By 1973 he was back, but this time as a solo artist. Two solo albums were released, but failed to make much impact. Then his career began to re-ignite. “Baby That’s Backatcha” is a 1975 single written, produced and performed by Smokey Robinson. From the album “A Quiet Storm”, the ballad was Robinson’s first of two number ones on the R&B chart and his second Top 40 solo hit, peaking at number twenty-six on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart listing. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles Chart week-ending 24th May 1975 (1 week). The exquisite guitar performance was of course by his lifetime musical collaborator the late Marv Tarplin and the arrangements were conducted by both Robinson and Russ Turner who also played keyboards and sung background vocals on the track. Other studio musicians featured on the track were: Melba Bradford (backing vocals), Joseph A. Brown (drums and percussion), Carmen Bryant (backing vocals), Gary Coleman (percussion), Shawn Furlong (sound effects, sopranino), Michael Jacobsen (electric cello), Gene Pello (drums), James Alibe Sledge (bongos, conga, backing vocals) and Fred Smith (horns, woodwind).
The words “Quiet Storm” were used to describe a radio format on several radio stations across North America that focus on a subgenre of contemporary R&B music that is characterized by understated, mellow dynamics, slow tempi, and relaxed rhythms. The name was pioneered in the mid-1970s by Melvin Lindsey, while he was an intern at the radio station WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C. In 1979 the song “Cruisin'” became a classic and a favorite for soul fans around the world. The single was written, produced and recorded by Smokey Robinson for Motown Records’ Tamla label. One of Robinson’s most successful singles outside of his work with The Miracles, “Cruisin'” hit the number four position on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart, number four too on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles Chart and number four yet again on Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, peaking week-ending 2nd February 1980. The song was an even bigger hit in New Zealand, where it topped that country’s single chart. It is also included on Robinson’s ninth studio album, “Where There’s Smoke”…. This version of “Cruisin’” features a dominant string section. The longest track on the album, it employs violin, viola and cello, as well as shakers and light percussion, while sleigh bells are featured in the chorus. Flautist Lauryn Vivino contributes with piccolo. The song is a gorgeous, smooth classic of timeless quality. The song was also featured on D’Angelo’s platinum-certified debut album “Brown Sugar”, which features steady piano-playing by D’Angelo, with Brooklyn Funk Essentials member Bob “Bassy” Brockmann playing the trumpet alongside other New York City top session musicians from the classical music community that gave the song a special Neo-Soul treatment.
Available soon in the Signature Sounds Shop