Universal/Hip-O Select continue their most excellent trawl through SMOKEY ROBINSON’S solo archive with their sixth “twofer”. This time around the CD pairs 1980’s ‘Warm Thoughts’ with ’81’s ‘Being With You’.
‘Warm Thoughts’ is classic SMOKEY – self-produced and with all but one of the songs his own. Feature item is the hit ‘Let Me Be The Clock’ which hit no. 4 on the Billboard R&B chart and as a measure of the man’s writing skills… well, who but ROBINSON could incorporate ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ into a tender love song? Don’t overlook either the hugely underrated ‘Wine, Women And Song’ – another beautiful ballad and one of the few straight duets SMOKEY recorded with his first wife, CLAUDETTE.
‘Being With You’ is different again. Four of the songs were out-sourced while on most of the cuts GEORGE TOBIN was the producer. At the time TOBIN had been working with KIM CARNES and SMOKEY pitched the song ‘Being With You’ at him as a prospective vehicle for his prodigy. The savvy TOBIN knew that only SMOKEY could do full justice to the songs and the rest, of course, is history. SMOKEY’S version was a world-wide smash and turned the subsequent LP into the man’s best selling set ever.
This time around there’s two Hip-O bonuses – a Spanish version of ‘Being With You’ along with an English/Spanish version of it. In all three incarnations, it’s still romantically magical.