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Renaissance / Do It Baby

The Miracles

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Album Review

Two years after Hip-O Select reissued 1975's City of Angels, the label paired the Miracles' two preceding albums. 1973's Renaissance was the group's first album without Smokey Robinson. Despite a great amount of support from Smokey — he proudly handed the baton to new lead vocalist Billy Griffin, supported them in public, and served as executive producer — Renaissance didn't crack the Top 30 of the Billboard R&B chart. Ironically, the Miracles had much more commercial success with the 1974 follow-up, the creatively inferior Do It Baby, but that had much to do with the title track, which was a Top Five R&B hit. As liner notes author Peter Doggett points out, this two-fer marks the "worldwide CD debut" for both albums. They've long been a forgotten part of Motown's past, but the mere roster of collaborators — including Fonce Mizell, Freddie Perren, Willie Hutch, Leon Ware, and Marvin Gaye — should catch the ears of '70s soul fans. Renaissance is a great album, and Do It Baby has its moments.

Biography

Formed: 1955 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Scoring over 40 hits on the R&B Top 40 charts, the Miracles started out as the Five Chimes in the mid-'50s while the members were still in high school. The Detroit vocal group consisted of William "Smokey" Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore, Clarence "Humble" Dawson, Donald Wicker, and James "Rat" Grice. Not too long after the group formed, Wicker and Grice left and were replaced by cousins Emerson "Sonny" Rogers and Bobby Rogers, who both sang tenor, and baritonist Ronnie White was in Dawson's place....
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Renaissance / Do It Baby, The Miracles
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