“What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye (1971)

17 11 2008

Marvin Gaye was already a superstar when he recorded the album “What’s Going On” in 1971.  He was going through a tumultuous period in his life, and the times were not good.  The civil rights struggle was in full swing, a tragic war was raging in Vietnam, and the country had lost some great leaders.  Mr. Gaye’s brother was drafted into the war, and he had recently lost a good friend and singing partner, Tammi Terrell.  His response was this record.

Everyone told him it wasn’t a commercial record, and he shouldn’t release it.  But release it he did, and the world is a better place for it.  I don’t think one could overestimate the impact of this record.  The entire album is worth soaking up into your soul.

(Thanks to brainchild9 for posting this great live performance on YouTube.  Check out the terrific musicians, including the great James Jamerson on bass!)

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