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'"). 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.
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 BillboardR&B singles chart, spending eight weeks at the top, and also hitting No. 2 on the Billboard 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 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".
In 1976, the American pop music duo Captain & Tennille recorded a cover version of the song "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.
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 Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their version became a gold record, and also topped the Billboardeasy listening chart for one week in 1976.