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R&B - Released March 15, 1974 | UNI - MOTOWN

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Pure Smokey consolidates Smokey Robinson’s progressions on Smokey, retaining the adventurous maturity of subject matter -- in particular, Robinson remains fixated on family, paying tribute to the sister who raised him on “It’s Her Turn to Live,” noting the passing generations on “She’s Only a Baby Herself,” and expressing “The Love Between Me and My Kids” -- but moving firmly into the present with his music. Apart from the closing “A Tattoo,” which was co-produced by Willie Hutch, Pure Smokey is helmed by Smokey himself and he creates a seamless blend of smoothed-out disco and gorgeous soft soul, the former firmly within the commercial realm of 1974 and the latter creating the sound he would coin Quiet Storm on his next LP. Here, Smokey favors lively beats over slow sways -- even the midtempo numbers carry a bounce to their rhythm -- yet these insistent, danceable rhythms convey an element of seduction thanks to Smokey’s velvet delivery, a smoothness that’s undeniable in his vocals and arrangements. So smooth is Pure Smokey that it’s easy to overlook its subtle innovations in subject and music, but that’s what makes it a rich, enduring LP: it goes down easy but pays back greater dividends upon close listening. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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R&B - Released January 1, 1983 | Motown (Capitol)

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Smokey Robinson took back the production reins from George Tobin and reinstated his producing/arranging partnership with Sonny Burke for Touch The Sky. The two took a more rhythmic approach, with Burke contributing drums and synthesizers. R&B listeners responded, notably on the title track (#68 R&B) and "I've Made Love To You A Thousand Times" (#8 R&B), but Robinson was shut out of the Hot 100, and as a result Touch The Sky continued his slide in LP sales, peaking at only #50 on the Pop chart, although it hit #8 R&B. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released January 1, 2004 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released January 1, 1981 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released January 1, 2010 | Motown

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R&B - Released August 19, 2014 | Verve

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R&B - Released June 19, 1973 | UNI - MOTOWN

Smokey is a tentative step forward, carrying clear remnants of Smokey Robinson's latter-day music with the Miracles, which shouldn’t come as a great surprise considering that it’s anchored by “Sweet Harmony,” a tune he wrote about and for the Miracles but was persuaded by Motown A&R’s Suzanne de Passe to keep for himself. From there, Robinson built a full LP, using Willie Hutch as his co-producer and writing a clutch of songs with Marvin Tarplin, his co-author on several Miracles hits. Certainly, the rich, gorgeous harmonies of “Sweet Harmony” consciously evoke the Miracles but the group is heard elsewhere too, in the bright bounce of “Wanna Know My Mind” and in its covers of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” and a medley of “Never My Love/Never Can Say Goodbye,” both bringing to mind Motown’s habit of recycling contemporary hits. These echoes of the past are comforting, particularly because they’re surrounded by modernity, thanks in part to Hutch’s lush, layered production but also Smokey’s willingness to embrace the shifting times, naturally favoring smooth soul to gritty funk, letting it escalate to an almost cinematic scale and, more importantly, not shying away from subjects he’d never tackle during the ‘60s whether it’s his family or the saga of a teenage runaway. It’s not a bold break into maturity on the level of What’s Going On or Music of My Mind but rather a transitional album, and a fascinating one at that, suggesting the path he would take going forward. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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R&B - Released August 31, 2010 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released May 22, 1979 | UNI - MOTOWN

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Pop - Released September 26, 2000 | UNI - MOTOWN

The Millennium Collection: The Best of Smokey Robinson collects the highlights of Robinson's career after the Miracles, including "Quiet Storm," "Being With You," "One Heartbeat," and "Cruisin'." "Let Me Be the Clock," "Baby Come Close," and a live version of "Ooo Baby Baby" round out this portrait of Robinson's sweet, sensual, maturing style. ~ Heather Phares
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R&B - Released January 1, 1980 | UNI - MOTOWN

