Post-Al Green What’s Going On, which means it’s about fucking rather than the human condition, thank the wholly holey. Gaye is still basically a singles artist, and the title track, as much a masterpiece as “Inner City Blues,” dominates in a way “I’m Still in Love with You,” say, doesn’t. Then again, it’s an even better song, and this album prolongs its seductive groove to an appropriate thirty minutes plus
~Robert Christgau (Consumer Guide Reviews)
On this album, Gaye meditated on the gap between sex and love and how to reconcile them – an adult version of the Motown tunes he had built his career on. It’s some of the most gorgeous music he ever made, resplendent with sweet strings and his clear-throated crooning.
Great song: I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye (and others)
For me, Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is Motown’s greatest record. It may be played to death but I still like it, like it? I love it! It’s pulsating hypnotic rhythm pattern and the melodic singing hovering above it, it grooves and it’s funky as well.
Marvin Gaye (audio only):
It’s a love song, where one part pleads to the other part after a break up, but it feels deeper than ordinary pop ditty. It’s about lies, loss, gossip, torment, fear and doubt. Dark stuff hidden in a soul tune.
May 21: American Masters – Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (documentary)
Marvin Gaye released What’s going on May 21, 1971, we present a great documentary about the album.
Marvin Gaye is one of the great and enduring figures of soul music, but his life was one of sexual confusion, bittersweet success and ultimately death by the hand of his own father.
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (April 2, 1939 — April 1, 1984), better known by his stage name Marvin Gaye, was an American singer-songwriter and musician with a four-octave vocal range. Starting as a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late fifties, he ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960 signing with the Tamla Records subsidiary of Motown Records. After starting off as a session drummer, Gaye ranked as the label’s top-selling solo artist during the sixties.
Because of solo hits such as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)”, “Ain’t That Peculiar”, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell, he was crowned “The Prince of Motown” and “The Prince of Soul”.
His work in the early and mid-1970s, including the albums What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On, and I Want You, helped influence the quiet storm, urban adult contemporary, and slow jam genres. After a self-imposed European exile in the early eighties, Gaye returned on the 1982 Grammy-Award winning hit, “Sexual Healing” and the Midnight Love album before his death. Gaye was shot dead by his father on April 1, 1984. He was posthumously inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
In 2008, the American music magazine Rolling Stone ranked Gaye at number 6 on its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time, and ranked at number 18 on 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
This fine documentary is directed by Samuel D. Pollard, also an editor and producer, known for 25th Hour (2002), 4 Little Girls(1997) and When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006). Including interviews with the singer’s family, friends and musical colleagues.
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” isn’t a plea to save a love affair; it’s Marvin Gaye’s essay on salvaging the human spirit. The record distills four hundred years of paranoia and talking drum gossip into three minutes and fifteen seconds of anguished soul-searching.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock & Soul)
April 10: I Heard It Through the Grapevine was recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1967
April 01: The late great Ronnie Lane was born in 1946
As the former bassist for the Small Faces, and later the Faces, Ronnie Lane left both bands when he felt the spirit of the group had died, gaining him the reputation of an uncompromising artist, and allowing him the opportunity to release some fine solo material in the ’70s.
~Steve Kurutz (allmusic.com)
Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones Talk The Faces on Hall of Fame Induction: