You can’t talk about the Motown sound without mentioning Smokey Robinson.
With his smooth vocals and soulful lyrics, Robinson became a staple in the music industry, inspiring generations of artists to come.
From his early days with The Miracles to his solo career, Robinson has left an undeniable mark on music history.
In honor of his legacy, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 best Smokey Robinson songs of all time (greatest hits).
These songs showcase Robinson’s range and versatility as an artist, from the upbeat and danceable “Shop Around” to the heartfelt and emotional “Ooh Baby Baby”.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to groove to the sweet sounds of Smokey Robinson.
1. “One Heartbeat”
You’ll love the smooth, upbeat rhythm of “One Heartbeat” as Smokey Robinson takes you on a journey of love and passion.
This song showcases Smokey’s ability to create a catchy tune with heartfelt lyrics.
The driving beat and playful melody make it hard not to tap your feet and sing along.
The chorus is especially memorable, with its catchy hook and uplifting message.
Smokey’s vocals are on point, conveying a sense of joy and excitement.
Overall, “One Heartbeat” is a classic Smokey Robinson song that’s sure to put a smile on your face and get you dancing.
When you hear “Cruisin’”, it’s hard not to imagine yourself driving down a quiet road with your windows down and the wind in your hair.
This classic hit from Smokey Robinson has stood the test of time and remains one of his most beloved songs.
The smooth and soulful vocals, combined with the catchy melody and romantic lyrics, create a perfect mood for any road trip or romantic moment.
The song’s popularity has also led to numerous covers by other artists, further cementing its place as one of the best love songs of all time.
Overall, “Cruisin’” is a timeless classic that showcases Smokey Robinson’s incredible talent as a singer and songwriter.
3. “Shop Around”
Get ready to feel the groove with “Shop Around”, a funky and upbeat track that will have you dancing in no time.
Released in 1961, this Motown classic was Smokey Robinson and The Miracles’ first million-selling hit, and it set the tone for their future success.
The song’s catchy melody and lyrics, which advise a young man to shop around before settling down with just one girl, struck a chord with listeners and cemented Robinson’s reputation as a master of soulful storytelling.
The Miracles’ tight harmonies and the driving beat of the Funk Brothers band make “Shop Around” a timeless favorite that still sounds fresh and exciting today, over 60 years after its initial release.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of Smokey Robinson or just discovering his music, “Shop Around” is a must-listen track that will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.
4. “Ooh Baby Baby”
Listen to “Ooh Baby Baby” and let the smooth and soulful vocals transport you to a place of pure bliss.
This is one of the best Smokey Robinson songs of all time and is considered a classic in the R&B genre.
The song was released in 1965 and has remained popular ever since.
The lyrics are simple, yet heartfelt, and Robinson’s voice is beautifully expressive.
The song is a perfect example of Robinson’s ability to write and perform soulful ballads that tug at the heartstrings.
It’s no wonder that “Ooh Baby Baby” has been covered by numerous artists, including Linda Ronstadt and Todd Rundgren.
If you’re looking for a song that will make you feel all the emotions, “Ooh Baby Baby” is a must-listen.
5. “I Second That Emotion”
You’ll definitely want to add “I Second That Emotion” to your R&B playlist, as it’s a groovy track that’s sure to get you moving.
Released in 1968, this song was written by Smokey Robinson and Al Cleveland and performed by the Miracles.
The catchy melody, combined with the smooth vocals and harmonies, makes it a timeless classic.
The lyrics describe the feeling of wanting to express love and affection towards someone, but not wanting to be the first to do so.
The use of the phrase “I Second That Emotion” adds a playful and clever touch to the song.
“I Second That Emotion” is a perfect example of Smokey Robinson’s ability to create soulful and memorable music that transcends generations.
6. “Just to See Her”
Although it may not be as well-known as some of his other works, “Just to See Her” is a poignant and heartfelt ballad that showcases Smokey Robinson’s exceptional songwriting and vocal abilities.
The song, released in 1987, tells the story of a man who is willing to do anything just to catch a glimpse of the woman he loves.
The lyrics are beautifully crafted, with Robinson’s smooth and soulful voice perfectly complementing the emotional tone of the song.
“Just to See Her” went on to become one of Robinson’s biggest hits, reaching number one on the Adult Contemporary chart and earning him a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
It’s a testament to Robinson’s talent as a songwriter and performer, and it’s a must-listen for any fan of his music.
7. “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”
“You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” is a soulful and bluesy track that showcases Smokey Robinson’s talents as a vocalist and songwriter.
The song tells the story of a man who is completely under the spell of his lover, unable to resist her hold on him.
Robinson’s smooth, emotive vocals perfectly capture the desperation and longing of the lyrics, while the lush instrumentation and harmonies create a dreamy and romantic atmosphere.
The song has become a classic in the Motown canon and has been covered by countless artists over the years, cementing its status as one of Robinson’s greatest hits.
Robinson’s soulful delivery and heartfelt lyrics continue to resonate with audiences to this day, making “Ooo Baby Baby” a timeless masterpiece of R&B music.
8. “The Tracks of My Tears”
When you hear “The Tracks of My Tears”, you’ll be transported to a world of heartbreak and longing.
