Soul music legend Smokey Robinson, now 83, has dropped a new album, a conceptual one about sex called Gasms. With it, he hopes to show that older people are still sexual beings. In this Guardian interview, he also talks about his relationships with Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, and Berry Gordy, his struggles with addiction, and the impact of Motown on race relations in America.
On the title track, Robinson sings about eyegasms, eargasms, the whole gamut of gasms. If there is any danger of missing the point, he throws in double entendres that verge on the single. He sings with the silky falsetto of yesteryear, the words perfectly phrased as ever. The album ranges from the exultant ("We're each other's ecstasy") on Roll Around to the biological ("If you got an inner vacancy / Baby, then make it a place for me") on I Fit in There. It's important for him to show that older people are still sexual beings, he says. "When I hear of grandfathers and grandmothers who are 60 years old being talked about as if you're counting them out and putting them out to pasture, I think it's ridiculous. This is a new era of life. I feel 50." He has no intention of turning into an old man, whatever his age.
Here are the first two singles: