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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

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Soul - Released January 1, 2001 | Motown

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
After brilliantly surveying the social, political, and spiritual landscape with What's Going On, Marvin Gaye turned to more intimate matters with Let's Get It On, a record unparalleled in its sheer sensuality and carnal energy. Always a sexually charged performer, Gaye's passions reach their boiling point on tracks like the magnificent title hit (a number one smash) and "You Sure Love to Ball"; silky and shimmering, the music is seductive in the most literal sense, its fluid grooves so perfectly designed for romance as to border on parody. With each performance laced with innuendo, each lyric a come-on, and each rhythm throbbing with lust, perhaps no other record has ever achieved the kind of sheer erotic force of Let's Get It On, and it remains the blueprint for all of the slow jams to follow decades later -- much copied, but never imitated. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1972 | Motown

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
In 1972, things were rapidly shifting in Marvin Gaye's world. He was coming off of one of his most wide-reaching hit albums with 1971's instant classic What's Going On, and his recording contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla was renewed for a cool million dollars and total creative control, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of his day. With Motown's offices migrating west from Detroit to Los Angeles, Gaye followed suit, beginning work on Trouble Man, both the score to a blaxploitation film of the same name and the soundtrack that would be his next album. With minimal singing (Gaye sings through only the title track, adding fragmentary vocalizations minimally throughout the rest of the album), Gaye wrote, arranged, and conducted the entire soundtrack, working with both Motown players and a full orchestra over the course of its recording. It's been speculated by some that Trouble Man was a concerted effort to move away from the expectations of a carbon-copy follow-up to the almost immeasurably high standards of What's Going On, but it's best to look at the record as an entity unto itself rather than the next Marvin Gaye album in the chain. Though largely absent of his one-of-a-kind vocal presence, the arrangements are richer and more sophisticated than the majority of early blaxploitation fare, with some of the same theatricality and filmic urgency of the best Morricone or David Axelrod soundtracks. With instrumentation more ambitious than even the enormity of What's Going On, Trouble Man never stays in one place for long. "'T' Plays It Cool" paints a hustling cityscape with its solid beat and nervous synthesizer bubbles. Plaintive sax trades verses with rudimentary keyboards and Marvin's soulful wails on "Life Is a Gamble," and mournful passages of chamber strings give way to bounding funk grooves. Isaac Hayes' Shaft soundtrack would become debatably more widely remembered than the movie it scored, and Curtis Mayfield's Superfly soundtrack had a similar reception. Likewise, Trouble Man the soundtrack album outperformed Trouble Man the movie by leaps and bounds, enjoying Top 20 chart success in its day while the movie sank rapidly into obscurity. Looking at the album outside the trends of its era and inward to the art that Gaye was sculpting shows Trouble Man as a mostly wordless statement on the rapidly changing times for both young black America and Marvin's personal life. The compositions well over with equal parts tension and detached cool, moving through modes of heartbreaking struggle, searching wonder, and playful street scenes. While it's been relegated to the lesser status of Gaye's one-off blaxploitation soundtrack, it rises far above the wandering wah-wah guitars and dated bongos of its peers. Trouble Man might not be as immediate or universally relatable as Gaye's soul-searching on What's Going On or his later sensual fixations, but a deep listen will show it's very much part of the same overarching genius that touched all of his work. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Soul - Released October 1, 1982 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Larkin Arnold, former CBS Records (Sony Music) senior executive VP, convinced Marvin Gaye to leave his flat in Belgium and sign with Columbia Records; the result would become the soul singer's last album before his untimely death. Of all his number one songs, this album's first release, "Sexual Healing," became his longest running number one single on the Billboard R&B charts (ten straight weeks). With the exception of the guitar, the Washington, D.C. native performed every instrument on this classic hit. Gaye concocted a pioneering percussive sound that was balladic in taste but stimulating in feel. As this project may not be an absolute erotic expression or a socially challenging plea from Gaye like on some of his previous albums, nonetheless, Midnight Love is a classic Marvin Gaye effort. In addition to this project thriving with Gaye's enthusiastic spirit, it has his harmonious background vocals, his stunning vocal arrangements and his creative penmanship, as he wrote all the selections. © Craig Lytle /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1978 | Motown

