In the early sixties, Motown was the place to find the best music. Detroit was churning out hit after hit, and one of those timeless classics is “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. This golden oldie is the epitome of love’s craziness and the enduring power it holds over us.
The Story Behind the Song
“You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” was written by the legendary singer/songwriter/producer Smokey Robinson, who drew inspiration from Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home Me.” The song tells the tale of a love that won’t let go, even when the other person mistreats them. It’s a testament to the strength of love and its ability to keep us captivated.
Released in 1962-63 on the Tamla (Motown) label, “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” became a massive hit for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. It reached #1 on the R&B chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Originally the B-side to “Happy Landing,” this track quickly overshadowed its counterpart and became one of the most influential songs that shaped rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even included it in their prestigious list of 500 Songs.
Covers and Recognition
The success of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” didn’t stop with Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Many artists recognized the iconic nature of this song and covered it throughout the years. The Beatles included their version on their album “With the Beatles” and performed it in their movie “Let It Be.” Other notable artists who covered this gem include The Supremes, The Temptations, The Zombies, Jackson 5, Mickey Gilley, She & Him, and Phil Collins.
The Miracles and the Making of the Song
The Miracles, consisting of Smokey Robinson (lead vocal), his wife Claudette Rogers Robinson, Pete Moore, Ronnie White, and Bobby Rogers, worked their magic on this recording. Marv Tarplin’s guitar and The Funk Brothers, the legendary session musicians, added their exceptional skills to create the perfect sound.