“Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (1966/1970)

17 02 2009

Ah, Smokey Robinson, the “King of Motown,” America’s “poet laureate of love.”  A singer, songwriter, producer, mentor, and executive at Motown Records for a time, Mr. Robinson is a legend.  His songs are direct and beautiful.  You’ve probably already heard many of his songs, often performed by other artists.

“Tears of a Clown” was their biggest single, I think.  Originally recorded in 1966, it was re-released in 1970 and became a huge hit.  Stevie Wonder and his producer wrote the musical track, and Mr. Robinson penned the wonderful lyrics.

I was five-years-old in 1970, and this particular track is one of my earliest musical memories.  I’m glad it was this song.  Heck, maybe it’s the subconscious yardstick by which I measure all other music.

A well-rounded person should always have a Smokey Robinson record close at hand.  Unless you just don’t dig it, which is okay I guess.  But that would be a shame.

BONUS:   The English Beat is one of my first favorite bands.  Yeah, I know, I seem to have a lot of favorite bands.  There’s just a lot of really great music out there, most of which I probably never got the chance to hear.  Anyway, The Beat did a great cover of this song.  So even beyond his own original recording with The Miracles, Mr. Robinson’s song just keeps touching our hearts.

(See that guitar that Dave Wakeling, the singer, is playing?  That’s a Vox Teardrop guitar.  My dream guitar.  Now you know what I want for my birthday….)

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