B-side of I’ll Try Something New
This song, an early minor gem from Smokey Robinson, had previously been released as a Motown single back in November 1959 in an unimpressive version by Eugene Remus, one of Motown’s most obscure signings. For the Miracles’ second album Cookin’ with the Miracles, released exactly two years later, the song’s co-writer dusted it off for his own group, turning in a quite beautiful interpretation which only serves to highlight just how poor Remus’ rendition really was.
Remus had recorded the song twice, once with strings and once without; the Miracles’ version is quite different from both of those, slightly slower in tempo and boasting a completely new arrangement (again augmented by a lush orchestral string part, this time done by Bill Ramal, rather than Smokey’s new arranger of choice Riley C. Hampton). Really, though, the biggest difference between the Miracles’ record and those cut by Remus is the Miracles themselves. The group’s delicate, well-judged call-and-response harmonies provide a warm, melodic backing for Smokey’s great lead vocal delivery; throaty and melismatic, slightly more rough and raw here than on the A-side, it’s nonetheless another excellent performance from one of Motown’s most consistent lead singers.
Smokey the songwriter had developed considerably since this was originally written (as was discussed at some length yesterday), but even if it’s hardly a patch on the stellar A-side, this is still a very good record well worth a listen.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
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Motown Junkies has reviewed other Motown versions of this song:
- Eugene Remus (October 1959)
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“I’ll Try Something New”