Welcome to another edition of Battle of the Bands! Today I’m featuring the motown classic “The Tracks of My Tears”:
“The Tracks of My Tears” is a song written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson (lead vocalist), Pete Moore (bass vocalist) and Marv Tarplin (guitarist). It is a multiple award-winning 1965 hit R&B song originally recorded by the group on Motown’s Tamla label.
In the five-LP publication The Motown Story, by Motown Records, Robinson explained the origin of this song in these words: “‘Tracks of My Tears’ was actually started by Marv Tarplin, who is a young cat who plays guitar for our act. So he had this musical thing [sings melody], you know, and we worked around with it, and worked around, and it became ‘Tracks of My Tears’.” Tarplin’s guitar licks at the song’s intro are among the most famous in pop music history.
“The Tracks of My Tears” was a number 2 hit on the Billboard R&B chart, and it reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Belatedly released in the UK in 1969, it became a Top Ten hit that summer, reaching number 9 (the UK release was credited to “Smokey Robinson and the Miracles”). This song is considered to be among the finest recordings of The Miracles, and it sold over one million records within two years, making it The Miracles’ fourth million-selling record. (Source: Wikipedia)
Here is Smokey Robinson and the Miracles performing the song. This is NOT part of the battle so please don’t include this version in your voting. It serves here only to present the original version.
The song has been covered by many artists. The two I’m showcasing today are Linda Ronstadt and the British group Go West.
Linda Ronstadt: (born July 15, 1946) is an American popular music singer. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award, and numerous United States and internationally certified gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums. She has also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award. Ronstadt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014. On July 28, 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities.
“Tracks of My Tears” became a pop Top 40 hit for the third time, when the version recorded by Linda Ronstadt for her 1975 album Prisoner in Disguise, was issued as that album’s second single. The single was a minor hit for Ronstadt peaking at number 25 on Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 11 on the C&W chart in tandem with its B-side: the Emmylou Harris duet: “The Sweetest Gift”), and number 42 in 1976 on the UK Singles Chart. Conversely, Ronstadt would score one of her biggest hits with her 1978 single “Ooh Baby Baby” which was a remake of the Miracles’ hit single release precedent to “The Tracks of My Tears”. Ronstadt and Smokey Robinson performed both “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Ooh Baby Baby” on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever special broadcast on May 16, 1983. (Source: Wikipedia)
Go West: Go West is an English pop duo, formed in 1982 by lead vocalist Peter Cox (born 17 November 1955, Kingston, Surrey, England); and rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist Richard Drummie (born 20 March 1959, Twickenham, Middlesex, England). The outfit enjoyed their peak of popularity between the mid 1980s and the early 1990s and are best known for the international top 10 hits “We Close Our Eyes”, “Call Me” and “King of Wishful Thinking”. They were named Best British Newcomer at the 1986 Brit Awards.
In 1993, Go West reached number 16 in the UK Singles Chart with “Tracks of My Tears”. (Source: Wikipedia)
TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why?
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