673. The Miracles: “Going To A Go-Go”

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Tamla RecordsTamla T 54127 (A), December 1965

b/w Choosey Beggar

(Written by Pete Moore, Smokey Robinson, Bobby Rogers and Marv Tarplin)

BritainTamla Motown TMG 547 (A), February 1966

b/w Choosey Beggar

(Released in the UK under license through EMI/Tamla Motown)


Label scan kindly provided by Lars “LG” Nilsson - www.seabear.se.  All label scans come from visitor contributions - if you'd like to send me a scan I don't have, please e-mail it to me at fosse8@gmail.com!Strange, but coming fresh to an acknowledged Motown ClassicTM like Going To A Go-Go, it’s odd to realise this shouldn’t really work. Or at least, not as well as it does.

On paper, it should have come out forgettable; Smokey Robinson was having a banner year as a composer, producer and singer, but so far, every time the Miracles have gone from gorgeous ballads to uptempo rockers, the results haven’t been so special. I can understand the appeal of doing harder-edged material, letting off steam and showing off their chops as a surprisingly exhilarating live act – but they were so good at the slow stuff, it was always a risky move leaving sheer unadulderated loveliness behind in favour of rocking out. And Smokey, while he often wrote his best work with a trusted bandmate alongside to mix his palette for him (Pete Moore, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White, guitarist Marv Tarplin), well, probably by this point he didn’t really strictly need to be democratic and share out the songwriting credits with pretty much all of them, especially since the results of such many-handed Miracles songwriting pitch-ins (for the Miracles themselves, not necessarily for other Motown acts) turned into glorified jam sessions. You’re So Fine And Sweet, Since You Won My Heart, Come On Do The Jerk… entertaining enough in various degrees (well, except maybe that last one), but not really what we came for.

But yet again, records are to be judged on vinyl, not paper. Going To A Go-Go is the best of the Miracles’ rockers to date, grand and sweeping in the way all the best uptempo Motown singles are, but not afraid to be seen dancing. It’s excellent, all the more so for standing out. Continue reading

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