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Pre-dating the voyeuristic tendencies of reality television by 20 years, Here, My Dear is the sound of divorce on record -- exposed in all of its tender-nerve glory for the world to consume. During the amazing success of I Want You and his stellar Live at the London Palladium album, Marvin Gaye was served with divorce papers from his then-wife Anna Gordy Gaye (sister of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy). One of the conditions of the settlement was that Gordy Gaye would receive an extensive percentage of royalties as well as a portion of the advance for his next album. Initially, Gaye was contemplating giving less than his best effort, as he wouldn't stand to receive any money, but then reconsidered at the last moment. The result is a two-disc-long confessional on the deterioration of their marriage; starting from the opening notes of the title track, Gaye viciously cuts with every lyric deeper into an explanation of why the relationship died the way it did. Gaye uses the album, right down to its packaging, to exorcise his personal demons with subtle visual digs and less-than-subtle lyrical attacks. The inner sleeve had a pseudo-board-game-like illustration entitled "Judgment," in which a man's hand passes a record to a woman's. One side of the sleeve has Gaye's music and recording equipment, while the other side of the board included jewelry and other luxurious amenities. Musically the album retains the high standards Gaye set in the early '70s, but you can hear the agonizing strain of recent events in his voice, to the point where even several vocal overdubs can't save his delivery. Stripped to its bare essence, Here, My Dear is no less than brilliantly unsettling and a perfect cauterization to a decade filled with personal turmoil. © Rob Theakston /TiVo
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Soul - Released May 12, 1989 | Columbia

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Romantically Yours, much like When I'm Alone I Cry, compiles the quieter moments of Marvin Gaye's earlier works. Much to the chagrin of Motown executives, Gaye always wanted to release an album of vocal standards in the stylings of one of his musical heroes, Nat King Cole. The results are a bit uneven, and those wishing to hear Gaye at his finest when performing in this vein should check out the recently issued Vulnerable for a better survey of his work from this time. © Rob Theakston /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1981 | Motown

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Marvin Gaye's In Our Lifetime came after 1978's confessional and meandering double album Here, My Dear. Although this better set does seem effortlessly conceived, it wasn't that simple. Gaye originally envisioned a "party" album and almost released one called Love Man. After some consideration, Gaye nixed the idea and aimed for an effort that would spotlight his religious concerns. Thankfully, In Our Lifetime splits the difference between the two mindsets. The first single from the aborted Love Man shows up here. "Ego Tripping Out" works as both a parody of the "love man" with a few autobiographical flourishes as he sings, "Got a sweet tooth/For the chick on the floor." Slowly but surely the religious matters do surface here. The buoyant "Praise" has a blithe riff inspired and/or lifted from Stevie Wonder and has Gaye getting his message across without being preachy. Although no song is especially brilliant here, the level of Gaye's musical sense and his vocal prowess carry him throughout. The unfinished and non-Gaye-approved "Far Cry" has lyrics that are steam-of-conscious and are barely decipherable. The mesmerizing "Love Me Now or Love Me Later" has Gaye examining both good and evil with equal skill. The last track, the title song, has Gaye back in the party frame of mind and has great horn charts and a propulsive beat. In Our Lifetime is one of his finest later albums and captures him as his craft was maturing and becoming more multifaceted. © Jason Elias /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1997 | Motown

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Vulnerable is the end result of a project entitled The Ballads that Marvin Gaye began in 1966. Gaye intended the project as a showcase for his crooning, as well as a way to pay tribute to the pop and jazz standards he loved. It was a labor of love that took him 12 years to complete, and even after it was finished, the record wasn't released until 1997. Was it worth the wait? For dedicated fans, it certainly was, since Gaye's voice is as beautiful and soulful as ever. However, anyone who is not a dedicated fan will find Vulnerable intriguing but significantly flawed, especially since several of the songs seem ill-suited for Gaye's seductive vocals. Which means that even though Vulnerable is a nice addendum to his catalog, it's little more than a curiosity. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 2012 | UNI - MOTOWN

