Friday, 27 May 2016

What we're listening to. Marvin Gaye 'What's goin on?'

1971 and in fact Marvin's 11th but most influential Album.

It's really a concept Album about a Vietnam Vet (his bother, Frankie) returning home and seeing only injustice. "What's going on?" is a reflection of the race issues in America at the time and The Watts riots of 1965 deeply affected him.

It's a landmark Album with few getting the same critical acclaim and nearly always in the top 5 albums of all time. 

Gaye had been suffering from depression, cocaine addiction and a suicide attempt but in the early 70's was getting his act together. Including a Football career with The NFL (Detroit Lions).

"What's Goin on" was the first single and it went hugely well followed by "Mercy Mercy Me" bringing the Album into the spotlight. It's jazz and it's gospel but for us, the whole Album (short as it is) is just a masterpiece.

What you may not know is the story of Marvin's death in 1984 on April 1st.

Whilst he was talking to his Mother at their home, he was shot by his Father, also Marvin Gaye Snr (a pentecostal church minister), twice, proving instantly fatal. His father received a suspended sentence because in part, Marvin had drugs in his system and a long record of behavioural issues. 

He had been back on Cocaine but it was the end of a long time feud with his Dad. Marvin talked about being brutally whipped by his father and was beaten very often, his mother later confirmed. 

Sad end to a legend and we could equally have included the 'Let's get it on' Album (1973) here too. Beautiful.

Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog (you can search them in the Search top left on the Blog)
......Mercury Rev 'Deserters Songs'; Dave Matthews 'Crash'; Beyonce 'Lemonade'; Prince 'Sign O the times'; Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories'; Amy Winehouse 'Back to Black';Police 'Outlandos D'Amour'; Michael Jackson 'Off the Wall'; Carole King 'Tapestry'; Beatles 'Red Album'; Sex Pistols 'Never mind the Bollocks'; Sam Cooke 'Live at Harlem Square'; The Doors 'LA Woman'; Thin Lizzy 'Live & Dangerous'; Kendrick Lamarr 'Butterfly'; Aretha Franklin 'Amazing Grace'; Clapton '461'; Massive Attack 'Blue Lines'; The Clash 'London Calling'; Chris Isaak 'At The Filmore'; Bob Dylan 'Street Legal'; Bad Company 'Straight Shooter'; Jackson Browne 'Love is Strange'; Lou Reed 'Transformer'; Steely Dan 'AJA'; Stones 'Black+Blue'; Stephen Bishop 'Careless'; Nils Lofgren 'Night after Night'; Mike Oldfield 'Tubular Bells'; Neil Young 'Harvest'; Led Zep '4'; David Bowie 'David Live'; Van Morrison 'It's too late to stop now'; Wings 'Band on the Run'; Rod Stewart 'Atlantic Crossing'; Ryan Adams 'Heartbreaker'; Santana 'Essential'; Bob Dylan 'Desire'; Roxy Music 'For your pleasure'; Bob Marley 'Legend'; Stephen Fretwell 'Magpie'; James Taylor 'Sweet Baby James'; Deep Purple 'Machine Head'; Springsteen 'Darkness on the edge of town'; Leon Bridges 'Coming Home'; Eagles 'Hotel California'; Jungle; Aretha 'Soul Queen'; Neil Young 'After the Goldrush' ; Zappa 'Overnite Sensation'; Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours'; Keith Jarrett 'Koln Concert'; Doobies 'Southbound'; Stevie Earle 'I feel Alright'; Tom Waits 'Closing Time'; Pink Floyd 'Dark Side'; Van Morrison 'Moondance'; Eric Church 'Caught in the Act'; Randy Newman 'Little Criminals'; Elton John 'Madman across the water'; Patti Smith 'Horses'; Doobies 'Captain and Me'; Steely Dan 'Can't Buy a Thrill'.