November 1: The Miracles release “Going to a Go-Go”

Go-go discotheques were growing in popularity so, never ones to miss out on a dance craze, the Miracles captured the thrill of hitting the clubs with the booming tom-toms of “Going to a Go-Go.”  That song, along with “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Choosey Beggar” and “My Girl Has Gone” (the latter a slightly scrambled reworking of “Tracks of My Tears”), were compiled on one of the years’ most hit-packed albums, November’s Going to a Go-Go. (It was their first to be credited to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles instead of just the Miracles, which was the precedent that got Diana Ross and David Ruffin agitated to do the same with their own groups.) All of the tracks except “My Baby Changes Like the Weather” were originals, and seven of the twelve were co-written by Miracle Pete Moore. It would be their only album to make the pop Top 10, strange considering what seminal artists they were.

In “Ooh Baby Baby” Robinson tearfully begs his woman to forgive him for cheating and reminds her that she’s made mistakes too. “I felt that because of my love and respect for women, I could maintain relationships with more than one,” he wrote in his memoir, despite the fact that his wife Claudette was in the Miracles, too.

“The Tracks of My Tears” made the Top 20 in August. Echoing the lyrics of John Lennon’s “I’m a Loser,” the singer laughs in public and wears the mask of a clown, but inside his tears are falling because his woman’s left him. In turn, the Beatles borrowed “Track”’s twelve-string guitar intro by Marv Tarplin for Lennon’s “In My Life” on Rubber Soul. Robinson would revisit the theme in “Tears of a Clown” the next year, as well.

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