Singing with the Miracles and as a solo artist, Smokey Robinson has been the voice behind some of the greatest records of the past half-century. On a new LP due August 19th, the legend is revisiting 11 those records and re-imagining them as duets, adding in voices like those of John Legend, Steven Tyler, Cee Lo Green, James Taylor and Mary J. Blige. “My Girl,” for instance, features not only new vocals from Miguel, Aloe Blacc and JC Chasez but also guitar playing from John Mayer.
Here, get a first listen to the album’s opener, a rendition of “Tracks of My Tears” performed with Elton John. “I was lucky enough to pick ‘Tracks of My Tears’ because I’ve always loved the song, probably one of the best lyrics of all time,” John said in a video promoting the album, going on to call the tune “the greatest pop song ever written.”
Referring to John’s comments, Robinson responded, “My dream and my aim as a songwriter is fulfilled with statements like that, especially by someone like Elton who is a great songwriter himself.”
Smokey & Friends will be released on Verve Records and can be pre-ordered here.