Smokey Robinson wrote more than his fair share of classic songs, but "Tracks of My Tears" holds a special place among his hits. Although the song didn't crack the pop Top 15 upon its release as a single in the summer of 1965, as the years passed, it revealed itself as perhaps his definitive ballad, rivaling even "You've Really Got a Hold on Me." Why is that? It's a matter of grace or poetry. Bob Dylan once called Robinson America's greatest living poet, and while he may have said this with his tongue firmly in cheek, he wasn't far from wrong. This song is proof positive that Robinson found poetry not only in lyrics, but also in the music itself. Writing with Warren Moore, Robinson created a song that is so natural, it seems to have always been there. Look closer, and the song seems trickier -- the words are shaded with telling detail and clever rhymes ("Although she may look cute/She's just a substitute") and the music positively aches with longing. Backed by the Miracles, Robinson delivered the definitive reading of the song with the original hit single. While that remains the version that is foremost in popular consciousness, it's been delivered convincingly by artists as diverse as Johnny Rivers, Paul Young, the Jackson 5, Linda Ronstadt, and Bryan Ferry. The covers may not live up to the original, but they're never really bad, since it's hard to completely botch a song as wonderful as this.