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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 20 February 2001
For us Smokey fans, the fact that the original albums are unavailable on CD is a great detriment, leaving only greatest hits collections and the 35th Anniversary Collection boxed set from 1994, now sadly out of press. This collection, albeit small (the number of hits the Miracles had is simply staggering, every single from 1967 to 1972 went top thirty) contains most of the essential songs, although one could probably wish for Got a Job to be on there, and maybe Why Do You Build Me Up to Tear Me Down.
Kevin Reeves' remastering seemes to have aimed at creating warmer sound textures for most of the songs while accentuating key parts. This works remarkably well in songs like Going to A-Go-Go where the drum section that acts as a sort of main theme to compliment Marv Taplin's guitar is accentuated to great effect, and likewise the spoken word sections in Baby, Baby, Don't Cry are much more lively than in the previous master. However, it also means that some of the detail is lost in the more crisp arrangements, with I Second That Emotion losing its distinctive horn section in a muddle of harmonies, for example.
Overall, this is an excellent introduction to those not acquainted with The Miracles.
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on 8 September 2016
What can I say Smokey Robinson amazing singer all his albums are fantastic.
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on 16 March 2017
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on 7 December 2016
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on 16 May 2017
Good CD
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on 2 May 2017
Great condition great price
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on 18 April 2006
Smokey Robinson was once described by Bob Dylan as "the greatest living poet". That is certainly nothing of an understatement and Smokey Robinson was one of the most richly talented singer/songwriter/producers at Tamla Motown Records.

Smokey Robinson gave Berry Gordy the initial ammunition for forming Tamla Motown Records and was also partly responsible for bringing the great Diana Ross to his attention, who was a close friend of Smokey's and indeed Smokey ended up having a short-lived affair with Diana, even though he was married to Claudette Robinson at the time. Berry Gordy expressed an interest in one of his songs and before long, a creative bond was forged that would change the face of music between blacks and whites.

Origanal memebers of The Miracles were Smokeys then wife, Claudette, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White and Peter Moore. Smokey's obsessive themes were always centered around love that clearly inspired his always startling and highly remarkable compostions.

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles delivered Motown it's first hit with the blues-sounding, Shop Around. It encapsulated a neat mixture of R&B/Pop which proved to be a significant cross-over hit. This proved to be a breakthrough recording for both Smokey and the Miracles and indeed Motown Records itself. This was merley the beginning.

You Really Got A Hold On Me, was another magnificent recording in their early career which was lifted in 1963 and featured simplistic yet strongly emotive lyrics. Smokey's exuberant delivery was crystal-clear and possessed a lot of range which could be thrown around into any pitch and could always ride along Motowns somewhat complex musical arrangements.

The Tracks Of My Tears was another definitive Smokey Robinson compostion which really is quite breathtaking with its sweeping, tempo-shifting musical arrangements where the fantastic range of harmonies all gell so divinely with each other.

I Second That Emotion (later covered by Diana Ross and the Supremes with The Temptations) was a mid-beat number where Smokeys cool, sensual voice oozes such genuine emotion. This became another notably big hit to their credit.

Arguably the pinnacle of his career would have to be the superb, The Tears of A Clown. The profound lyrics were masterful and Smokey delivers a rolling vocal performance. The infectious, swinging Motown phenomenon is well under way on here and delivered one of his greatest hits.

The Ultimate Collection features all of these landmark recordings that will satisfy any lover of the Motown genre and for completists, there are a host of some lesser-known obscurities which aren't all top-notch, though Smokey's performances always are and still makes for an interesting listen.
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In Britain, Smokey and the Miracles are remembered primarily for two songs, these being Tracks of my tears (later revived by Linda Ronstadt) and Tears of a clown, but they were more successful in their homeland. Among their American hits to be found on this collection are I second that emotion (later revived by the Supremes and Temptations), Shop around (later revived by Captain and Tennille), Mickey’s monkey and You’ve really got a hold on me. All of those hits came in the early sixties, before Motown’s success spread internationally.
Smokey was a prolific songwriter, but as the sixties progressed, he gave many of his best songs to other Motown acts, so hits for his own group tended to be smaller and fewer. The last significant American hits they had together were If you can wait, which just missed the American top ten in 1968, and Tears of a clown, which was actually released on an album in 1967 but became a transatlantic number one in 1970. So their biggest hit came at a time when they were a fading attraction. It did not revive their career, which ended as a unit with 1972’s We’ve come too far to end it now.
A separate compilation in the same series is available of Smokey’s solo recordings with Motown. Being with you and other solo gems can be found on that compilation. So, this excellent collection of their best songs together includes all the essentials, something that cannot be said of all the compilations in this series.
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Listen to "I'll Try something new" and you will relive the early days of Motown redolent with Latin rhythms. "Ooh baby, baby" whilst having some doowop intonation exempifies early 60s Motown - that is, one had never heard anything like it! The voice of Smokey Robinson can be only compared with the giants of soul such as Sam Cooke.
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on 1 September 2015
Part of The Ultimate Collection series celebrating the work of a variety of Motown artists, which was timed to coincide with the first technological upgrade in CD mastering to 20-bit digital audio in the late 1990s. This compilation is one of the best of the big bunch as it features the big million-selling hits that Smokey Robinson and The Miracles enjoyed together in the 1960s and early 1970s ('I Second That Emotion', 'Shop Around', 'The Tears Of A Clown', 'The Tracks Of My Tears', and 'You Really Got A Hold On Me'), and some of the sweet-sounding soul group's finest B-sides as well ('Choosey Beggar', 'Who's Lovin' You"). It also sounds significantly better than any previous hits collection of the group, of which there are many. (Check, for instance, how in-your-face the drums are at the beginning of the characteristically lovelorn "My Girl Has Gone'.)

However, at 25 tracks, and 70 minutes, this digitally remastered set is pushing it as a straightforward Best Of, and at 18 tracks, the similarly-titled 2008 update Definitive Collection by ROBINSON,SMOKEY & THE MIRACLES offers a credible, and punchier, alternative, even if it is skimpier on recording details in the liner notes.
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