Short, sharp and frank reviews from a confessed vinyl junkie. I’ll be posting my most loved records and most recent purchases right here for your perusal every week.
Marvin’s magnum opus and eleventh studio album ‘What’s Going On’ was released on this day 50 years ago. The message that runs throughout the nine songs is very clear, ‘love not hate’, and I’m pretty sure Marvin would be turning in his grave at the state of the world we still live in today.
It’s half a century since he sang the line “Where did all the blue skies go?” on the gorgeous ‘Mercy, Mercy Me’, and we’re still waiting for them to appear. That said, listening to this album takes you away to another place, backed up by the superb Motown in house band ‘The Funk Brothers’ (amazingly, this was the first time they got credit on an album) and produced by Gaye himself, Soul music really doesn’t get any better than this.
The album itself is a concept album, seen through the eyes of a Vietnam veteran coming back home to be confronted with hate, injustice and suffering. It could quite easily have been seen through the eyes of any black man or woman at the time and, unfortunately, now too.
Marvin will be forever missed, but we must be thankful that he graced us with his presence and sang, produced and wrote these incredible songs for us to cherish. Perhaps, one day, the words of hope on this album will become a reality; until that day, we can but dream. Right on.
Listen to Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On - BELOW: