Shop Around

Album: Hi, We're The Miracles (1960)
Charted: 2
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Songfacts®:

  • This was the first million-seller for Motown Records. It was also the label's first Top 10 single in the US.
  • Miracles leader Smokey Robinson wrote this in about 20 minutes. In a 2006 interview with NPR, he explained that some songs just flowed out of him, and those were often the hits. Robinson wrote the song for another Motown artist, Barrett Strong, but Motown leader Berry Gordy convinced him to record it with his group, The Miracles, and have Robinson's wife, Claudette, sing lead. Gordy worked on the song with Robinson, which was a slower and more bluesy number when the Miracles first recorded it.

    The song was released as a single, but late one night, Gordy woke Robinson up with a phone call announcing he thought up a different arrangement for the song and called the group into the studio to record it (it was not uncommon to re-record a song in those days after hearing it on the radio and considering improvements). Everybody made it to the studio except the piano player, so Gordy pounded the ivories while the tape was rolling. The hit version, which had a faster tempo and Smokey on lead, was recorded around 3 a.m.
  • Robinson made up the lyrics about his mother telling him go through lots of girls in pursuit of the perfect one. His mother died when he was 10.
  • A cover version by Captain & Tennille went to #4 US in 1976. In this version, the advice to "shop around" is delivered to a daughter.
  • A white singer on the Motown roster named Debbie Dean recorded an answer song called "Don't Let Him Shop Around" which hit #92 in 1961.

Comments: 9

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaInteresting that Barry played on this song. Does anyone know the name of the Sax player?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 27th 1960, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles performed "Shop Around" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    As the time the song was at #3 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart and at #53 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    {See the posts below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 20th 1976, the Captain and Tennille performed "Shop Around" on the premiere of their weekly ABC-TV program 'The Captain and Tennille'...
    The series had a six month run with a total of 20 episodes...
    {See next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 25th 1976, the Captain and Tennille performed "Shop Around" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Exactly two months earlier on April 25th, 1976 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #62; and on July 4th, 1976 it peaked at #4 (for 1 week) and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1975 and 1980 the husband & wife duo had fourteen Top 100 records; half of them, seven, making the Top 10 and two reached #1; "Love Will Keep Us Together" (for 4 weeks in 1975) and "Do That To Me One more Time" (for 1 week in 1980).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 27th 1960 the Miracles performed "Shop Around" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Exactly three weeks earlier on December 6th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 20th, 1961 it peaked at #2 (for 1 week) and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    The week it was at #2, the #1 record was "Calcutta" by Lawrence Welk...
    It reached #1 (for 8 weeks) on January 16th, 1961 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Captain & Tennille covered version peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on June 5th, 1976 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    The group's 1st recorded record was "Got a Job" in 1958, it was an answer song to the Silhouettes' "Get a Job" (it didn't make the charts, but it's on YouTube).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyDebbie Dean's answer song peaked at No. 92 and stayed two weeks in the Top 100. Sadly she passed away on February 17th, 2001 at age 73...
  • John from Nashville, TnMotown artist Debbie Dean recorded an answer song called "Don't Let Him Shop Around". Dean became the first white female artist signed to Motown. The single can be found on the first complete Motown singles box set (1959-1961).
  • Betsy from Keller, TxSo the first record was recorded and released - how do you know what the 45 that was pulled from the shelves with the first recording looked like? We have one from 1960 - we have been told it is the first one by the numbers in the wax. Anyone know?
  • Pj from Dallas, TxDid Blood Sweat & Tears David Clayton Thomas record this song also?
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