“Bad Girl” is a 1959 doo-wop single by The Miracles. Issued locally on the Motown Records label, it was licensed to and issued nationally by Chess Records because the fledgling Motown Record Corporation did not, at that time, have national distribution. It was the first single released (and the only one released by this group) on the Motown label – all previous singles from the company (and all following ones from the group) were released on Motown’s Tamla label.
Although The Miracles had charted regionally and on the R&B charts with several earlier songs, including “Got a Job”, “I Cry”, “I Need a Change”, and “(You Can) Depend on Me“, “Bad Girl” was their first national chart hit, reaching #93 on the Billboard Hot 100. Written by Miracles lead singerSmokey Robinson and Motown Records’ President and Founder Berry Gordy, “Bad Girl” is a sad, remorseful ballad about a young woman, whom Robinson, as the narrator, says “was so good at the start”, but who later in the song “is breaking my heart”.
It is in the popular doo-wop style, as several of The Miracles’ songs were during the late 1950s.The record’s success, coupled with the distributor’s failure to pay Gordy and The Miracles properly for its sales, prompted Robinson to urge Gordy to “go national” with it, meaning that Motown should do its own national distribution of its songs, and eliminate the middleman, to ensure that all money from sales of its records would go directly to the label. Source