Elton John, Smokey Robinson Do Duet on ‘The Tracks of My Tears’
Smokey Robinson‘s new album, ‘Smokey & Friends,’ finds the pop songwriting legend and frozen jambalaya magnate working alongside an impressive list of famous friends while re-recording some of his biggest hits — including Elton John, who appears on a new duet version of Robinson’s signature 1965 hit ‘The Tracks of My Tears.’
Rolling Stone premiered the ‘Tracks of My Tears’ audio, quoting a promo clip in which John calls it “the greatest pop song ever written” and recalls, “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.”
“My dream and my aim as a songwriter is fulfilled with statements like that,” answered an appreciative Robinson. “Especially by someone like Elton, who is a great songwriter himself.”
Elton John is hardly the only rock legend to declare his affinity for the song. In the liner notes to his 1987 collection of demos, ‘Another Scoop,’ Pete Townshend wrote, “Smokey Robinson sang the word ‘substitute’ so perfectly in ‘[The] Tracks of My Tears’ — my favorite song at the time — that I decided to celebrate the word itself with a song of its own.” Elvis Costello has also been known to throw in a few bars of it in concert at the end of ‘Alison.’
You can hear the results of John and Robinson’s collaboration courtesy of the video embedded above. ‘Smokey & Friends’ is due Aug. 19; the 11-track album also includes appearances from Steven Tyler, James Taylor, Cee Lo Green, John Legend, and Mary J. Blige.