|By Isaiah (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 09:42 pm:|
In light of the fact that many of Smokey's best songs were recorded by Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, the Marvellettes and the Temptations, I am wondering whether this great singer/songwriter actually cheated himself in allowing those songs to be recorded by other artists(smile!)
Hey, I know I wont get anywhere with that line of nonsense, but how many of us would have been willing to allow the Tempts to sing My Girl if we had Smokey's pipes??? Truly, this is a man, not only of prodigious talent, but supreme confidence in his ability to craft and polish gems for our listening pleasure... My question remains, however, did Smokey actually allow others to sing his best songs??? That's not taking into consideration that he had a zillion of his on hits... My question is, were those songs he turned into gold really his best work, or was it the songs he crafted for Marvin, the Marvellettes, and Temptations that were really his greatest masterpieces???
|By LadyMystique (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 09:56 pm:|
I don't know...because I always thought he wrote and produced universally.
|By Vonnie (126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 10:14 pm:|
A really good topic...Makes you wonder what if???
|By LadyMystique (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 10:16 pm:|
But, didn't he write and produce to how the artist sounded and could deliver the song? I may be wrong...
|By John Lester (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 10:18 pm:|
I misunderstood this thread when I saw the word "joints"!
I would say it is difficult to generalise. When Smokey did do covers of his own songs, they didn't always come out as good and I immediately think of his version of "Get Ready" which I did not like at all. On the other hand, I think I preferred his version of "The Composer".
|By LadyMystique (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 10:21 pm:|
John, I agree with THE COMPOSER...although Diana and the Supremes did a good job on it, Smokey's version IMHO is better.
|By Eli (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 10:22 pm:|
My Girl was written specifically for the Tempts by Smokey and Ronnie White of the Miracles , on the stage of the Apollo during a band break after a rehearsal.
The way you do....was written in the Miracles station wagon on the PA Turnpike on the way home from a gig in NYC , presumably the Aopllo.
Motown being Motown, there are a lot of versions of a lot of the songs being done by some of the other artists.
David Ruffins version of I want you back is killer!
|By RD (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 11:26 pm:|
I always wondered what Ron White thought about Smokey producing "My Girl" on the Temptations and not the Miracles with him singing the lead? After all he did co-write the song and was the second or third lead in the group.
The Miracles' later version with Smokey singing the lead is a throwaway but what if they had done it closer to the Temptation arrangement with Ron White singing the lead?
If David had never joined the Temptations would Ron White and the Miracles had recorded it? Even if, Motown wouldn't have promoted it as it seem they tried and succeeded in pushing the Miracles as far in back of Smokey Robinson as possible.
|By Soul Sister (126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 11:43 pm:|
There are many gems he saved for The Miracles such as Ooh Baby Baby, Tracks Of My Tears, Fork In The Road, not to mention his 1950's gems, you all know em!
|By Ju (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 01:38 am:|
"...David Ruffins version of I want you back is killer..."
Eli, man, I think it's horrible! I have to take a polar opposite position with you on this one! Are you serious?
When I hear the Monitors (?) do "You Share The Blame," I'm like, "Smokey should've kept this one." I think if Smoke had done it, it would have been at least a mild hit. Maybe he should have let Eddie Kendricks do it. A pinch more of dynamism and the song would've been "another one going places" if you ask me.
|By Nish (184.108.40.206) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 02:14 am:|
I love most Smokey Robinson songs, and I think he was such a singer's writer, that in a way those songs he wrote for David Ruffin, EJK, Mary. W., etc. were best served by their voices. Likewise, I cannot see the Temptations even beginning to touch "Ooo Baby Baby" the way Smokey did (not to say they'd jack it up, just saying it wouldn't have as much va-voom).
I always did wonder why the Miracles' chart success was not as spectacular as the Supremes and the Tempts. All of their mid-chart hits were extremely great. Ooo Baby Baby, aural perfection, only charted at 16 if I remember correctly.
I do have to say "You Share The Blame" is a SMOKEY tune all the way, Richard Street does a great job of taking on Smokey's vocal style.
