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Going to a Go-Go/Away We a Go-Go [Expanded]

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Review

Gathering the first two long-players credited to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, this two-fer compiles the 1965 and 1967 releases Going to a Go-Go and Away We a Go-Go. Admittedly, these are early entries into the voluminous Smokey catalog; artistically, however, both albums reflect the infinite talents of Robinson and company. Additionally, they are a testament to the cohesive, timeless, and fully developed sounds emanating from the inhabitants of Hitsville USA and the originators of the self-proclaimed Sound of Young America. Both LPs included copious hits, including "My Girl Has Gone," "Ooo Baby Baby," "Going to a Go-Go," "(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need," and "Tracks of My Tears." However, equally enduring are the deeper album cuts that become more sharply defined when juxtaposed with the previously mentioned chart-topping and genre-defining works. "In Case You Need Love," "From Head to Toe," and "Let Me Have Some" are but a few of the up-tempo and rhythm-heavy sides that display the same "good-time" atmosphere as the title track, but became overshadowed in its wake. While the soul rattlin' "More, More, More of Your Love," as well as the crossover hit and leadoff track, "Whole Lot of Shakin' in My Heart (Since I Met You)," are featured on Away We a Go-Go, the album contains more than a few moments of pure and achingly sublime Smokey -- following in the tradition of the classic smoldering Motown love song. The dramatic brass arrangements on "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" were obvious influences on the Thom Bell-led Philly soul revolution nearly a decade later. It is the delivery, however, that emotes this version over and beyond Dusty Springfield's more popular rendering. Likewise, the tight string arrangement on "Oh Be My Love" can directly be linked to the similar scores on sexy soul classics such as Brenda & the Tabulations' "The Touch of You" or Barbara Mason's "I'm Ready." The bonus material continues in the same vein with an intimate studio version of "Goin' Out of My Head" and a rare live recording of "A Fork in the Road." The latter is from a September 1966 performance by Smokey & the Miracles at the infamous Roostertail Club in Detroit -- which held a series of live performances called "Motown Monday." Some might recognize the title "It's Fantastic" from the 1979 compilation LP From the Vaults. While this is the same track, featured here is a previously unearthed stereo version that unleashes a fuller and more vocally prominent mix. The real star of the Motown "classic albums" series is the opulent sound. Although a majority of this material has been previously available on CD, the marked improvement in sound quality makes this rendering indispensable for Motown advocates young and old. ~ Lindsay Planer
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Tracks of My Tears Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:58
  3. 2 Going to a Go-Go Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 3:54
  4. 3 Ooo Baby Baby Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:49
  5. 4 My Girl Has Gone Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:54
  6. 5 In Case You Need Love Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:41
  7. 6 Choosey Beggar Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:37
  8. 7 Since You Won My Heart Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:21
  9. 8 From Head to Toe Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:29
  10. 9 All That's Good Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 3:17
  11. 10 My Baby Changes Like the Weather Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:51
  12. 11 Let Me Have Some Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 3:12
  13. 12 A Fork in the Road Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 3:30
  14. 13 Whole Lot of Shakin' in My Heart (Since I Met You) Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:47
  15. 14 You Don't Have to Say You Love Me Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 3:5
  16. 15 (Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:34
  17. 16 Save Me Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:27
  18. 17 Oh Be My Love Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:56
  19. 18 Can You Love a Poor Boy Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 3:18
  20. 19 Beauty Is Only Skin Deep Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:24
  21. 20 I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:31
  22. 21 Baby Baby Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 3:13
  23. 22 Walk on By Smokey Robinson 2:51
  24. 23 Swept for You Baby Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 3:2
  25. 24 More, More, More of Your Love Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:36
  26. 25 It's Fantastic [Previously Unreleased][Stereo Mix] Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:38
  27. 26 Goin' Out of My Head [Previously Unreleased] Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 2:27
  28. 27 A Fork in the Road [Previously Unreleased] Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 4:47

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