Cruisin' (Smokey Robinson song)

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Single by Smokey Robinson
from the album Where There's Smoke...
Released August, 1979 (August, 1979) (Debuted on Billboard's Soul chart on September 1, 1979)
Genre Soul, R&B
Length 5:53
4:11 (7" edit)
Label Motown/Tamla
Writer(s) Smokey Robinson, Marv Tarplin
Smokey Robinson singles chronology
"Get Ready"
"Let Me Be the Clock"

"Cruisin'" is a 1979 single written, produced, and recorded by Smokey Robinson for Motown Records' Tamla label. One of Robinson's most successful singles outside of his work with The Miracles, "Cruisin'" hit #1 on the Cash Box chart and was also a major Billboard Pop hit, peaking at #4. It was a Top Five hit on the Soul chart as well.[1]

The song was co-written by fellow Miracle Marv Tarplin . "Cruisin'" was an even bigger hit in New Zealand, hitting #1 on that country's chart. It is included on Robinson's ninth studio album, Where There's Smoke....


Chart (1979 - 1980) Peak
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 4
U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles 4
U.S. Cashbox 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 13

D'Angelo version[edit]

Single by D'Angelo
from the album Brown Sugar
Released December 5, 1995
Format CD Single, Cassette
Recorded 1995
Genre R&B, Soul
Length 3:58 (radio edit)
6:24 (album version)
Label Cooltempo

Neo soul musician D'Angelo recorded a cover of the song for his 1995 album Brown Sugar. The cover was released as the albums second single on October 12, 1995 and was commercially successful charting within the top ten of the US R&B charts.[2][3] the album reached sales of 500,000 copies in the United States by October 1995.[4][5] This version appeared in the third episode of the UPN sitcom, Moesha in 1996.

Composition and arrangement[edit]

"Cruisin", a cover of Smokey Robinson's 1979 hit of the same name, here features a predominant string section.[6] The longest track on the album, it employs violin, viola and cello, as well as shakers and light percussion, while sleigh bells are featured in the chorus.[7] Flutist Lauryn Vivino contributes with piccolo. The track also features steady piano-playing by D'Angelo,[8] with Brooklyn Funk Essentials-member Bob "Bassy" Brockmann playing the trumpet.[9]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Cruisin'"
  2. "Brown Sugar"


Chart (1995) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 53
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Singles 10

Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis version[edit]

Single by Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis
from the album Duets: Original Soundtrack
Released September 11, 2000
Format CD single, Cassette, Vinyl (7" 45rpm), Maxi Vinyl (33rpm/45rpm)
Recorded 2000
Genre Pop, adult contemporary
Length 4:52
Label Hollywood Records

Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis performed a cover of the song in the 2000 film Duets. The song is included on the soundtrack of the film. The duet spent one week at number one on the Adult Contemporary chart.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Cruisin'"
  2. "Feeling Alright"
  3. "Beginnings/Endings"


Chart (2000) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Polish Singles Chart[11] 29
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[12] 1
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 9

Other covers[edit]

In 1988, crossover thrash band Beowülf covered the song on their album Lost My Head... But I'm Back on the Right Track. In 2001, saxophonist Jaared covered this song on his album Foreward.[13] Three years later, the late bassist Wayman Tisdale included a cover of the song on his album Hangtime.[14][15] In 2011, former Jackson 5 member Tito Jackson recorded a cover of the song,[citation needed] and Filipino acoustic band MYMP released their version on the album The Unreleased Acoustic Collection and again on Back to Acoustic in 2013.

In Popular Culture[edit]

Cruisin' was feature on the radio in

  1. REDIRECT Grand Theft Auto 5

, and can be heard among other classic hits. The song was featured in the film I Love You, Beth Cooper as well as the film's soundtrack.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 497. 
  2. ^ Billboard Singles: Brown Sugar. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-05-09.
  3. ^ Gold & Platinum - Searchable Database: Lady. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on 2010-05-09.
  4. ^ Gold & Platinum - Searchable Database: Brown Sugar. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on 2010-05-09.
  5. ^ Ayers, Anne. "D'Angelo Cruisin' Through His First Tour. USA Today: 14.D. November 1, 1995.
  6. ^ Shapiro (2006), p. 104.
  7. ^ Metal Lungies: Remix Tuesdays - D’Angelo Part 4. Metal Lungies. Retrieved on 2009-02-01.
  8. ^ W & A's Record Reviews: D'Angelo. Retrieved on 2009-02-01.
  9. ^ Discogs: Bob "Bassy" Brockmann Discography. Discogs. Retrieved on 2009-02-01.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 146. 
  11. ^,124_CRUISIN.aspx. Retrieved 2014-03-31.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks from
  13. ^ "Foreward: Album". 
  14. ^ "An Interview with Wayman Tisdale". 
  15. ^ "Jazz Albums: Hang Time Wayman Tisdale". 
Preceded by
"Back Here" by BBMak
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
December 16, 2000
Succeeded by
"Back Here" by BBMak
Preceded by
"Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
(Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis version)

January 14, 2001 - January 21, 2001
Succeeded by
"Can't Fight the Moonlight" by LeAnn Rimes