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  1. #1

    Was this Smokey Robinson's Greatest Solo Recording?

    I remember this one so very well. There was a story behind it that I have to think about at the moment. Was this his greatest"


  2. #2
    Personally I wouldn't call it his greatest, but it was his biggest solo hit up to that point. As for that story:In relation to so many songs in Smokey's catalog, Marv Tarplin gave him the melody to that song to write lyrics for in 1974. He wrote numerous songs to it, one titled "Easy Rider", but none could complement the sensuality of the Marv's music. Finally in 1979 while working on "Where There's Smoke" at Romaine Street(MoWest) he'd cut the track, but didn't have the title. One day while he was riding down Sunset The Rascals "Groovin" came on the radio and he figured that would be the name of the song, but it didn't sound appealing enough. He liked the sound of the word and came up with "Cruisin"(I love it when we're......together)and he settled on that word.He'd been on the road quite a bit at that time and had to turn in the "Smoke" album in a very short time with that being the last song needing completion. His voice was hoarse and he secretly wondered what fans would think hearing him sound so "bad" vocally, but it went in the opposite direction. "Cruisin" and the album took off like a rocket and made him a top dog in the industry again as well as clearing his debt at Motown(the company lost gobs of money on his solo albums).
    Last edited by Quinn; 07-27-2019 at 07:46 PM.

  3. #3
    This is his best IMHO. 'Just My Soul Responding' #35 UK making it his biggest solo hit way behind 'Being With You' #1 UK!


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn View Post
    Personally I wouldn't call it his greatest, but it was his biggest solo hit up to that point. As for that story:In relation to so many songs in Smokey's catalog, Marv Tarplin gave him the melody to that song to write lyrics for in 1974. He wrote numerous songs to it, one titled "Easy Rider", but none could complement the sensuality of the Marv's music. Finally in 1979 while working on "Where There's Smoke" at Romaine Street(MoWest) he'd cut the track, but didn't have the title. One day while he was riding down Sunset The Rascals "Groovin" came on the radio and he figured that would be the name of the song, but it didn't sound appealing enough. He liked the sound of the word and came up with "Cruisin"(I love it when we're......together)and he settled on that word.He'd been on the road quite a bit at that time and had to turn in the "Smoke" album in a very short time with that being the last song needing completion. His voice was hoarse and he secretly wondered what fans would think hearing him sound so "bad" vocally, but it went in the opposite direction. "Cruisin" and the album took off like a rocket and made him a top dog in the industry again as well as clearing his debt at Motown(the company lost gobs of money on his solo albums).
    Quinn thank you. I seem to recall that "Crusin'" had a rather long gestation period before it became a hit. I just going on memory now. I think I remember Smokey saying that the song/record to awhile to either get released or to catch on with radio. I might be wrong.

  5. #5
    Ok, this is what I found. The album containing "Cruisin'" came out in May 1979. The single was released in Sept. 1979 and it eventually peaked at #4 on Billboard's Top 100 in February 1980.

  6. #6
    My personal favorite solo by Smokey was this one:


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by copley View Post
    This is his best IMHO. 'Just My Soul Responding' #35 UK making it his biggest solo hit way behind 'Being With You' #1 UK!

    Beat me to it

  8. #8
    Yes.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I remember this one so very well. There was a story behind it that I have to think about at the moment. Was this his greatest"

    I say that "Crusin" is one of Smokey Robinson's best solo recordings and a big favorite of mine (along with "Quiet Storm", "Being With You", "One Heartbeat" and others). And as other posters have said, the song re-established Smokey's solo career. In fact, I didn't even know that Smokey's voice was hoarse when he recorded the song (until he mentioned that in the Miracles' Definitive Performances DVD).

  10. #10
    Nah this song was:


  11. #11
    For me smokey's greatest solo song is..i can't find...[if you've ever been in love and messed it up you''ll agree]

  12. #12
    Cruisin - #4 R&B, #4 Pop, #34 Adult Contemporary
    Being With You - #1 R&B, #2 Pop, #4 Adult Contemporary
    Just To See Her - #2 R&B, #8 Pop, #1 Adult Contemporary


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ngroove View Post
    Cruisin - #4 R&B, #4 Pop, #34 Adult Contemporary
    Being With You - #1 R&B, #2 Pop, #4 Adult Contemporary
    Just To See Her - #2 R&B, #8 Pop, #1 Adult Contemporary

    Thank you Ngroove. I loved those songs too. Bought the albums when they were first released.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Nah this song was:

    That's my favourite as well.

