"Shop Around" is a song originally recorded by The Miracles on Motown Records' Tamla subsidiary label. It was written by Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. It became a smash hit in 1960 when originally recorded by The Miracles, reaching number one on the Billboard R&B chart, number one on the Cashbox Top 100 Pop Chart, and number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was The Miracles first million-selling hit record, and the first-million-selling hit for the Motown Record Corporation. This landmark single was a multiple award winner for The Miracles, having been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006, inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of The 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, and honored by Rolling Stone as #500 in their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
|Single by The Miracles|
|from the album Hi... We're the Miracles|
|B-side||"Who's Lovin' You"|
|Released||September 27, 1960 (regional) |
October 15, 1960 (national)
|Recorded||Hitsville USA (Studio A)|
|The Miracles singles chronology|
The Miracles original versionEdit
The original version of "Shop Around" by the Miracles (credited as "The Miracles featuring Bill 'Smokey' Robinson"), was released in 1960 on Motown's Tamla label, catalog number T 54034. The song, written by Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, depicts a mother giving her now-grown son advice about how to find a woman worthy of being a girlfriend or wife ("My mama told me/'you better shop around'"). The original version of the song had a strong blues influence, and was released in the local area of Detroit, Michigan, before Gordy decided that the song needed to be re-recorded to achieve wider commercial appeal. At 3 a.m. one morning, the Miracles (Robinson, Claudette Rogers, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White, and Pete Moore) recorded a new, poppier version of the song that became a major national hit. The original record label credits Bill "Smokey" Robinson as the writer, with Berry Gordy as producer. On the American Top 40 program of July 4, 1987, Casey Kasem reported that Gordy had previously rejected 100 songs by Robinson as "garbage" before accepting the 101st, "Shop Around," as "a hit."
The single was the first Motown record to be released in the UK, on Decca Records' London label. Pictured in the infobox is the subsequent EP release, coupling the "Shop Around" single with its follow-up, "Ain't It Baby". The two singles and the EP were the only Motown releases on the London label.
"Shop Around" was a big hit for the Miracles, becoming the group's first number 1 hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart, spending eight weeks at the top, and also hitting No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, behind "Calcutta" by Lawrence Welk. "Shop Around" also reached No. 1 on the Cashbox magazine Top 100 pop chart and is also noted for being the first million-selling record for the Miracles and for the Motown Record Corporation, as well as a 2006 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. The B-side to "Shop Around", "Who's Lovin' You", also saw a plethora of covers, including a version by The Jackson 5 in 1969.
"Shop Around" inspired an answer record, "Don't Let Him Shop Around" by Debbie Dean. Dean's "Don't Let Him Shop Around" charted No. 92 on the Hot 100 in February 1961 and was Dean's only chart entry. Smokey Robinson later recorded a sequel song for his 1987 album One Heartbeat, entitled "It's Time to Stop Shopping Around".
Awards and accoladesEdit
- The Motown Record Corporation's first million-selling hit record.
- Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006.
- The Motown Record Corporation's first Billboard number-one R&B hit. It held the No. 1 position on the Billboard R&B Chart for 8 consecutive weeks.
- Ranked as No. 500 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
- Reached number one on the Cash Box magazine Pop chart.
- The first Motown Records song to reach the top 5 on the Billboard pop chart (No. 2).
- Honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll".
- "Shop Around" – 2:50
- "Who's Lovin' You" – 3:06
- Smokey Robinson - lead vocals, writer
- Marv Tarplin - guitar
- Claudette Rogers Robinson - background vocals
- Pete Moore - background vocals
- Ronnie White - background vocals
- Bobby Rogers - background vocals
Captain & Tennille versionEdit
|Single by Captain & Tennille|
|from the album Song of Joy|
|Producer(s)||Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille|
|Captain & Tennille singles chronology|
In 1976, the American pop music duo Captain & Tennille recorded their version of "Shop Around" for their second studio album, Song of Joy, issued on the A&M Records label. Toni Tennille changed the lyrics slightly so that they were sung from a woman's perspective. The "Shop Around" single was produced by the duo and featured the song "Butterscotch Castle" as its B-side.
Released as the second single of Captain & Tennille from the Song of Joy album, their version of "Shop Around" was a success. The single reached number 4 in Canada on the RPM singles chart and peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. While not out-charting The Miracles' original, their version became a gold record, and also topped the Billboard easy listening chart for one week in 1976.
- "Shop Around" - 3:29
- "Butterscotch Castle" - 3:19
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