|Single by The Miracles|
|from the album Hi... We're the Miracles|
|B-side||"Who's Lovin' You"|
|Released||September 27, 1960 (regional)
October 15, 1960 (national)
|Recorded||Hitsville USA (Studio A)
|Length||3:04 (Detroit version)
2:50 (National hit version)
|The Miracles singles chronology|
"Shop Around" is a 1960 single by The Miracles (credited as "The Miracles featuring Bill 'Smokey' Robinson") on Motown's Tamla label, catalog number T 54034. It is the label's first number 1 hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart, and also hit No. 2 on the Hot 100. "Shop Around" also reached No. 1 on the Cash Box magazine Top 100 pop chart and is also noted for being the first million-selling record for the Miracles and for the Motown Record Corporation, as well as a 2006 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.
The song, written by Robinson and Berry Gordy, depicts a mother giving her now-grown son advice about how to find a woman worthy of being a girlfriend or wife ("My mama told me/'you better shop around'"). The original recorded version of the song had a strong blues influence, and was released in the local Detroit, Michigan area before Gordy decided that the song needed to be re-recorded in order to be more commercially viable outside of Detroit. So at 3 a.m. one morning, Robinson, Claudette Rogers, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White, and Pete Moore recorded a new, poppier version of "Shop Around" that became a major national hit. The original record label credits Bill "Smokey" Robinson as the writer, with Berry Gordy as producer.
Since its release, "Shop Around" has become an often-remade tune, on record, in live performance, and on television. The Captain & Tennille cover hit number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976; Toni Tennille changed the lyrics slightly so that they were sung from a woman's perspective. Their version topped the easy listening chart for one week in 1976.
"Shop Around" also inspired an answer record, "Don't Let Him Shop Around" by Debbie Dean. Dean's "Don't Let Him Shop Around" charted No. 92 on the Hot 100 in February 1961 and was Dean's only chart entry. Smokey Robinson later recorded a sequel song for his 1987 album One Heartbeat, entitled "It's Time to Stop Shopping Around".
Awards and accolades
The Miracles' original version of "Shop Around" has received the following awards and acknowledgments:
- The Motown Record Corporation's first million-selling hit record.
- Inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2006.
- The Motown Record Corporation's first Billboard number-one R&B hit. It held the No. 1 position on the Billboard R&B Chart for 8 consecutive weeks.
- Voted as No. 500 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
- Reached number one on the Cash Box magazine Pop Chart.
- The first Motown Records song to reach the top 5 on the Billboard pop chart (No. 2).
- Honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll".
- Mary Wells (1961)
- Johnnie Ray (1961)
- Georgie Fame (1964)
- Bobby Vee (1965)
- Russ Giguere (1971)
- Captain & Tennille (1976)
- The Spinners (1983)
Personnel: The Miracles
- Smokey Robinson - lead vocals
- Marv Tarplin - guitar
- Claudette Rogers Robinson - background vocals
- Pete Moore - background vocals
- Ronnie White - background vocals
- Bobby Rogers - background vocals
- Written by Berry Gordy, Jr. and William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr.
- Produced by Berry Gordy, Jr.
- Other instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
- List of number-one R&B singles of 1961 (U.S.)
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1976 (U.S.)
- Hits Of The Sixties: The Million Sellers by Demitri Coryton & Joseph Murrells (pg 43).
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 404.
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 25 - The Soul Reformation: Phase two, the Motown story. [Part 4]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
- "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". RollingStone.com. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 45.
- "The Miracles", Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.