Smokey Robinson’s smooth vocals and intricate harmonies paint a picture of a man trying to hide his pain from the world.
The song was released in 1965 and was an instant classic, becoming one of Robinson’s most famous works.
Its melody is haunting, and its lyrics are poignant, telling the story of a man haunted by the memories of his past as he tries to move on from a broken relationship.
The song’s emotional depth and Robinson’s powerful voice have made it a staple of the Motown era.
It remains a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences today.
9. “Tears of a Clown”
If you’ve ever wondered about the story behind the upbeat melody of “Tears of a Clown”, you’ll be surprised to learn that the lyrics describe the pain of a man who’s struggling to hide his true emotions from the world.
Released in 1967 by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, this song is widely regarded as one of the greatest hits of all time.
The song is a perfect blend of Motown soul and pop, with its catchy melody and upbeat tempo.
However, the lyrics tell a different story, one of heartbreak and sadness.
The song’s protagonist is a man who’s always smiling and joking around, but deep down, he’s hiding his true feelings.
He’s so good at pretending that he’s convinced others that he’s happy, but the “Tears of a Clown” are never far away.
The song’s message is universal and timeless, reminding us that sometimes, the people who seem the happiest are the ones who are hurting the most.
10. “Being With You”
Listen up, folks, ’cause if you haven’t heard Smokey Robinson’s smooth and soulful track “Being With You”, you’re missing out on a romantic masterpiece that’ll have you swaying in no time.
Released in 1981, this song became one of Robinson’s biggest hits and is considered a classic in the R&B genre.
The slow, melodic rhythm combined with Robinson’s silky voice and heartfelt lyrics make this track a timeless love song that still resonates with listeners today.
The song’s popularity is evident as it has been covered by several artists over the years, including Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, and Westlife.
“Being With You” is a testament to Robinson’s songwriting and vocal abilities and continues to be a standout track in his impressive discography.
11. “The Agony And The Ecstasy”
You’ll feel the intense emotions of love and heartbreak in Smokey Robinson’s soulful ballad “The Agony And The Ecstasy”, as he beautifully captures the highs and lows of a tumultuous relationship.
Robinson’s smooth vocals are accompanied by a haunting melody and a simple yet effective arrangement, making this song stand out on his list of greatest hits.
The raw honesty and vulnerability in his lyrics will resonate with anyone who has experienced the intense emotions of passionate but complicated love.
12. “Baby Come Close”
Come closer and let Smokey Robinson’s soulful voice take you on a journey of longing and desire in his classic love ballad “Baby Come Close”.
Released in 1973, this song showcases Robinson’s signature falsetto and heartfelt lyrics that express the need for a lover to come closer and share their love.
The song’s instrumentation is also noteworthy, with its smooth and mellow melody that perfectly complements Robinson’s vocals.
It’s no wonder that “Baby Come Close” remains a fan favorite and one of the best Smokey Robinson songs of all time.
The song’s timeless appeal lies in its ability to capture the essence of true love and the yearning for that one special person to come closer.
12. “Quiet Storm”
Now that you’ve explored the soulful melody of “Baby Come Close”, it’s time to delve into the smooth sounds of “Quiet Storm”.
Released in 1975, this iconic track became the namesake of a whole genre of slow-tempo R&B music.
With Robinson’s velvety vocals and the accompanying soft piano and saxophone, “Quiet Storm” is the perfect song to slow dance to on a rainy night.
The song’s sultry lyrics and mellow groove create an unparalleled atmosphere of romance and intimacy.
It’s no wonder that this song has remained a favorite among fans for over four decades.
13. “Daylight & Darkness”
You’ll feel the contrast between light and shadow in the haunting melody of “Daylight & Darkness”.
This lesser-known track from Smokey Robinson’s extensive discography is a hidden gem that showcases the Motown legend’s songwriting prowess.
The song opens with a slow and somber piano intro, setting the tone for the introspective and emotional lyrics that follow.
As the track progresses, the instrumentation builds, adding layers of sound that complement the depth of the lyrics.
The chorus is particularly memorable, with Robinson’s vocals soaring over a driving beat.
“Daylight & Darkness” may not be as well-known as some of Robinson’s other hits, but it’s haunting melody and introspective lyrics make it a standout in his catalog.
Best Smokey Robinson Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts
You’ve just discovered the 13 best Smokey Robinson songs of all time.
Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to his music, this list is sure to delight and entertain you.
From classic hits like “Shop Around” and “Ooh Baby Baby” to more recent offerings like “One Heartbeat” and “Quiet Storm”, this collection showcases the range and depth of Robinson’s talent.
Each song on this list is a masterpiece in its own right, showcasing Robinson’s incredible skill as a songwriter and performer.
From soulful ballads to upbeat dance tunes, every track offers something special and unique.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic slow jam or a catchy pop hit, you’re sure to find it on this list.
In short, if you’re a fan of Smokey Robinson, this list is a must-read.
It’s a testament to his enduring legacy as one of the greatest songwriters and performers of all time.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the music because, with these 13 amazing songs, you’re in for a real treat.
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