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The Miracles|The Ultimate Collection:  Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

The Ultimate Collection: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

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Motown Records is a bit like the Walt Disney Studios, in the sense that both organizations made a good deal more money in recent decades marketing their histories and reputations than they have in creating very much that's new -- indeed, Motown hasn't been an active label, in the sense of recording any new artists, in more than a decade. Apart from its Anthology series in the mid-'70s, however, the label seldom came up with anything that could hold a permanent place in a collection, or was reasonably comprehensive. Then came the Ultimate Collection series, which was timed to coincide with the first technological upgrade in CD mastering to 20-bit digital audio. This disc has 25 songs that encompass all of the Top Ten hits by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles released between 1960 and 1969 (as well as their 1970 number one hit, "Tears of a Clown"), but also some of their finest B-sides ("Choosey Beggar," "Who's Lovin' You") and an album track or two of significance, and it also sounded significantly better than any prior hits collection on the group, including the upgraded Anthology two-CD set issued just three years earlier. What's more, while it in no way supplants the four-CD 35th Anniversary Collection, it offers one track that didn't make it onto that set, the second version of "Way Over There," which -- though it never charted -- is a brilliant piece of writing, singing, and production. After all, "Way Over There" was the very first actual "Motown" single; in fact, it was one of the most ambitious and beautiful records that Berry Gordy ever produced personally -- and it did sell a reported 50,000 copies, which was significant enough in helping to keep the fledgling company afloat. That's as much of a "history lesson" as this CD provides, though people will always happily hear history lessons like that. Mostly, it's a gorgeous flood of sound washing over you for 70 minutes, though not quite like you've ever heard these songs -- including the gently ringing rhythm guitar on "Tracks of My Tears," the in-your-face drums that open "My Girl Has Gone," and the strings of the Detroit Symphony on "Way Over There," but most of all the silky lead and backing vocals, which have never sounded closer or smoother. The standard is now 24-bit, and someday there may even be a DVD audio or SACD of hits by the Miracles, but for a collection featuring some of their most enjoyable and best-sounding music, no one is going to be cheated by buying this disc.
© Bruce Eder /TiVo

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The Ultimate Collection: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

The Miracles

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1
Going To A Go-Go (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:50

Marvin Tarplin, ComposerLyricist - Warren Moore, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Rogers, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Pete Moore, Vocal Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - The Miracles, MainArtist - Marv Tarplin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Funk Brothers, Unknown, Other - Ronnie White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Claudette Robinson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Rogers, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1965 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

2
I Second That Emotion (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:42

William Robinson, Jr., ComposerLyricist - AL CLEVELAND, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist - Willliam Robinson, Producer

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Shop Around (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:49

Berry Gordy Jr., Producer, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Pete Moore, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - The Miracles, MainArtist - Marv Tarplin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Claudette Robinson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Rogers, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1960 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Way Over There (Single Version With Strings / Mono)
00:02:55

Berry Gordy Jr., Producer, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, ComposerLyricist - The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1960 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Bad Girl (Single Version)
00:02:43

William Robinson, Jr., ComposerLyricist - Berry Gordy Jr., Producer, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer - The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1959 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Who's Lovin' You
00:03:03

Berry Gordy Jr., Producer - SMOKEY ROBINSON, ComposerLyricist - The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1960 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
I'll Try Something New (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:37

William Robinson, Jr., Producer - Berry Gordy Jr., Producer - SMOKEY ROBINSON, ComposerLyricist - The Miracles, MainArtist - Riley C. Hampton, Vocal Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1962 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
You've Really Got A Hold On Me (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:57

SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Pete Moore, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - The Miracles, MainArtist - Marv Tarplin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Claudette Robinson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Rogers, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1962 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Mickey's Monkey (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:45

Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1963 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
I Like It Like That (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:35

Marvin Tarplin, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1964 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Ooo Baby Baby (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:43

Warren Moore, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1965 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Choosey Beggar (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:32

Warren Moore, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1965 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
My Girl Has Gone (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:53

Marvin Tarplin, ComposerLyricist - Warren Moore, ComposerLyricist - Ronald White, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1965 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
The Tears Of A Clown (Single Version / Mono)
00:03:03

William Robinson, Jr., ComposerLyricist - Henry Cosby, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Stevie Wonder, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist - Pete Moore, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Marv Tarplin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Claudette Robinson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Rogers, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1970 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Baby, Baby Don't Cry (Single Version / Mono)
00:03:58

Warren Moore, Producer - Terry Johnson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - AL CLEVELAND, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
The Tracks Of My Tears (Single Version / Mono)
00:03:00

Marvin Tarplin, ComposerLyricist - Warren Moore, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist - Pete Moore, Vocal Arranger, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Marv Tarplin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Claudette Robinson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Rogers, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1965 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music Group, Inc.

