"I Second That Emotion" is a 1967 song written by Smokey Robinson and Al Cleveland. First charting as a hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles on the Tamla/Motown label in 1967, "I Second That Emotion" was later a hit single for the group duet Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations, also on the Motown label.
The Miracles' original version[edit source | edit]Edit
The Miracles' original version of the song finds lead singer and co-writer Smokey Robinson courting a girl who, weary of the game of love, prefers to string her men along and not get romantically involved. Robinson "wants no part" in such a relationship, but promises that if the girl changes her mind, he'll be around ("If you feel like lovin' me/if you've got the notion/I second that emotion.")
This version peaked for three weeks in the United States at #4 on the Billboard pop singles chart in December 1967. It became the Miracles highest charting popular single since "Shop Around".
1967 Personnel: The Miracles[edit source | edit]Edit
- Lead vocals by Smokey Robinson
- Background vocals by Claudette Rogers Robinson, Pete Moore, Ronnie White, and Bobby Rogers.
- Guitar by Marv Tarplin
- Other instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations version[edit source | edit]Edit
1969 Personnel[edit source | edit]Edit
- Lead vocals by Diana Ross and Eddie Kendricks
- Background vocals by Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong, Dennis Edwards, Paul Williams, Otis Williams, and Melvin Franklin
- Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
- Guitar by Marv Tarplin
1969 Track listing[edit source | edit]Edit
- 7" single (1969) (United Kingdom)
- "I Second That Emotion" – 2:55
- "The Way You Do the Things You Do" – 1:39
Other Cover versions[edit source | edit]Edit
The song was later covered by English New Wave band Japan which also proved a commercial success in the United Kingdom, climbing to #9 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1982. The Jerry Garcia Band frequently covered the song in concert. Part of the song was also used by the band Sublime at the end of "S.T.P." on the album Robbin' the Hood as a homage, though not covered in full.
In popular culture[edit source | edit]Edit
On 18 June 2012, American Songwriter named "I Second That Emotion" its "Lyric of The Week". The publication wrote: the song “marches to the beat of its own drum, thanks to three stanzas of crafty doo-wop poetry and one punny one-liner — a malapropism, if you want to get technical — that never really loses its novelty appeal."