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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2004
Much bigger in America than over here, the Miracles (as they were still called in the UK until 1967, and on 11 of the tracks here), nevertheless had a few Top 20 UK hits in the 1960s and there is a fair smattering of these on this handy Spectrum/Tamla Motown 20 track budget-priced compilation. 
The title track flopped when first issued here in 1965 but reached no. 9 when reissued in 1969, and Tears Of A Clown, a 3-year old album track first extracted as a single in 1970 by the British Tamla Motown label, reached number one here and subsequently in America (an earlier Spectrum compilation was called Tears Of A Clown, and that song is duplicated here in its mildly truncated and remixed US version).
A generous 15 of the titles here were A-sides, the remainder being album tracks. There are 3 non-album A-sides (of interest to collectors), including I Second That Emotion, but no non-album B-sides. It is not documented that 5 of the tracks are monaural versions, including at least 3 previously available in stereo elsewhere
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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 - an interesting title in the circumstances.
Separate compilations are available for the music by Smokey Robinson as a solo singer (including Being with you) and the Miracles without Smokey (including Love machine). Although they made great music separately, the music they made together (as showcased here) is what most people remember them for.
This budget compilation is not as strong overall as Ultimate collection, but it contains all the really important classics that Smokey Robinson and the Miracles made as a unit..
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 11 August 2002
This is the best budget price collection of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles- there is no excuse not to own the soul genius that Robinson no doubt was.
Twenty of the finest tracks from the classic Tamla-Motown period are here- Robinson writing or co-writing many classics (plus we have the timeless Holland-Dozier-Holland writing team on 'I'm the One You Need'). The album opens with the pounding pulse of 'Going to a Go Go'- which I think is only equalled by Sam & Dave's 'Hold On! I'm Comin'. Every song is a classic: 'If You Want', 'Ooh Baby Baby', 'Choosey Beggar'...Ok, 'The Tracks of My Tears' became synonmous with the cinematic ode to repressed homosexuality that was 'Top Gun' & the subsequent horrifying beer ads of the 1980's. But THAT VOICE!...Here 'You Really Got a Hold on Me'- much greater than The Beatles cover; ditto 'I Second that Emotion' which Japan covered. The best songs here are 'The Love I saw in You was Just a Mirage'- featured in Paul Schrader's excellent 'American Gigolo' & contender for one of the finest songs ever, 'The Tears of a Clown'. For this track alone this collection must be owned- if someone wants to know what a timeless pop song sounds like, proceed to track 6 and press 'play'.
So, a great budget collection of timeless soul songs that rank up there with prime Curtis, Stevie, Otis, Marvin & Aretha (we're on first name terms these days). This is greater than nostalgia and proof that great songs transcend time. Your record collection is empty without this- second that emotion!
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VINE VOICEon 23 March 2013
Smoky Robinson is one of the most familiar of the many Tamla Motown artists. Along with his backing group, the Miracles, he recorded many of the memories of my youth. He also wrote lots of other famous songs that you will have heard too. His falsetto tones, and tremendous vocal range, together with the classic Motown sound of Holland-Dozier-Holland, form part of a vocal history of the 1960's, and are rightly regarded as a large part of the legend. Terrific value, marvellous, evocative songs, flawless production. Does it get much better? I don't think so.
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on 15 March 2009
This CD has some of the best Smokey Robinson and the Miracles songs ever. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys Motown or Old Soul.

Brilliant Album
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on 28 May 2013
Although I already own most of the tracks that are on this CD they are original vinyl. I chose to buy this CD as the tracks are remastered to stereo and are crackle free plus cannot be damaged easily and of course last but not least the price! It would be silly not to have this as a backup.
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on 7 January 2012
Back to my youth........Loved these track in the 60,s still love them .........takes me back to my time in the service.
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on 24 July 2016
great compilation album, hit after hit full of timeless classics, must have CD!
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on 2 May 2013
Enjoyable journey back in time, enjoyed the songs I knew but felt there was quite a lot of filler material included!
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on 12 December 2014
Arrived in good time, exactly as described but not played yet as purchased for a Christmas present.
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