17
The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:58

William Robinson, Jr., ComposerLyricist - Henry Cosby, Producer - Marvin Tarplin, ComposerLyricist - Warren Moore, Producer - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist - Lamont Dozier, Producer - Brian Holland, Producer - Marv Tarplin, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Warren "Pete" Moore, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Claudette Robinson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Rogers, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
(Come 'Round Here) I'm The One You Need (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:30

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist - Lamont Dozier, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Eddie Holland, ComposerLyricist - Brian Holland, Producer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1966 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

19
More Love (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:47

Henry Cosby, Producer - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist - Lamont Dozier, Producer - Brian Holland, Producer - Marv Tarplin, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Warren "Pete" Moore, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Claudette Robinson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Rogers, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1967 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

20
Special Occasion (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:18

AL CLEVELAND, Producer, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

21
If You Can Want (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:26

SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

22
Yester Love (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:18

AL CLEVELAND, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1968 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

23
We've Come Too Far To End It Now (Stereo Version)
00:03:48

Johnny Bristol, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, MainArtist - Wade Brown Jr., ComposerLyricist - David Jones Jr., ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 UMG Recordings, Inc.

24
What's So Good About Good Bye (Single Version / Mono)
00:02:21

Berry Gordy Jr., Producer - SMOKEY ROBINSON, ComposerLyricist - The Miracles, MainArtist - Riley C. Hampton, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1961 UMG Recordings, Inc.

25
(You Can) Depend On Me (Single Version)
00:03:06

Berry Gordy Jr., Producer, ComposerLyricist - SMOKEY ROBINSON, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Miracles, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

Motown Records is a bit like the Walt Disney Studios, in the sense that both organizations made a good deal more money in recent decades marketing their histories and reputations than they have in creating very much that's new -- indeed, Motown hasn't been an active label, in the sense of recording any new artists, in more than a decade. Apart from its Anthology series in the mid-'70s, however, the label seldom came up with anything that could hold a permanent place in a collection, or was reasonably comprehensive. Then came the Ultimate Collection series, which was timed to coincide with the first technological upgrade in CD mastering to 20-bit digital audio. This disc has 25 songs that encompass all of the Top Ten hits by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles released between 1960 and 1969 (as well as their 1970 number one hit, "Tears of a Clown"), but also some of their finest B-sides ("Choosey Beggar," "Who's Lovin' You") and an album track or two of significance, and it also sounded significantly better than any prior hits collection on the group, including the upgraded Anthology two-CD set issued just three years earlier. What's more, while it in no way supplants the four-CD 35th Anniversary Collection, it offers one track that didn't make it onto that set, the second version of "Way Over There," which -- though it never charted -- is a brilliant piece of writing, singing, and production. After all, "Way Over There" was the very first actual "Motown" single; in fact, it was one of the most ambitious and beautiful records that Berry Gordy ever produced personally -- and it did sell a reported 50,000 copies, which was significant enough in helping to keep the fledgling company afloat. That's as much of a "history lesson" as this CD provides, though people will always happily hear history lessons like that. Mostly, it's a gorgeous flood of sound washing over you for 70 minutes, though not quite like you've ever heard these songs -- including the gently ringing rhythm guitar on "Tracks of My Tears," the in-your-face drums that open "My Girl Has Gone," and the strings of the Detroit Symphony on "Way Over There," but most of all the silky lead and backing vocals, which have never sounded closer or smoother. The standard is now 24-bit, and someday there may even be a DVD audio or SACD of hits by the Miracles, but for a collection featuring some of their most enjoyable and best-sounding music, no one is going to be cheated by buying this disc.
© Bruce Eder /TiVo

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