot 100 top 10 peaking at number eight. The song was written by Motown hit making machine of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland.
# 5 – I Second That Emotion
This was one of those great Motown songs that was a hit by multiple groups. Both Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations had a hit with the classic songs “I Second That Emotion.” The song was written by Smokey Robinson and Al Cleveland. The Miracles version was a smash hit peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967.
# 4 – Ooo Baby Baby
One of the most loved and cherished ballads of the 1960s was the classic Smokey Robinson & The Miracles song “Ooo Baby Baby.” If ever there was a song that presented the beautiful harmonies of The Miracles it was “Ooo Baby Baby.” Want a perfect first dance song? Here you go! The song was also covered by Linda Ronstadt in the 1970s who also did a killer version of this great song. “Ooo Baby Baby,” was the lead single from the great Going To A Go-Go album released in 1965. “Ooo Baby Baby,” became a top 20 hit for the Miracles peaking at number sixteen on the Billboard Hot 100.
# 3 – You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me
The hits just keep coming on this top 10 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles list, and what amazing hits they were. The group’s classic single “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” was released in 1962 on the album The Fabulous Miracles. The song “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” was released as the record’s debut single. It became the Miracles second top 10 hit after they had broke the top 10 two years earlier with “Shop Around.” The song was also recorded by The Beatles and released on The Beatles second album With The Beatles. In 1978, New York rock singer Eddie Money released a very much updated spectacular version of the song on his debut album. Great songs go one forever and Smokey Robinson composed a great one with “You Really Got A Hold On Me.”
# 2 – Tracks Of My Tears
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles wonderful song “Tracks Of My Tears,” stands as one of the all time classic records of the 1960s. Its one of those songs that became bigger over time. When it was first released in 1965 it broke the Billboard Top 20 peaking at number sixteen, buts its stature far exceeds its success in that year alone. The song was written by Smokey Robinson, Marv Tarplin and Pete Moore.
# 1 – The Tears of a Clown
We close out our top 10 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles songs list with the groups only number one hit of their career. It’s hard to believe that the group only had one number one record on the Billboard Hit 100. Interestingly when the song “The Tears Of A Clown,” was first recorded in 1967 and released on the album Make It Happen, it was not even released as a single. Three years later, it was released as as single in the U.K. where it’s success prompted a remixed version to be released in 1970 in the U.S. It was a smart decision because the song went straight to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 . It was also released on the 1971 album One Dozen Roses.