In the end, I'd just say, he is a writer for all seasons, and I think most Smokey tunes are gems, so you really can't lose with a catalog like that.
|By Ju (220.127.116.11) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 02:21 am:|
That was Richard Street, huh? You are right that song is so Smokey it's just got Smokey written all over it.
Tempts, "Ooo Baby Baby." Interesting idea. I have that Escorts (?) version but I haven't heard it in 15 years, maybe I should spin it tonight.
That "Going To A Go-Go" album was Smokey's best!
|By Nish (18.104.22.168) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 04:38 am:|
I'm having an insomniac nite. It was Richard Street, one of Motown's greatest male vocalists, doing "Smokey" for a spell, with great results.
The Escorts "Ooo Baby Baby" can be a dangerous, dangerous song. Outside of the original, that's my favorite cover.
And we are eye to eye on the album. Going To A Go-Go and What Love Has Joined Together are 2 of the Miracles' best.
|By Eli (22.214.171.124) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 08:01 am:|
Regarding Ooh Baby Baby.
The phrase was originaly a tag piece that Smokey used to do as an ad lib on ca certain song, and so it was then suggested to him that he make a song of it, and so that was that!
|By Tony Russi (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 09:29 am:|
I think it was the particular singer that Smokey wrote for...that inspired him.
|By Livonia Ken (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 10:57 am:|
I'm sure whenever Smokey cashes his publishing checks for big hits by other artists, he has no regrets.
|By Common (184.108.40.206) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 10:59 am:|
Just a sidenote: Smokey is on the cover of Jet this week. Lots of pics & a good 3 pg article on him. Check it out when you have the chance.
|By Edgar (220.127.116.11) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 11:52 am:|
Smokey also could have given the songs with female topic to Claudette and have more hits for The Miracles. Imagine her doing "My Guy", "Floy Joy", "What a Good Man He Is" or "Don't Mess With Bill"...
|By Handsome (18.104.22.168) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 12:10 pm:|
IMO, I really didn't care for Smokey's singing. I'm not saying this to ensue an argument. IMO, his stronger suit is being a great prolific songwriter & arranger.
As far as giving his "best joints" to other Motown artists, I think if Smokey really wanted to do any of those songs first, he would have, or he could always go back and re-record the song with he & his group later.
|By Tony Russi (22.214.171.124) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 02:14 pm:|
Edgar, I don't think Claudette ever wanted to be a solo singer.
|By R&B (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 02:30 pm:|
WE'RE TALKING SMOKEY HERE,I THINK HE LOVED TO WRITE SONGS FOR OTHERS JUST ON GENERAL PRINCIPLE[BESIDES THREE OTHER REASONS..IT HELPED MOTOWN..IT SHOWED HIS VERSITILITY..I THINK THAT THE SONG WRITER GET A BIGGER CHECK THAN THE ARTIST WHO RECORDED IT,ELI COULD ANSWER THAT ONE FOR US]AND ON A SMALLER NOTE IT DID WONDERS FOR HIS EGO[AS FOR SINGING THEM HIMSELF[HE DID RECORD SOME OF THEM HIMSELF]
|By KevGo (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 02:52 pm:|
IMO Smokey as a songwriter is like a tailor who customizes a suit to fit a customer's body type. Smokey writes a song with that specific singer in mind, whether it is him or another artist.
"Don't Mess With Bill" was well suited for the Marvelettes' Wanda Rogers, who made it sound as sexy as Mary Wells did with "My Guy".
"Ain't That Peculiar" and "I'll Be Doggone" were written as if they were soulful sermons, delivered with that same fervor by Marvin Gaye.
"Floy Joy" fit perfectly for the Supremes in teh 70s, as it recaptured some of the magic that made their 60s hits precious.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Randy Russi (184.108.40.206) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 02:53 pm:|
I think he wrote the majority of his songs for
a particular artist and that artist's sound--
I remember him saying he wrote "Two Lovers"
and "My Guy" for Mary Wells and as he was
writing he could hear her singing.
|By LadyMystique (220.127.116.11) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 07:29 pm:|
Hey I agree, and Smokey seems to write just about anything...I mean check the metaphors in all of his songs...timeless!
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