  15. #15
    Of all of Smokey's solo outings, chalk up "Cruisin' " as my favorite. It just has a good-time vibe that feels good year around whether you're riding along with the top down or you're looking out the window as the snow's a-fallin'. Either way, a Motown masterpiece!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Thank you Ngroove. I loved those songs too. Bought the albums when they were first released.
    Funny thing, first solo Smokey song ever heard, "Bein' With You", normally on my mother's mixtape on my childhoood, was that for quite a while, keep in mind this was just the voice, I thought the singer was a pretty attractive-voiced woman!

    But yeah, even after one day, scrounging through my father's albums, discovering the "Bein' With You" with Smokey's image on it, the song still remains to be my favorite of his big solo hits.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Ngroove View Post
    Funny thing, first solo Smokey song ever heard, "Bein' With You", normally on my mother's mixtape on my childhoood, was that for quite a while, keep in mind this was just the voice, I thought the singer was a pretty attractive-voiced woman!

    But yeah, even after one day, scrounging through my father's albums, discovering the "Bein' With You" with Smokey's image on it, the song still remains to be my favorite of his big solo hits.
    I remember opening the windows in my dorm room, kicking my feet up and blasting Smokey's "Being With You" as loud as I could back in the Spring of 1981! LOL

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I remember this one so very well. There was a story behind it that I have to think about at the moment. Was this his greatest"

    D'Angelo did a funked up cover version.

  19. #19
    I've always wondered why no one ever mentions Smokey's "Touch The Sky". Am I the only one who loves this?

    https://youtu.be/yLKEHCG1RIA

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Quinn thank you. I seem to recall that "Crusin'" had a rather long gestation period before it became a hit. I just going on memory now. I think I remember Smokey saying that the song/record to awhile to either get released or to catch on with radio. I might be wrong.
    It was on his Where There's Smoke... lp. Smokey wanted the first single to be Cruisin' but Motown wanted his disco version of Get Ready to go out first since disco was so hot at that time. Smokey was overruled. Get Ready died on the vine after only a month or so of its release and the lp began to fall over the charts. Robinson still wanted Cruisin' but Motown was still resisting; everything was disco. His last slow jam, Daylight and Darkness which was similar in sound to Crusin' also tanked. But radio programmers caught on to Cruisin' and they started playing it. In LA, Chicago and some other big markets requests poured in. So Motown edited the song and issued it reluctantly. It took a little while but slowly but surely radio stations across the USA started playing it. It became a massive hit and Where There's Smoke became only Smokey's second gold lp since leaving the Miracles 7 yrs prior. Cruisin' became his first solo gold single.

  21. #21
    For me Smokey gets no better than "The Agony and the Ecstasy". I wore this out some years back.


  22. #22
    [QUOTE=RanRan79;529684]For me Smokey gets no better than "The Agony and the Ecstasy". I wore this out some years back.

    That gets my vote too. Another is a track off the Yes It's You Lady lp, Are You Still Here

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ranran79 View Post
    for me smokey gets no better than "the agony and the ecstasy". I wore this out some years back.

    is that a[fake]horse? Hehehe!!

  24. #24
    This was the song that made us know that Smokey was going to be a success as a solo artist:


  25. #25

    Sweet Harmony

    I've always been partial to this time when the Miracles and Smokey came to their Fork In The Road, #1 on my personal chart.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    For me Smokey gets no better than "The Agony and the Ecstasy". I wore this out some years back.

    Oh yeaaaah... that Quiet Storm album, he was at the peak of his songwriting here.

    I love Cruisin' though, don't get me wrong, very smooth, but I think the Quiet Storm album had some of his best ever songs on it.

  27. #27
    Much as I truly adore Cruisin' and Silent Storm I recall being totally blown away by Just My Soul Responding. For me totally underrated. Smokey + Xit the perfect combination.

  28. #28
    "Cruisin" was the first Smokey solo song that I absolutely fell in love with... just blew me away... but "Just My Soul Responding" you donít get much better than either to be fair.

    And thanks to Gary for turning me on to "Touch The Sky" which I fully appreciate now!

    Anyone else like "Virgin Man" which I think is an amazing song and could have been a big hit if it werenít for the, erm, virginity-based lyrical content!!!?


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