Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: “The Tracks of My Tears”

Posted: October 14, 2013 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Broc 4L

Broccoli For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles … Oh Yeah!

The Original

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles:

The Cover Songs Competition

Two outstanding, yet very different, covers of a masterpiece.

Billy Bragg vs. Soul Asylum

Billy Bragg:

Very old video of Bragg singing a classic. He’s always been a big admirer of Motown and you could see it in his face how much he respects this classic.

Soul Asylum:

These guys are so cool. In 1997 Grand Forks, North Dakota suffered terrible flooding. Torrential downpours caused the Red River to rise threatening homes and the city. High school kids spent the Spring sandbagging the water banks fighting for their home town’s survival. That year the Prom was the furthest thing from those kids’ minds.  Yet, somehow someone got a hold of the band and asked them to play at the Prom. At the time Soul Asylum was at the height of their commercial success. But they gladly agreed and heartily prepared, learning a few standard Prom songs for the occasion. There was massive damage to the city. Soul Asylum played the Prom that evening in an unaffected airplane hanger. For at least one night, high school kids clad in formal attire and townsfolk were able to forget their troubles and enjoy an amazing evening of music. As the town spokesman put it, “As Winston Churchill said after World War II, ‘Never Have So Many Done So Much For So Few.'” Who would have guessed that a hard-rockin’ band like Soul Asylum would receive such a well-earned Winstonian complement?

After The Flood: Live From The Grand Forks Prom, June 28, 1997:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

Also, keep in mind that if you should spontaneously self-actualize while playing a cover then you could – and probably should – nominate it for Top 10 (i.e. “Impeccable”) consideration.



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Arnold Plotnick says:

    Tough one. Really tough. I gave it to Soul Asylum, just because I think the song isn’t meant to be sung as a solo performance. It just sounds better with more instrumentation.

  2. Brad Reason says:

    I voted for Soul Asylum… then went and listened to a bunch of Smokey tunes on youtube

  3. RDubbs says:

    This one is really difficult, reminiscent of CMI’s inaugural competition between Neil Young and David Bowie. But I have to agree with Plotnick & Reason, casting a vote for Soul Asylum, who scored extra points for their altruistic show.

    I do have to say that it is a crying shame Nick Cave could not do a quick time travel and join the Miracles in that video. He’s got the moves.

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