Happy Birthday Marvin Gaye

B6Abw9_CQAABg5qMusic has been made, in some form or another since mankind first beat the drum and hummed the first tune or made the first sound. Let me say that it is a fact, and I will say for the record, it was done first by black people. Of course, we know that music has been sung and written for every genre. But, I will tell you that nobody did it better than the stable of artists assembled by Mr. Barry Gordy founder of Motown Records.

I don’t have enough paper to name all of the stars who made all that great music or list the catalog of hits produced. To give you an idea, I’ll just mention a few: Michael Jackson, Dianna Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Supremes, Lionel Richie, and I could go on and on! But I want to pay homage to the most profound of all of the Motown artists, and maybe the most troubled, of them all – Marvin Gaye.

Through this writing, I won’t get into the life problems of the man because most of us know the story. What I want to do is speak to the genius of the man and of course as we know there is a thin line between genius and insanity. It is not that I’m saying that Marvin was insane, rather as he said himself – troubled! Marvin made wonderful music with groups, solo, and with great female artists such as Tammi Terrell, Kim Weston, Diana Ross, and Mary Wells.

What I want to do is to remind you of the timeless impact Marvin had on all of us. It was on June 10, 1970, when Marvin returned to the Hitsville U.S.A. studios to record a new composition, “What’s Going On”, inspired by an idea from Renaldo “Obie” Benson of the Four Tops after he witnessed an act of Police Brutality at an anti-war rally in San Francisco. Marvin later played the song to Berry Gordy, who refused to release it due mainly to its jazz-oriented sound, which Gordy labeled “outdated”. As a result, Marvin refused to record unless Motown released the song.

The song was released on January 17, 1971, and quickly shot to number one on the R&B charts within a month staying there for five weeks, also reaching number-two on the Billboard pop chart and number one on Cashbox’s pop chart for a week, selling over a million copies. Emboldened by its success, Motown then allowed Marvin to record a full album. The album became Gaye’s first million-selling album and featured two more top-ten hits “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “Inner City Blue”.

The album made history as it became one of Motown’s first autonomous works, without the help of Motown’s staff producers. Its themes and segue flow brought the concept album format to rhythm and blues music. The album was later hailed as “the most important and passionate record to come out of soul music, delivered by one of its finest voices”.

What makes the “What’s Going On” album significant; it is the most socially conscience and profound recording of all times and it stands the test of time. Meaning, you can play it today and see that we face the same issues as we did in 1971. “What’s Going On” is as relevant today as it was over forty years ago. With that said, shouldn’t we listen to the tune again and make an effort to change the world from what it used to be. Happy Birthday, Marvin Gaye!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

About Thought Provoking Perspectives

Welcome to Thought Provoking Perspectives a blog designed to be a potent source of empowering knowledge to broaden the information base with those who share my passion for the written word and the empowerment of thought. View all posts by Thought Provoking Perspectives

3 responses to “Happy Birthday Marvin Gaye

  • Jill

    Hello there, just became aware of your blog through
    Google, and found that it is truly informative.

    I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    Like

  • Carl

    Generally I do not learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice post.

    Like

  • All About Music

    Hi there, I found your site via Google even as looking for a comparable subject, your web site got here up, it seems to be good. I’ve bookmarked to favourites|added to bookmarks.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: