Thursday, October 19, 2017

Smokey Robinson-Being With You (1981)


They say where there's smoke, there's fire! And I'm on fire tonight, getting in three music features before midnight! With some much-needed time to get caught up on my music-listening, I've also resumed getting the 'S' entries in my collection organized, which meant I'd eventually reconnect with the legendary Smokie Robinson. I wasn't born yet when Smokey was enjoying his glory days with THE MIRACLES back in the 70's, so much of what I have heard from his illustrious career is from, of course, the decade in which I grew up. And from that decade, surprisingly, hasn't been very many songs at all, but one timeless classic in particular that always remains at the forefront of my mental jukebox is quite possibly the very first Smokey Robinson song I ever heard on the radio: "Being With You". I'm always captivated by the smooth and fluid rhythm, the starry and magical sound and Smokey's trademark lofty voice delivering the romantic words of ' I don't care about anything else but being with you, being with you, being with you ' in the memorable chorus. But along with me getting my copy of the 1981 album by the same name where this timeless classic can be found came my latest music surprise: Smokey recording "Being With You" in Spanish! There must've been select versions where "Aqui Contigo" (that literally translates to "Here With You") and the part-English/part-Spanish "Aqui Contigo (Being With You)" were originally added bonus tracks; well I'm so happy to have finally heard both after all these years! The Spanish lyrics, in fact, make the already-romantic classic sound even more lovely! Now I'm suddenly curious if Smokey's recorded anything else in my favorite foreign language..... Meanwhile, I further got my chance to hear some other delicious gems to add to my ever-expanding bag of musical ear candy. "Food For Thought" came as a surprise as well; I had no idea the lead singer of THE MIRACLES dabbed in reggae music! While listening to this sunny tune, I could picture him recording a full-length reggae album, because he demonstrates that he's definitely got the versatile voice and the persona for it here. Soul lovers surely would love hearing the ones with the slow grooves and the intimate, comforting words: "If You Wanna Make Love (Come 'Round Here)", "I Hear The Children Singing" and one that grew on me a lot, "Who's Sad?" (the lush backing vocals in contrast with Smokey's high tenor is a wonderful delight on the ears). Perhaps a bigger surprise erupted on the festively fun disco jam, "Can't Fight Love", because what begins with a jungle-sorta rhythm with only the hollow sound of drums emerges into a funky and jazzy affair! Nearly as groovy is "As You Do" while "You Are Forever" is nearly as beautiful of a love tribute as this album's title track:

1. Being With You
2. Food For Thought
3. If You Wanna Make Love (Come 'Round Here)
4. Who's Sad?
5. Can't Fight Love
6. You Are Forever
7. As You Do
8. I Hear The Children Singing
9. Aqui Contigo
10. Aqui Contigo (Being With You)

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