About the song
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles are one of the most influential groups in the history of Motown and soul music. Their song “Shop Around” was released in 1960 and became their first number one hit on the Billboard R&B chart and the first million-selling record for Motown. In this blog post, we will explore the origins and impact of this classic song.
The song was written by Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records. The original version of the song was recorded in Detroit in September 1960, with a slower tempo and a more bluesy feel. However, Gordy was not satisfied with the result and decided to re-record the song in Los Angeles, with a faster tempo and a more pop-oriented sound. He also changed some of the lyrics, such as replacing “try to get yourself a bargain, son” with “you better shop around”. The new version was released in October 1960 and quickly became a hit, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the R&B chart.
The song’s success established Smokey Robinson & The Miracles as one of Motown’s leading acts and paved the way for other artists to follow. The song also reflected the social and cultural changes of the early 1960s, as it encouraged young people to be more independent and assertive in their romantic choices. The song’s message of shopping around for love resonated with both black and white audiences, as it expressed a universal desire for happiness and freedom.
“Shop Around” is widely regarded as one of the best songs of all time, and has been covered by many artists, such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Captain & Tennille, and The Supremes. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2018. The song is also featured in several movies and TV shows, such as American Graffiti, The Big Chill, Goodfellas, and The Wonder Years.
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “Shop Around” is a timeless masterpiece that showcases the talent and creativity of Motown’s finest. It is a song that celebrates love, life, and freedom, and inspires generations of listeners to follow their dreams.