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The Tears Of A Clown - Smokey Robinson and The Miracles

The Tears Of A Clown

The Ultimate Collection
motown soul 60s oldies pop


"The Tears of a Clown" is a 1967 song by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles for the Tamla (Motown) label, originally released on the 1967 album Make It Happen. The song was re-released in the United Kingdom as a single in September 1970, where it became a number-one hit on the UK singles chart. Subsequently, Motown released "The Tears of a Clown" as a single in the United States as well, where it quickly became a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and Black Singles Chart. This song is an international multi-million seller and a 2002 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. The single's success caused Miracles lead singer/producer/songwriter Smokey Robinson, who had announced plans to leave the act, to stay with the group until 1972. Stevie Wonder and his producer Hank Cosby wrote the music for the song, and Cosby produced the instrumental track recording. Wonder gave Smokey Robinson the instrumental track as a Christmas present at the 1966 Motown Christmas party. Robinson, who remarked that the song's distinctive calliope motif "sounded like a circus", provided lyrics that reflected his vision and sang lead vocal. In the song, Robinson's character, hurt by a lover who left him, compares himself to the characters in the opera Pagliacci, comedians/clowns who hide their hurt and anger behind empty smiles. Robinson had used the Pagliacci comparison before: the line "just like Pagliacci did/I'll try to keep my sadness hid" also appears in the song "My Smile Is Just A Frown (Turned Upside Down)", which Robinson wrote in 1964 for Motown artist Carolyn Crawford.


Smokey Robinson and the Miracles was the performing and recording name from 1965 to 1972 of renowned American R&B/soul group The Miracles. From Detroit, Michigan, the band Miracles remain notable as the first successful group act for Berry Gordy's Motown Records. Over their career across the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the Miracles were one of Motown's signature acts with over forty top 40 R&B hits. Over the same time period, their original lead singer and Show more ...

The Tears Of A Clown - Smokey Robinson and The Miracles

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