Thursday, July 22, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-The Miracles
Of course when we think of The Miracles, we think of Smokey Robinson and all the great hits of the 60s. But Love Machine was their biggest hit and that came after Robinson left the group to go solo. Robinson announced his departure in 1971 and after a farewell tour, he made his final appearance as a Miracle on July 16, 1972 in Washington. Robinson had told Ronald White, Pete Moore, Bobby Rogers and guitarist Marv Tarplin he planned to leave in 1969. But he decided to stay when Tears Of A Clown became a big hit. At the end of the farewell concert, Robinson announced that Billy Griffin would be the new lead singer of The Miracles and a complete episode of The Midnight Special was dedicated to the new group. Griffin is from Baltimore and was one of many singers who auditioned for this gig. BTW, Tarplin went with Robinson. Robinson produced their 1973 album Renaissance but it didn't seem to catch on. Many music industry pundits and music fans were skeptical of Griffin's abilities. But Robinson thought that Griffin had potential not only as a singer but as a songwriter. So he put The Mircales together with producer Freddie Perren. Perren was part of The Corporation who produced Jackson 5 albums. The 1974 hit Do It Baby reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. But The Miracles really hit it big with the 1976 album City Of Angels and the number one smash hit Love Machine. Perren was still producing but Griffin and Moore wrote all the songs. And it turned out to be the biggest hit ever for The Miracles. But then they left Motown for Columbia and after two disappointing albums, Griffin left to go solo. This British comp concentrates on The Miracles post-Smokey Robinson hits. Billy Griffin remained at Columbia and recorded a few albums. He also founded Motorcity Records with Ian Levine, produced The Pasadenas and produced the debut album of British boy band Take That. The various members of The Miracles reunite occasionally. Here's The Miracles performing Love Machine on Soul Train 1976.