Song #500 – Smokey Robinson and The Miracles : Shop Around

Shop Around

Writers: Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson

Producer: Gordy

Released: December 1960

Length: 2:50

Label: Tamla


Brit Boy:

I’ve heard of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles but have not been exposed to a great deal of their singles, I’m not familiar with this track, but I do love Tears of a Clown which is wonderful. Shop Around was released 10 years earlier than this, so I am expecting some differences. The fact that this is a true Motown classic and I will be listening to this from “the big D” is very exciting. Berry Gordy recently appeared in a 2013 advert for the Chrysler 300C Motown Edition, and I must admit I wasn’t really aware of who he was.

Once again I am very thankful for American Girl and our new found passion for blogging, I do feel that I learn something new every time I review another book, album, movie or hit single. As well as being the founder of Motown records, Berry Gordy co-wrote this track with Smokey Robinson. I’m really looking forward to hearing this song and Smokey’s distinctive vocals.

American Girl:

Embarrassingly, I must admit that while I have heard of Smokey Robinson, prior to this I would not have been able to name any of his music off hand.  (Thanks Brit Boy for reminding me of “Tears of a Clown” as well, love that song! Now I could name a few Smokey songs!)  I had heard of Shop Around before, but it could be at the forefront of my mind mainly because it was performed by Angie Miller on this season of American Idol (a guilty pleasure I sometimes watch with my kids, and for the record her fake smiles drove me crazy).  I also find it very ironic that for the year I actually lived in Detroit, I was unaware that it was the founding city of “Motown”.  Hopefully, this has not made you fully dismiss my opinions on music moving forward….  Luckily I have Brit Boy around to provide a little culture to my life.

Single Review

Wow!!! The track is so evocative of the 1960’s, but it also has a timeless nature. Smokey’s vocals and the effortless harmonies of the Miracles really sparkle on this track. You can easily see why this was the Miracles and Motown records first million-selling record, and a #1 single in the US. I really can imagine myself taking my girl down to the local dance and jiving away (have I the right dance step….??) to a live version of this, I know that it was set five years earlier but this really evokes memories of Back to the Future and the high school dance. I really am listening to this with a big smile on my face as I bask in the simplicity of the lyrics and clarity of the vocals.

Try to get yourself a bargain, son
Don’t be sold on the very first one
Pretty girls come a dime a dozen
I try to find you one who’s gonna give you true loving
Before you take a girl and say, “I do” now
Make sure that her love is true now
Make sure she’s in love with you now
I hate to see you feeling sad and blue now

My mama told me, you better shop around

It’s so easy to think of a mother standing in the kitchen giving her son the advice to not settle on the first girl who pays him attention. It has a really innocent nature to it but also real meaning. I really am running out of superlatives for this track.

A great start to this aspect of the blog and catchy song that will definitely make its way onto my i-Pod, if this is only #500 I think we have some treats in store. I wonder what American Girl will make of this.

I have never actually listened to the lyrics of this song before!  The beat is great and you kind of get lost in the chorus much as you would for many songs of this era.  While it is more of bopping in your car dance song I strongly suggest you actually take a moment to listen to the lyrics. They have such a sweet and innocent message, and something I hope to pass along to my own children.  Definitely makes me miss the “oldies”, especially when current social media portrays an ideal that the prettiest girl is the best… But hey, I am an “American Girl” and will always be a sucker for true love.

Definitely a great start to this particular countdown, I already feel like I have been exposed to a new side of a song that I otherwise would have skipped past quickly while surfing through my Pandora stations.

This entry was posted in Rolling Stone Magazine Top 500 Songs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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