“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/Motownlabel in 1967.
“I second that motion” is a common phrase heard at meetings in America where policy is being determined. It’s what Motown producer Al Cleveland meant to say when he was on a shopping trip with Smokey Robinson. As Robinson recalls in his 1989 autobiography, he and Cleveland went to a Detroit department store called Hudson’s to do Christmas shopping in December, 1967. Smokey’s wife, Claudette, had recently given birth to twins that didn’t survive the premature birth, and he was looking to get her a gift. At the jewelry counter, Smokey picked out some pearls and asked Robinson what he thought. “I second that emotion” was his reply, and later that afternoon the pair wrote a song around the misspoken phrase. Robinson and Cleveland produced the song, and it was released in October, 1968, entering the US Top 40 in December, about a year after it was written. The song was also a #1 R&B hit. (Songfacts)
- 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