Shop Around

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"Shop Around"
Single by the Miracles
from the album Hi... We're the Miracles
B-side"Who's Lovin' You"
  • September 27, 1960 (1960-09-27)(regional)
  • October 15, 1960 (national)
StudioHitsville USA (Studio A)
  • 3:04 (Detroit version)
  • 2:50 (national hit version)
Producer(s)Berry Gordy
The Miracles singles chronology
"Way Over There"
"Shop Around"
"Who's Lovin' You"

"Shop Around" is a song originally recorded by the Miracles on Motown Records' Tamla subsidiary label. It was written by Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. It became a smash hit in 1960 when originally recorded by the Miracles, reaching number one on the Billboard R&B chart, number one on the Cashbox Top 100 Pop Chart, and number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the Miracles' first million-selling hit record, and the first-million-selling hit for the Motown Record Corporation.

The single was a multiple award winner for the Miracles, having been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006, inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of The 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, and honored by Rolling Stone as #500 in their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, dropping it five spots from number 495 in the 2004 version.

The Miracles original version[edit]


The original version of "Shop Around" by the Miracles (credited as "The Miracles featuring Bill 'Smokey' Robinson"), was released in 1960 on Motown's Tamla label, catalog number T 54034. The song, written by Smokey 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'").[2] The original version of the song had a strong blues influence, and was released in the local area of Detroit, Michigan, before Gordy decided that the song needed to be re-recorded to achieve wider commercial appeal. At 3 a.m. one morning, the Miracles (Robinson, Claudette Rogers, Bobby Rogers, Ronnie White, and Pete Moore) recorded a new, poppier version of the song that became a major national hit. The original record label credits Bill "Smokey" Robinson as the writer, with Berry Gordy as producer. On the American Top 40 program of July 4, 1987, Casey Kasem reported that Gordy had previously rejected 100 songs by Robinson as "garbage" before accepting the 101st, "Shop Around," as "a hit."

The single was the first Motown record to be released in the UK, on Decca Records' London label. Pictured in the infobox is the subsequent EP release, coupling the "Shop Around" single with its follow-up, "Ain't It Baby". The two singles and the EP were the only Motown releases on the London label.


"Shop Around" was a big hit for the Miracles, becoming the group's first number 1 hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart, spending eight weeks at the top, and also hitting No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, behind "Calcutta" by Lawrence Welk.[3][4] "Shop Around" also reached No. 1 on the Cashbox 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,[2] as well as a 2006 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. The B-side to "Shop Around", "Who's Lovin' You", also saw a plethora of covers, including a version by the Jackson 5 in 1969.

"Shop Around" 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[edit]

Chart performance[edit]


The Miracles

Additional personnel[10]

Captain & Tennille version[edit]

"Shop Around"
Single by Captain & Tennille
from the album Song of Joy
B-side"Butterscotch Castle"
Producer(s)Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille
Captain & Tennille singles chronology
"Lonely Night (Angel Face)"
"Shop Around"
"Muskrat Love"


In 1976, the American pop music duo Captain & Tennille released their version of "Shop Around" for their second studio album, Song of Joy, issued on the A&M Records label. Toni Tennille changed the lyrics slightly so that they were sung from a woman's perspective. The "Shop Around" single was produced by the duo and featured the song "Butterscotch Castle" as its B-side. The single first entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on May 1, 1976, at number 62.[14]


Released as the second single of Captain & Tennille from the Song of Joy album, their version of "Shop Around" was a success. The single reached number 4 in Canada on the RPM singles chart and peaked at number 4 on the US Hot 100 chart on July 9, 1976.[15] While not out-charting The Miracles' original, their version became a gold record, and also topped the Billboard easy listening chart for one week in 1976.[16]

Chart performance[edit]


See also[edit]


  • Hits of the Sixties: The Million Sellers by Demitri Coryton & Joseph Murrells, Batsford Ltd., 1990, ISBN 978-0713458510, (pg 43).


  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (March 19, 2018). "The Number Ones: Lawrence Welk's "Calcutta"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 8, 2023. ...the Miracles came close to #1 with "Shop Around," an absolutely perfect pop song...
  2. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 25 - The Soul Reformation: Phase two, the Motown story. [Part 4]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 404.
  4. ^ "The Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Inductee explorer | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  6. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 4, 2009. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  7. ^ CHUM Tribute Charts, January 30, 1961
  8. ^ a b "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1961". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  9. ^ "Chart Toppers: Hot 100 for 1961". Billboard. Vol. 74, no. 1. January 6, 1962. p. 33. ISSN 0006-2510.
  10. ^ The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 1: 1959-1961 [liner notes]. New York: Hip-O Select/Motown/Universal Records
  11. ^ Laing, Dave (6 February 2007). "Obituary: Joe Hunter". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Jamerson, James (1989). Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson. ISBN 9780881888829.
  13. ^ Thornton, Jason H. 'The Andrew "Mike" Terry Story', There's That Beat! The Rare Soul Magazine, Issue 4, 2007, UK
  14. ^ "The Hot 100 – week of May 1, 1976". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "Chart History: Captain & Tennille – Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 45.
  17. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1976-07-03. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  18. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1976-06-19. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  19. ^ New Zealand Top 40 Singles Chart, 2 August 1976
  20. ^ a b Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002, ISBN 978-0898201550
  21. ^ "Top 100 1976-06-26". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  22. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1976". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-05.

External links[edit]