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The Solo Albums, Vol. 1: Smokey / Pure Smokey

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 7, 2010
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Solo Albums, Vol. 1: Smokey / Pure Smokey
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  • The Solo Albums: Volume 2 - A Quiet Storm / Smokey's Family Robinson
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  • The Solo Albums: Vol. 6
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered two-fer that compiles Smokey Robinson's first two solo albums from the early 1970s onto one CD: Smokey and Pure Smokey. 18 tracks. Universal. 2010.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Holly
  2. Medley: Never My Love/Never Can Say Goodbye
  3. A Silent Partner In A Three-Way Love Affair
  4. Just My Soul Responding
  5. Sweet Harmony
  6. Will You Love Me Tomorrow?
  7. Wanna Know My Mind
  8. The Family Song
  9. Baby Come Close
  10. It's Her Turn To Live
  11. The Love Between Me And My Kids
  12. Asleep On My Love
  13. I Am I Am
  14. Just Passing Through
  15. Virgin Man
  16. She's Only A Baby Herself
  17. Fulfill Your Need
  18. A Tattoo


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 2010)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hip-O Select
  • ASIN: B003KZZ4TY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,414 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Seeing that Smokey Robinson is quite possibly my all time favorite recording artist, saying that I am beyond ecstatic about this series is probably the understatement of the century. I simply can not wait for the other volumes of this to come out over the next year.

In volume one, we get Smokey's first two albums, and they are both very good indeed. From the first album we get his loving tribute to his fellow Miracles "Sweet Harmony", possibly my favorite song ever composed, along with other gems like Just My Soul Responding, Wanna Know My Mind and Baby Come Close. There are two cover tunes on his first album. The medley of Never My Love/Never Can Say Goodbye is stunningly beautiful, while Smokey's version of Will You Love Me Tomorrow is probably the only track that doesn't quite speak to me.

From Pure Smokey there are some absolutely brilliant tracks, namely It's Her Turn To Live, Asleep On My Love, I Am I Am and Fulfill Your Need. The only non-Smokey penned tune "Just Passing Through" was actually not a cover song, but a song written by his long time brilliant guitarist Marv Tarplin along with other frequent collaborators Janie Bradford and Al Cleveland. The drum and bass work on this track are off the charts.

Speaking of bass and drums, there is a distinct feel in the production approach to these first two albums which I absolutely love. "Smokey" was co-produced by the great and all too unheralded Willie Hutch. His stamp is very much on the album. The approach to the rhythm section is almost tribal at times. There are not many moments where the drum beat is being kept with the common kick and snare pattern interspersed with the high hat. It creates a very reserved/mellow feeling to most of the album and serves these songs beautifully.
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Format: Audio CD
In truth Smokey Robinson Solo albums have a mixed rep amongst collectors – moments of genius – filled out with syrupy padding. And certainly as this series progresses into the mid to late Seventies that appraisal is uncomfortably true. But re-listening to this pairing of his first two platters from 1973 and 1974 on Motown – there’s so much to enjoy and frankly rediscover – there really is. Here are the Soul Responding details…

Released September 2010 - this is the 1st of 6 volumes chronicling Smokey Robinson's solo albums for Motown - and Hip-O Select/Motown B0014415-02 (Barcode 602527409856) breaks down as follows (74:55 minutes):

1. Holly
2. Medley: Never My Love/Never Can Say Goodbye
3. A Silent Partner In A Three-Way Love Affair
4. Just My Soul Responding
5. Sweet Harmony
6. Will You Love Me Tomorrow?
7. Wanna Know My Mind
8. The Family Song
9. Baby Come Close
Tracks 1 to 9 are his debut solo album "Smokey", released June 1973 in the USA on Tamla T-328L and in November 1973 in the UK on Tamla Motown STMA 8012

10. It’s Her Turn To Love
11. The Love Between Me And My Kids
12. Asleep On My Love
13. I Am I Am
14. Just Passing Through
15. Virgin Man
16. She’s Only A Baby Herself
17. Fulfill Your Head
18. A Tattoo
Tracks 10 to 18 are his 2nd solo album "Pure Smokey", released March 1974 in the USA on Tamla T-331V1 and June 1974 in the UK on Tamla Motown STML 11265

The gatefold card digipak houses a 24-page colour booklet containing entertaining and knowledgeable liner notes by PETER DOGGETT (formerly of Record Collector magazine and author of "There's A Riot Going On").
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I've waited a long time for his "Smokey" album to be released on CD. I like that Motown has finally decided to re-release all of Smokey's solo albums from the 1970s on CD. I must say that I enjoyed the "Smokey" album more than the "Pure Smokey" album. I mostly bought this CD for the song: Silent Partner in a Three-Way Love Affair. That is a major jam that I can listen to over and over. The songs from "Pure Smokey" didn't move me as much as the songs from "Smokey" but they're still pretty good. Highly recommend this CD.
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His song writing talent is legendary, and his lead of the Miracles was good but going solo seemed to allow for a better appreciation of the great vocal talent of Smokey. It seems that Hip-o has curtailed further release of the solo albums after releasing vol 6. Such a pity that great albums like "Yes its you lady", "Smoke Signals", "Essor" are still not yet available on cd.
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Smokey was number one on my "I got the album and need the CD" list. It is one of the most beautiful soul albums I have ever heard. Smokey is better than Pure Smokey but that does not mean it loses my five stars.

Next on my list is The Stylistics "Let's Put It All Together." Please, somebody!
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When I heard that Smokey's solo lps were going to be issued as twfers,
I autamatically knew which ones I was going to get. Warm thoughts, quiet Storm
and Family Robinson were amonst his best. But Smokey/Pure Smokey were his
maserpeices as far as his solo project goes. I wish as a matter of fact that
these 2 lps had been one double lp, that would have been appropriate as
Stevie was coming out with one masterpeice after another and Marvin had
What's going on. These two lps display Smokey at his peak. With profound
tracks like Just My soul responding and Holly. The first two lps on him
are a must have along with all of the classic stuff that he wrote for the Mirricals and others.
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