The Miracles – Going to a Go Go


The Miracles


Listen – Going to a Go Go MP3″

Here were are, it’s not quite the middle of the week and I’m back.
It is of course much later than I’m accustomed to posting, but my wife was gracious enough to put Miles to bed tonight, so I have a little free interweb-based time to burn. I figured that I could do a lot worse than getting a blog post up.
First, let me say thanks to those of you that have left encouraging messages. It helps to know that some of you are getting out of the blog precisely what I intended to put in, i.e. a brief, thrice (now maybe less) weekly message about the liberating power of soul.
My new position (as it is) is OK, but something of a drag compared to what I was doing. The only saving grace in the situation being that I can still listen to music in my “work area” (albeit more quietly than before). I’m just a few days into the new enterprise but the change is starting to sink in, and I find that I’m somewhat less pleased with it all than I first thought. No amount of “Hey man, they were CRAZY to let you go!” messages from coworkers are enough to erase the fact that they did (let me go), and I’m not going back any time soon.
The part of me that read, and re-read the Tao Te Ching wants to bend like a reed in the wind, but the other part of me (the part Dr. Freud concentrated on) feels like snapping and falling in the mud. I suppose that I’m likely to find some kind of middle ground (teetering on the axis of the proverbial “lose/lose” situation), but I know that when I get there, this new – albeit dissatisfying – plateau will register as a new status quo, and the pain will begin to fade.
I can say, however that working on the blog you see before you does a lot for my overall sanity quotient.
On that note, and in the spirit of brevity (who visits me now, Jacob Marley-like, draped in the clanking chains of “Better get this done before the baby realizes he’s hungry and wakes up!”) I bring you a tune that in the annals of the Funky16Corners Blog rates unusually high on the popularity scale (as compared to most of the tracks that make it here).
Though today’s selection may have been a big hit, and makes more than it’s share of appearances on oldies radio, it is still – at least in my opinion – one of the greatest records to have been produced in that great Motor City hit factory, and as we all know that is saying a lot.
In the two years that I’ve been doing this blog I haven’t really taken the time to sing the praises of Smokey Robinson. This probably has something to do with the anoraks need (and love) for obscurities, something with which an artist of Mr. Robinson’s success has but a passing acquaintance. That said, every once in a while even a jaded cat like myself has to take a step back from the dusty crates (in my record room and in my mind) and raise a salute to a record that while popular, is undeniable in its greatness.
‘Going to a Go Go’ by the Miracles is just such a record.
In the brief time this evening when I was trying to figure out what to post up tonight, I took into consideration little more than which of the songs I had prepared last week would raise my spirits the quickest. ‘Going to a Go Go’ was the obvious first choice.
From the opening tom-tom beats, through the rhythm guitar, hand claps and the Miracles repeating the title, ‘Going to a Go Go’ has one of the most exciting openings in all of 60’s soul.

When Smokey drops in things start to build even more until a point in the middle of the song where all of the previous elements – with the addition of a sax solo, Smokey with the Nah nah nahs, and the Miracles with the Ooo Ooo Ooos – come together in an absolutely perfect moment in which dancers the world over were forced to switch into high gear, and were launched into some kind of iconic, Jerk dancing, strobe lit, sweat-soaked, ear-ringing frenzy that those of us listening 40 years hence can only dream of.

The world is not capable of producing sounds like this anymore. This isn’t to say that it never will again, but I for one am not holding my breath.
I I DEMAND (as captain of this blog I have granted myself special powers during this time of emergency) that you play this song LOUD. Whether it’s via your headphones, your car stereo – probably the best place to crank it up – in your house or (better yet) at a party – where liquor and lust are more likely to result in combustion – you absolutely MUST play back this song at window rattling volume.
Go. Do it.
I’ll see you when I see you.

PS Thanks Smokey.

Buy – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection – at


15 Responses to “The Miracles – Going to a Go Go”

  1. shemp Says:

    I am a DJ and Smokey ROCKS. there is nothing like seeing the dancefloor come alive to a tune released 40 yrs ago. and this one qualifies!!!! get the rump moving!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it real. I love and spin music from the present era, but I SOOO love to drop this kind of stiff into my mixes to make it known that these songs are the foundation.

  2. Muddy Says:

    Mmm hmmm….. c’mon let me see you shakea tail feather!

    Smokey’s voice and writing are nonpareil, but he sure gets a big boost from the rhythm section.

    “This probably has something to do with the anoraks need (and love) for obscurities…”

    I don’t get the anorak reference. Up here in the Pacific Northwest, an anorak is a raincoat. Oh well…. you’re a great writer, and I love the tunes you put up.

