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Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (1971)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Magic, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Marvin Gaye
    What’s Going On
    Released in 1971 by Motown/Tamla Records
    R & B / Soul



    [​IMG]

    :tl:

    1. "What's Going On" (Al Cleveland, Marvin Gaye, Renaldo Benson) – 3:53
    2. "What's Happening Brother" (James Nyx, M. Gaye) – 2:43
    3. "Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)" (M. Gaye, Anna Gordy Gaye, Elgie Stover) – 3:49
    4. "Save the Children" (Cleveland, M. Gaye, Benson) – 4:03
    5. "God Is Love" (M. Gaye, A. Gaye, Stover, Nyx) – 1:41
    6. "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" (M. Gaye) – 3:16
    7. "Right On" (Earl DeRouen, M. Gaye) – 7:31
    8. "Wholy Holy" (Benson, Cleveland, M. Gaye) – 3:08
    9. "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" (M. Gaye, Nyx) – 5:26


    What a masterpiece! This album boasts many firsts; first album produced solely by Marvin, first solo effort without Tammi Terrell, the first time Motown had a politically motivated album, the first concept album by Marvin, first soul music concept album, and the first time the Motown session musicians, the Funk Brothers, received credit for their work. What’s Going On has proven to be one of the most influential albums in the history of soul music.

    The album addresses the Vietnam War, poverty, police brutality, environmental devastation, drug abuse, taxes, and the problems of everyday social life. Marvin preaches to the listener in a beautiful , soulful manner giving the hope for a better day. His vocals and lyrics are spiritually infused. The music has a lot passion with subtle strings, woodwinds, and brass; fluid and smooth bass lines; and heavy percussion to drive the message of the album to epic proportions. What’s Going On is one of the most expressive albums to ever be recorded in music history. In 2010 this album is 39 years old, and the subject matter of the album is just as relevant today as it was back in 1971, which makes Marvin Gaye an extremely philosophical person and a prophet in his own right. No classic record collection should be without this album.

    1. “What’s Going On” ~This song sets the theme and ambiance of the entire album. “we need to find a way to bring some Lovin’ here today” “only love can conquer hate”………great lyrics!

    2. “What’s Happening Brother”~ This song is about a man coming home from war, and discovering there is no jobs, and a weak economy. This song is easy to relate to. Then you go straight to the next song with no break.

    3. “Flying High (In the Friendly Sky)”~This song deals with drug addiction. A very dark and bleak song. “so stupid, but I go crazy when I can’t find it”, really speaks the truth about addiction.

    4. “Save the Children”~This song connects with the previous song, with a plea to save our world. “little children today, are they gonna suffer tomorrow”. Thought provoking lyrics……..with the answer from Marvin being “Love”.

    5. “God is Love”~Now Marvin moves toward spirituality and religion as an answer.

    6. “Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)”~This is my favorite song on the album. It is about the destruction of the environment. The ending has a gloomy tone which gives you the impression to take heed of a “warning”….fantastic ending!

    7. “Right On”~This song is about soul searching and doing the right thing. “Right on” for taking pride in yourself and everything you do.

    8. “Wholy Holy”~This song is a testament to God and religion. The percussion sounds and horn in this song is pretty cool, otherwise, I consider this the weakest link in the concept of the album.

    9. “Inner City Blues (Make me Wanna Holler)”~ The finally of the album, which brings the concept full circle. Again heralding the trials and tribulations of life and reassuring you that love is definitely the answer. A perfect ending to the album.

    This album was definitely a bold move on the part of Marvin Gaye back in 1971. To speak out openly during that time was unheard of. One of the privileges of getting older is the ability to reflect back and see how things have changed over the years, but have they really changed that much? We are still faced with many of the problems this album is a testament to. The only difference between then and now is, we can talk about the problems now without creating a political firestorm.

    My rating for listening pleasure 3/5

    My rating for lyrical material 4.5/5
     
  2. Slip'nn2Darkness

    Slip'nn2Darkness Sub Sonic Soul Shaker

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    Re: Marvin Gaye ~ What's Going On (1971)

    Have this album and like it loads..:grinthumb
     
  3. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Marvin Gaye ~ What's Going On (1971)

    Me too, Thumper. It is a piece of music history. I dont listen to it very often, though.
     
  4. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: Marvin Gaye ~ What's Going On (1971)

    I only have a massive 2 CD compilation of Marvin's music which has all my favorite songs. I watched the Biography about his life a couple of years ago, very sad situation he ended up in.:(

    Still another feather in yer bonnet Magic...very well done.:clap:
     
  5. Slip'nn2Darkness

    Slip'nn2Darkness Sub Sonic Soul Shaker

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    Re: Marvin Gaye ~ What's Going On (1971)

    On VH1 tonight I watched the 100 most shocking moments in music.
    They brought up the story of his Dad shooting him.. They said they think he was jealous of his relationship with his mother.. Pretty messed up since he was a preacher and he shot his own son..
    In the court room his Dad stood there with this long ass nose hair sticking out of his nose.. The thing had to be a inch and a half long..Grossed me out!!!:yuk:
     
  6. flipflop

    flipflop Prisoner of rock'n'roll

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    Re: Marvin Gaye ~ What's Going On (1971)

    I've got a great 3LP collection and a 2LP live and that's probably all I'll ever need from Marvin... should I get a full album from him it would probably be What's Going On. No doubt it's a milestone.
     
  7. Beethoven

    Beethoven Member

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    A great album, whilst overrated content-wise, is a hugely important and influential work of art. One of music's finest voices having something important to say.
     

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