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Smokey Robinson Recalls Creative Process Behind ‘The Tracks Of My Tears’

Smokey Robinson has shared the creative process behind one of his biggest hits, “The Tracks of My Tears.”

Robinson talks about the song during an interview with Paul Shaffer in a new episode of the AXS TV original series “Paul Shaffer Plus One.” The episode airs on Sunday, November 3, at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.

Robinson says that the “The Tracks Of My Tears” originated as a riff by his guitarist Marv Tarplin.

“I took that and I listened to it over and over and over again,” Robinson says. “Finally, I came up with the first three lines of the chorus: ‘Take a good look at my face, you’ll see my smile looks out of place, if you look close it’s easy to trace that you’re gone and I’m not’… I worked with 30 of those.”

Robinson claims that inspiration for the lyrics came one morning while he was shaving.

He continues, “I’m looking at my face and I’m saying to myself, ‘What if a person had cried so much until their tears left tracks in their face?’ And I said, ‘That’s it!’ And that became ‘Tracks Of My Tears.'”

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