Painting titled Native Clown by Kenneth Noland, 1986
When I turned on WinAmp last night, "Come Spy With Me" popped up at the top of the playlist, and I was suddenly confronted with a dilemma. Obviously, this was a "Probabilistic Jukebox" moment, but "Come Spy With Me" is also an obvious candidate for a "Why Does This Exist?" write-up. It's one of the weirdest things the Miracles recorded, but it's also pretty awesome. It's a Smokey Robinson composition written for a 1967 spy spoof (also called Come Spy With Me) starring Andrea Dromm. The IMDB entry for the movie says that the song was a bigger hit than the movie was - that means the movie must really have bombed, because the song "Come Spy With Me" was never even a single or album track. It was the b-side to the Miracles' very-wordy-but-also-awesome single "The Love I Saw In You Was Just a Mirage".
"Come Spy With Me" is an interesting, if not totally successful, pop song with a spy-theme feel to it. My favorite thing about it is probably how it starts with a sudden horn sting followed immediately by a simple guitar riff. This bit is repeated at the end of each chorus, which is nice because the chorus is really short and unmemorable. The verse is interesting, though, with a constantly rising melody that Robinson executes wonderfully. His lyric on the other hand, is laughably corny, including lines like, "Love will be our secret password," "We'll be a brand new spy sensation", and "We can share intrigue of all varieties!" "Come Spy With Me" is a very listenable oddity, and I admire the Miracles for trying something that wasn't really in their wheel-house. It's too bad that the movie it was attached to was such a flop - one review of it reportedly employed the phrase, "Come die with me." Ouch.
"Come Spy With Me" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles