The Miracles – “Shop Around” Pop #2, R&B #1
Barry Gordy borrowed $800 from his family to launch the Tamla label. The first group Gordy signed to Tamla was The Matadors, who changed their name to The Miracles.
It’s impossible to underestimate how important main Miracle Smokey Robinson was to Barry Gordy’s success. He not only brought dozens of hit records to the charts with The Miracles, but wrote most of Mary Well’s early hits and “My Girl” for the Temptations. It is impossible to get to Hitsville U.S.A. without going through Robinson.
This song was Motown’s first No. 1 hit (on the R&B charts, at least), over 45 years ago. If you updated the production and handed this song to Mariah Carey under the altered title to “Sleep Around” it would probably be a hit again today. Not that this is necessarily a good thing. — by Joel Francis