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
In 1972, things were rapidly shifting in Marvin Gaye's world. He was coming off of one of his most wide-reaching hit albums with 1971's instant classic What's Going On, and his recording contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla was renewed for a cool million dollars and total creative control, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of his day. With Motown's offices migrating west from Detroit to Los Angeles, Gaye followed suit, beginning work on Trouble Man, both the score to a blaxploitation film of the same name and the soundtrack that would be his next album. With minimal singing (Gaye sings through only the title track, adding fragmentary vocalizations minimally throughout the rest of the album), Gaye wrote, arranged, and conducted the entire soundtrack, working with both Motown players and a full orchestra over the course of its recording. It's been speculated by some that Trouble Man was a concerted effort to move away from the expectations of a carbon-copy follow-up to the almost immeasurably high standards of What's Going On, but it's best to look at the record as an entity unto itself rather than the next Marvin Gaye album in the chain. Though largely absent of his one-of-a-kind vocal presence, the arrangements are richer and more sophisticated than the majority of early blaxploitation fare, with some of the same theatricality and filmic urgency of the best Morricone or David Axelrod soundtracks. With instrumentation more ambitious than even the enormity of What's Going On, Trouble Man never stays in one place for long. "'T' Plays It Cool" paints a hustling cityscape with its solid beat and nervous synthesizer bubbles. Plaintive sax trades verses with rudimentary keyboards and Marvin's soulful wails on "Life Is a Gamble," and mournful passages of chamber strings give way to bounding funk grooves. Isaac Hayes' Shaft soundtrack would become debatably more widely remembered than the movie it scored, and Curtis Mayfield's Superfly soundtrack had a similar reception. Likewise, Trouble Man the soundtrack album outperformed Trouble Man the movie by leaps and bounds, enjoying Top 20 chart success in its day while the movie sank rapidly into obscurity. Looking at the album outside the trends of its era and inward to the art that Gaye was sculpting shows Trouble Man as a mostly wordless statement on the rapidly changing times for both young black America and Marvin's personal life. The compositions well over with equal parts tension and detached cool, moving through modes of heartbreaking struggle, searching wonder, and playful street scenes. While it's been relegated to the lesser status of Gaye's one-off blaxploitation soundtrack, it rises far above the wandering wah-wah guitars and dated bongos of its peers. Trouble Man might not be as immediate or universally relatable as Gaye's soul-searching on What's Going On or his later sensual fixations, but a deep listen will show it's very much part of the same overarching genius that touched all of his work. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 2005 | Hip-O Select

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Generally regarded as an iconic nightclub in the history of New York City, the Copa represented that and more to Motown owner Berry Gordy. For Gordy, the Copa was one of many benchmarks indicating that his little experiment called Motown was successful, and having his artists there was the ultimate symbol of how far he had come. The Supremes already had their shot at the Copa, and a live album was issued shortly thereafter. Next up was Gordy's rebellious but chart topping prodigy, Marvin Gaye. In many respects this was the ideal performance for Gaye, as many of the singers he grew to idolize shared the stage there at one point or another, with names like Sinatra and Cole. This was also Gaye's shot at branching out beyond the starched suit of formulaic (but highly successful and groundbreaking) songs that Gordy and Motown urged him to sing. In many instances, Gaye felt the material beneath him, and patiently waited for the day when he could croon his way to the top (a batch of unreleased recordings in this style would resurface in 1997's excellent Vulnerable compilation). The performances came and went, and everything was in place to release the results. However, this never came to pass (according to the outstanding liner notes, it was largely attributed to the tumultuous relationship between Gaye and Gordy; they had an ongoing feud that continued in one variation or another until the end of Gaye's life) and the project was ultimately shelved. Fast forward to 2005, and the folks at Motown Select had the good sense to remaster and release these recordings in a limited pressing. Marvin Gaye at the Copa is a survey of Gaye's finest performances during that two-night stint and the results are nothing short of striking. A balance of standards, ballads and Motown favorites in medley form comprise the 17 tracks on the disc, and with every performance Gaye's velvet-smooth delivery is more than evident; it's addicting. His longing to be out from under the contrived entertainment and choreography -- the juggernaut of the Motown formula -- bleeds through on tracks such as "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Strangers in the Night," and "The Song Is You." And if anything, the release of these tracks not only serve as a kind of vindication -- Gaye could not only capably sing in this fashion, he could do it better than Gordy would ever allow him credit for. It's somewhat liberating to have this collection readily available, but also somewhat sad that his career and his dreams never fully came to fruition. Of all Gaye's previously issued live works, this ranks with the best of them. For fans of Gaye's early years, this is musical manna from heaven. © Rob Theakston /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 2002 | UNI - MOTOWN

