Thursday, April 2, 2009
Thinking About Marvin Gaye
First of all he was a tremendous talent and his musical legacy is even more amazing compared to the lack of musicality/pornography being touted as great music today. I have a particular fondness for his duets with Tammi Terrell. Since most were written by real-life powerhouse songsmiths Ashford & Simpson the songs they recorded would have resonance. I also liked the duets album he did with Diana Ross. His most definitive work in my opinion was the social justice album, "What's Going On" that he wrote and produced himself. He faced record label resistance at moving beyond the popular fare for something decidedly political but it paid off. He was a true rebel!! I can't name another artist from his generation that touched that artistry of that recording. John Lennon's "Imagine" comes close.
Of course many love the "Let's Get It On" release as well. Like many great talents Marvin's life was full of emotional upheaval and ongoing conflicts that hadn't been completely resolved. His life came to a bitter end at the hands of his own father one day before his 45th birthday. Despite that we have the fruits of his labor for the life that he lived and pursued fully. Former Law & Order actor Jesse L. Martin is developing a film about Gaye, whose story needs to be brought to the major screen. Oh how sweet it is!