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Marvin Gaye - What's Going On RIAA Certified Gold! Click here to see this CD at Amazon.com!

By Don Waller

Sly & The Family Stone might have psychedelicized soul music, but Marvin Gaye personalized it. Although the powers-that-were Motown didn't even want to release the record, the unexpected success of What's Going On, issued in 1971, inspired Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, and just about every other black artist on the planet to take greater responsibility for their music and its meaning. Gaye co-wrote the songs and produced the album, flavoring it with layer upon layer of his own multi-tracked vocals, oceans of hand percussion, strings, flutes, and jazzy horn solos. Spacey and loose as a spliff-fueled Sunday afternoon jam in the park, the nine songs all played like a hit single. The title track--inspired by his brother's return from the Vietnam War--and the obvious social commentary of "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" and "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" actually were hit singles. Two other tracks ("Wholly Holy" and "Save the Children") would inspire hit covers by Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, respectively. Nevertheless, What's Going On sounds as fresh today as it did the week that it came out. Recommended reading: Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye by David Ritz (McGraw-Hill, 1985).

Tracks
1. What's Going On6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
2. What's Happening Brother7. Right On
3. Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)8. Wholy Holy
4. Save the Children9. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
5. God Is Love

 

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Your Memories Shared!

"Marvin Gaye's What's Going On album is by far the best politically, socially and spiritually musical concept ever created by an artist. Marvin Gaye has set the standards for what music should be. Your review was on the money."

--Marvin's #1 Fan

"Marvin really showed all of Motown's executives. He even inspired me to develope the same mental attitude at the right time."

--Smokey Styles

Looking for a rare import-only single, a gold record, world tour book, hard to find magazine, an autographed guitar, or simply this CD? You'll find them at eBay!


 

MUSICAL NOTES

Artist: Marvin Gaye

Released: June 2, 1971

Availability: CD, Vinyl

Awards:  Gold


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