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
After brilliantly surveying the social, political, and spiritual landscape with What's Going On, Marvin Gaye turned to more intimate matters with Let's Get It On, a record unparalleled in its sheer sensuality and carnal energy. Always a sexually charged performer, Gaye's passions reach their boiling point on tracks like the magnificent title hit (a number one smash) and "You Sure Love to Ball"; silky and shimmering, the music is seductive in the most literal sense, its fluid grooves so perfectly designed for romance as to border on parody. With each performance laced with innuendo, each lyric a come-on, and each rhythm throbbing with lust, perhaps no other record has ever achieved the kind of sheer erotic force of Let's Get It On, and it remains the blueprint for all of the slow jams to follow decades later -- much copied, but never imitated. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Music Enterprises

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

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Soul - Released March 16, 1976 | Motown

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Soul - Released January 1, 2012 | Motown

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Soul - Released March 29, 2019 | Motown

Putting the words “previously unreleased” next to the name Marvin Gaye has always had quite the effect. When the Deluxe Editions of What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On, Hear, My Dear and other albums were released, fans of the master of soul who died in 1984 got their money’s worth of alternative takes and previously unreleased recordings. This time, You’re the Man released in 2019 is a kind of Holy Grail of his music that has finally been unearthed. When he published What’s Going On in May 1971, Marvin Gaye completely transformed soul music and Motown as well as the history of popular music in general. This very mindful and deliberate masterpiece forced Berry Gordy, the label’s boss, to face the war in Vietnam, interracial tensions and the poverty in American cities. This was the first time that a Motown album was produced without Gordy’s total control and dealt with social issues rather than pleasant love songs. It was also the first time that Marvin Gaye, the entertainer, now had a social and political voice. In the wake of What’s Going On, the star began working on a new album called You’re the Man and released a single with the same title as an attack against the incumbent president, Richard Nixon. However, this attack was not to Gordy’s taste and after agreeing to release the single he refused to proceed with the album and even persuaded the singer to change his mind too. Some of the songs planned for You’re the Man were added here and there on some of his future recordings, but the 2019 version finally presents the album that Marvin Gaye dreamed of releasing in its entirety. This album’s resurrection is all the more enjoyable in the midst of Donald Trump’s presidency and lyrics like We don’t want to hear more lies / About how you plan to economise emphasise the timelessness of his music. The same struggles faced by black people under President Nixon are now faced by those under Trump. He even touches on feminism in the song We Can Make It Baby. For the production of You’re the Man, Marvin Gaye alternated between what he did on What’s Going On as well as the soundtrack of the film Trouble Man released in 1973. His voice fits perfectly with an instrumentation that is somewhere between groovy soul and light funk. To bring all of this together, it is also worth pointing out that Motown relied on producer Salaam Remi, known for his association with Nas, Amy Winehouse, the Fugees and Miguel. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Soul - Released January 22, 2021 | UNI - MOTOWN

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Soul - Released December 8, 1972 | UNI - MOTOWN

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Soul - Released January 1, 1968 | Motown

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Marvin Gaye in the magazine