On his follow-up to "Cruisin'," Smokey Robinson goes right back to that lazy, romantic style with "Let Me Be the Clock" (#4 R&B, #31 Pop), which leads off the aptly named Warm Thoughts. Robinson seems to have taken the success of "Cruisin'" as his opportunity to distance himself from disco and return to his more familiar ballad style, even injecting a touch of his old wordplay in "Into Each Rain Some Life Must Fall." Side two begins with the more uptempo "Melody Man," which was arranged, co-written, and co-produced by Stevie Wonder, but for the most part this is the bedroom Smokey Robinson, and that got him to #14 on the LP chart, his highest solo peak yet. ~ William Ruhlmann
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R&B - Released February 21, 1978 | Motown (Capitol)

Take away a bad attempt at trendiness "Why You Wanna See My Bad Side," a dullard "Feeling You, Feeling Me," a metaphoric disaster "Shoe Soul," and Love Breeze isn't half bad. The shimmering, floating "Daylight And Darkness" is a mesmerizer depicting his wife's dual personality. Claudette, an ex wife now, is a Gemini, an astrological sign known for split personalities. Smokey sings the stinging lyrics as if he's trying to penetrate Claudette's soul. The upbeat, romping "Love's So Fine," is a finger snapper that grabs you immediately. A soft, slow "I'm Loving You Softly" reeks of romanticism, while "Trying It Again," an uptempo romper, featuring a looping bassline, has a long, spirited fade with Smokey competing with the bass player for bragging rights. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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R&B - Released May 22, 1979 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released March 25, 1997 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released January 1, 1982 | Motown (Capitol)

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Miscellaneous - Released July 4, 2014 | SnapShot

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R&B - Released August 19, 2014 | Verve

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Smokey & Friends seems like it's as much an American Idol judges and mentors project -- or a sequel to Randy Jackson's Music Club -- than a celebration of Smokey Robinson's career. Produced by Jackson, Smokey duets with his guests on fresh versions of popular compositions he wrote during the early '60s through the early '80s, popularized by Smokey himself -- with and without the Miracles -- or other artists, namely the Temptations and Marvin Gaye. The array of vocal matchups alternates between suitable and, yeah, peculiar. For an instance of the latter, Steven Tyler wails, screeches, and ad libs all over "You Really Got a Hold on Me" while Nicole Scherzinger, a prominent background voice, takes a reverent approach that verges on solemn. Not only is it a poor matchup with Smokey's typically sweet and steady delivery, but it's the song where the recording method -- the vocalists didn't record together -- is most obvious. Smokey gets the best results with the veteran R&B women, Ledisi ("Ooh Baby Baby") and Mary J. Blige ("Being with You"), while pairings with the likes of Elton John ("The Tracks of My Tears") and James Taylor ("Ain't That Peculiar") are livelier than expected but forgettable. The noteworthy guests aren't limited to singers. Among the backing musicians are Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, John Mayer, Cornelius Mims, Jim Keltner, and Jackson himself. The instrumental support is mostly middle-of-the-road adult contemporary R&B without any conscious attempt to sound retro. One deviation -- "Get Ready," where Smokey is joined by Gary Barlow -- slathers modern dance-pop coloring to dismal effect. Compared to the originals, or even the better covers released during the intervening years, these versions are pleasant if sterile. Had everyone recorded together, the set would have at least benefited from some unforced spontaneity. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released March 26, 1975 | UNI - MOTOWN

The genius of William "Smokey" Robinson is immeasurable. As many of his prior songs had shaped R&B and pop music, this album would have a similar effect. The title track became the namesake for a music format. The album itself had three singles hit the charts. Arranged in an intermittent rhythm, "Baby That's Backatcha" ran up the Billboard R&B charts to number one inside 16 weeks. It was Robinson's first number one single since leaving the Miracles. The lyric of the ballad "The Agony and the Ecstasy" hit the Top Ten at number seven, and it was followed by the masterpiece "A Quiet Storm." Although it only managed to seal the Top 25, it has since made a greater impact on the music charts and music industry. Briefly, radio mogul Cathy Hughes, owner of Radio One, was the general manager at Howard University radio WHUR during the early '70s when she created the format "the quiet storm." She used Smokey Robinson's composition as the theme song. Before long, it caught on around the country and evolved into a new market. This album also features the "Wedding Song" which was written for Hazel and Jermaine Jackson's wedding and the "Happy" theme from the movie Lady Sings the Blues. ~ Craig Lytle
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R&B - Released January 1, 1981 | UNI - MOTOWN

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Dance - Released January 1, 1987 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)