  3. Wazza Says:

    One of the rare occasions when I don’t need to download the track as I already own a copy. I’ve been collecting the ‘Complete Motown Singles’ sets as they appear. The Motown sound is just awesome and this is one of the highlights.

    I work from home and can blast this stuff out while I work.

  4. funky16corners Says:

    “Anorak” is UK slang for obsessive, detail-fixated record nerd/collector type. I’m just guessing but it may have something to do with the Mods affection for Air Force parkas (or may be rooted in something else entirely). I’m not from the UK, so I guess I’d be better off finding a suitable linguistic replacement.

  5. Niall Says:

    Hey Larry
    The term ‘anorak’ derives from the favourite wear of trainspotters and not Mods i’m afraid. I propose ‘otaku’ as a replacement.
    Lots more of the ‘liberating power of soul’ please.

  6. Jim Says:

    Funny about this one… I was a little disappointed when I saw the Smokey offering, but when I played it I said to myself, “Damn! What was I thinking? I should be playing this song 2…no… 3 times a day at least!” Thanks for this and all your others!

  7. Rodney Says:

    I know “anorak” is also a name for “shambling” or “c-86” or “twee” of the late 80’s. Lovers of twee were very mod. The anorak seems to be a symbol of the mod spirit. And the mod spirit seems to be a love of soul (since the early 60’s).
    In the late 60’s, when the hippies came on the scene, the r&b and soul-loving mods took their anoraks and kept on dancing–to “northern soul”. Northern Soul is all about the rare, unheard singles.
    Otaku are just geeks or nerds. Otaku listen to crap like video game soundtracks and anime music.
    Of course, I get most of my information from the Web so 1/4 of what I say will be wrong, I humbly suggest.

  8. J Epstein Says:

    Been listening to a lotta Smokey lately. Wavelength coincidence? I think not . . . just good good sweet soul music.

    Thanks for the Smokey – you’re so smart you know you could have been a schoolbook!

  9. Dan Says:

    Just ’cause it was a hit doesn’t mean it’s not worth our attention. Every once in a while the tastes of the general public actually allign with those of the anorak, or whatever we choose to call our obesessive breed of groove geeks. Sorry to learn of your employment woes, Larry. Hang in there ’til you find that middle ground – or a comfortable numbness!

  10. johnny soul Says:

    Getting my records ready for upcoming NYE dj-ing job at a never-played-at ( by me) venue where I’m told the crowd will demand well known songs.
    thanks Larry for the reminder on this track which has been a staple of my sets in the past… so in goes Smokey.

    side note . Anybody familiar with the mid 70s Album by SR , ” Quiet Storm” ? I once passed on an oportunity to purchase a copy at a good price because of the MOR-genre spawning title only to read Mojo mag. recently compared it to ‘Whats goin On”.

    Doh !

    in the spirit of Larry’s slogan ‘ ALL VINYL, ALL THE TIME. ”

    I’d like to add my mantra ( with a debt to the Fab. furry freak bros )

    ” Its not the records you buy that you regret

    its the record you DIDNT buy that you regret . “

  11. colette Says:

    Hi — everybody who loves The Smoke — he’s being honored on TV, a taping of the Kennedy Center Honors — airs Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. on CBS — Aretha, the Temptations, Jonny Langs, and lots of others singing the man’s praises —

    long live Smokey!

  12. Jason Elias Says:

    “Going to a Go Go” is one of my favorite songs, what an interesting sound the Miracles had with Claudette in the mix. Got to say, I also love the sound of Motown on vinyl too.

    Johnny Soul, I’d definately pick up “Quiet Storm.” Although I’m partial to his late ’70’s and early ’80s solo work, it’s well-worth listening to. “The Wedding Song” is particularly nice…

  13. johnny soul Says:

    Thankyou for the tip Jason. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a copy since that one time ( I post from Australia)
    Generally speaking I prefer rhythmic music ,( not necessarily hard funk, but something with an undertow -medium tempo is OK ) I was afraid QS might be all ballad-y.
    I will definitely grab the next one I rummage across in my perpetual search for old vinyl.

  14. Geoff Dodd Says:

    Yeah the liberating power of The Miracles’ soul, Smokey Robinson in Full Flow – I love the feeling right there. let it be eternal folks.

    Geoff D.

  15. Jeanne S Says:

    Thought I’d leave some of The Miracles dates as well –
    May 19, 2007 – Chevrolet Centre – Youngstown, Ohio
    June 9, 2007 – Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
    Visit their site –

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