Released: August 26, 1968
Label: Tamla Records
Special Occasion is an album by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles released in 1968. It contains three Top 40 hits: “If You Can Want”, “Yester Love”, and “Special Occasion”. Also included are versions of the Motown hits “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Everybody Needs Love” (both made popular by Gladys Knight & The Pips) and The Beatles’ “Yesterday”. The album’s biggest hit was the uptempo “If You Can Want”, which just missed the Billboard Pop Top 10 (peaking at #11), and was performed by the group on their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1968. The Miracles were actually the first group to record “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, before the later hit versions by Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips were done, although the master used on this album is a re-recorded version prepared following the release of the Pips’ version. This album also includes the popular Miracles regional hit “B” sides, “Much Better Off” (which inspired a cover version by late rapper J Dilla), and “Give Her Up”. “Give Her Up” first appeared on Martha & The Vandellas‘ 1963 album Come And Get These Memories as “Give Him Up”.