So why is Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ Going to a Go-Go on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
When I started thinking about the incredible Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ song, “Tracks of My Tears,” I was reminded of the impact that the movie Platoon, released in 1986, was on me growing up.
The movie itself is both really good (it won a bunch of Academy Awards, including Best Picture) and really harrowing, a tough watch you might even say. It was released during a time period when the U.S. was just starting to truly reckon with the legacy of the Vietnam War by way of pop culture (though there are of course earlier examples of this, namely The Deer Hunter from 1978).
Platoon ran on HBO a lot during the mid- to late-1980s, and because my family subscribed to HBO, I watched whatever was on, including Platoon. Pivoting to the music used in the movie, I realized that it had quite an influence on me as well.
I didn’t recall fully embracing The Doors until a slightly later time period, but “Hello, I Love You” is in the movie and must have planted the seeds for me about that band in some way. And same goes for Jefferson Airplane’s outstanding “White Rabbit.”
But most of all it was “Tracks of My Tears” that had the deepest influence on me. There’s something about the power and emotion of the song – sad and soothing at the same time – and the dark themes from Platoon that kinds of fused together for me. When I listen now I’m still blown away: it holds up magnificently, and “Tracks of My Tears” is flat out one of my all-time favorite soul and Motown songs.
“Ooo Baby Baby” is a throwback to the doowop of the 1950s and is somehow arguably the best song of all of them, a dreamy, gorgeous stunner.
The title track, “Going to a Go-Go,” on the other hand, feels very contemporary to 1965 and is a great uptempo R&B number.
“My Baby Changes Like the Weather” is a fun deep cut, and what a great song title.
Some stats & info about Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Going to a Go-Go
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Soul, R&B, Motown
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #412
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Going to a Go-Go released? 1965
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #608 out of 1,000
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ Going to a Go-Go on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ Going to a Go-Go that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
People say I’m the life of the party ‘cause I tell a joke or two. Although I might be laughing loud and hearty deep inside I’m blue.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.