Smokey Robinson is an eminent songwriter, but he didn't write this one. Robinson was in a terrible funk - his last Top 10 hit was in 1981 ("Being With You") and he was reeling from addiction and depression. Robinson was good friends with Marvin Gaye, and when Gaye was shot to death in 1984, Robinson sunk into an abyss, delving deeper into a cocaine addiction.
In May 1986, a friend took him to church, which marked a turning point in his life. "There was a female minister who told me God had told her I was coming," Smokey told Rolling Stone. "She knew everything that was going on, stuff I had never told anybody before about the afflictions in my body and heart. I was addicted, but when I came out, I was free."
A short time later Robinson, who was recording for Motown Records, was approached by an executive at the label who brought him the demo of this song, which became a comeback hit for the singer.
This was written by the songwriters Lou Pardini and Jimmy George. Pardini, who joined the band Chicago in 2009, also wrote "We've Saved The Best For Last," which Robinson recorded with Kenny G; George wrote the Taylor Dayne hit "I'll Always Love You."
This song covers a topic Robinson has explored often in his work: Heartbreak. The song finds him offering to do anything if he could just see his girl again (apparently a taste of honey is better than nothing at all).
Surprisingly, Robinson's only Grammy win came for this song; he won for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male.
This was a #1 Adult Contemporary hit, Robinson's only song to top that chart.
This was the first Smokey Robinson song to get significant video play - not on MTV, but on VH1. Like Smokey's "One Heartbeat" video, it was directed by Greg Gold and takes place on a beach - something VH1 viewers seemed to enjoy. The video plays down the heartache of the song, with lots of shots of a windswept lady juxtaposed with Smokey looking more hopeful than desperate.
This being 1987, the song has a synthesizer solo, which was played by it's co-writer Lou Pardini. Other musicians on this song include Dann Huff on guitar, John Robinson on drums, and Neil Stubenhaus on bass.
Dt from Perdido BeachCertain songs make me think about certain women in my romantic past and this one always reminds me of a lady I had a very intense relationship with. It didn't work out, but at times it was great, while it lasted. A superb love ballad, great arrangement and vocals by Smokey.