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Marvin Gaye - What's Going On

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What's Going On

Marvin Gaye

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Devastated by the death of his partner Tammi Terrell, who died of cancer on 6 March 1970 at the age of just 24, Marvin Gaye withdrew from show business and fell into a deep depression. He threw himself into football and signed with the Detroit Lions. In June of the same year, however, the social and political situation compelled him to return to recording. As America struggled with its own demons, both internal (segregation) and external (Vietnam), he released a masterpiece of conscious soul. With its politically-engaged prose, What's Going On, which was released on 21 May 1971,  shook the Motown label out of its rosy American dream and forced it to confront the realities of the time. But Marvin Gaye, a poet and above all an entertainer, saw to it that his social and political sermon was delivered with a truly unique groove. The album is a masterful symphony, both measured and calculated, in which the string section enchants the rhythm and chorus. But it wasn't easy to lay this cornerstone of Black American music: Berry Gordy, the head of Motown, was worried that this politically-charged project would damage the very positive (perhaps too positive) public image of both his label and his protégé. With What's Going On, Marvin Gaye forced Gordy to face up to the war in Vietnam, interracial tensions and the degradation of great American cities. The success of the record was immediate and hugely impressive, with What's Going On raking in heaps of awards. Perhaps more notable was the fact that this was the first time a Motown record had been produced and designed in this way, without complete control from Gordy. Marvin Gaye went on to sign a new contract with the label, this time for a million dollars, making it the biggest contract ever signed by a black artist at the time. As for What's Going On, it remains one of the greatest albums of the twentieth century. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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What's Going On

Marvin Gaye

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1
What's Going On
00:03:52

AL CLEVELAND, ComposerLyricist - Renaldo Benson, ComposerLyricist - Marvin Gaye, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - James Green, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Van dePitte, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Art Stewart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
What's Happening Brother
00:02:43

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James Nyx, ComposerLyricist - James Green, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Art Stewart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)
00:03:49

Elgie Stover, ComposerLyricist - Anna Gaye, ComposerLyricist - Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Maurice King, Arranger, Orchestrator - James Green, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Art Stewart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Save The Children
00:04:02

AL CLEVELAND, ComposerLyricist - Renaldo Benson, ComposerLyricist - Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James Green, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Art Stewart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
God Is Love
00:01:41

Elgie Stover, ComposerLyricist - Anna Gaye, ComposerLyricist - Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James Nyx, ComposerLyricist - Maurice King, Arranger, Orchestrator - James Green, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Van dePitte, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Art Stewart, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
00:03:15

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James Green, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Van dePitte, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Art Stewart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Right On
00:07:31

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Earl Derouen, ComposerLyricist - James Green, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Art Stewart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Wholy Holy
00:03:07

AL CLEVELAND, ComposerLyricist - Renaldo Benson, ComposerLyricist - Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James Green, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Art Stewart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
00:05:30

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James Nyx, ComposerLyricist - James Green, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Van dePitte, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer - Art Stewart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lawrence Miles, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Atkinson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1971 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
God Is Love (Mono Single Version)
00:02:51

Elgie Stover, ComposerLyricist - Anna Gaye, ComposerLyricist - Steve Smith, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James Nyx, ComposerLyricist - Maurice King, Arranger, Orchestrator - David Van dePitte, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1971 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Sad Tomorrows (Single Version / Stereo)
00:02:25

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Delores Wilkinson, ComposerLyricist - Fuller B. Gordy, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1971 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
What's Going On (Mono Single Version)
00:03:54

AL CLEVELAND, ComposerLyricist - Renaldo Benson, ComposerLyricist - Steve Smith, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Marvin Gaye, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - David Van dePitte, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1971 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

Devastated by the death of his partner Tammi Terrell, who died of cancer on 6 March 1970 at the age of just 24, Marvin Gaye withdrew from show business and fell into a deep depression. He threw himself into football and signed with the Detroit Lions. In June of the same year, however, the social and political situation compelled him to return to recording. As America struggled with its own demons, both internal (segregation) and external (Vietnam), he released a masterpiece of conscious soul. With its politically-engaged prose, What's Going On, which was released on 21 May 1971,  shook the Motown label out of its rosy American dream and forced it to confront the realities of the time. But Marvin Gaye, a poet and above all an entertainer, saw to it that his social and political sermon was delivered with a truly unique groove. The album is a masterful symphony, both measured and calculated, in which the string section enchants the rhythm and chorus. But it wasn't easy to lay this cornerstone of Black American music: Berry Gordy, the head of Motown, was worried that this politically-charged project would damage the very positive (perhaps too positive) public image of both his label and his protégé. With What's Going On, Marvin Gaye forced Gordy to face up to the war in Vietnam, interracial tensions and the degradation of great American cities. The success of the record was immediate and hugely impressive, with What's Going On raking in heaps of awards. Perhaps more notable was the fact that this was the first time a Motown record had been produced and designed in this way, without complete control from Gordy. Marvin Gaye went on to sign a new contract with the label, this time for a million dollars, making it the biggest contract ever signed by a black artist at the time. As for What's Going On, it remains one of the greatest albums of the twentieth century. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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