Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye Volume Three: 1971-1981 on 180g 8LP Box Set
Featuring the Prince of Soul's Final 7 Albums for Motown!
Following on from the previously released Marvin Gaye box sets Volume One (1961-1965) and Volume Two (1966-1970), the third installation covers the years 1971-1981 and collects the Prince of Soul's last seven Motown studio albums on 180g vinyl in one fantastic box including What's Going On (1971), Trouble Man (1972), Let's Get It On (1973), Diana & Marvin (1973), I Want You (1976), Here, My Dear (1978) and In Our Lifetime (1981).
With What's Going On, Marvin Gaye forever changed the sound and subject matter of popular music, influencing and inspiring every generation since. Formerly Motown's reigning smooth-faced, smiling, mass-appeal artist, this album was Gaye's departure for the bearded, brooding, reflective, angry artist he would become for the remainder of his tenure on the label. His next move? A mostly instrumental, orchestral jazz-soul soundtrack for the forgotten Ivan Dixon 1972 blaxploitation film Trouble Man. The album, though a surprise to followers, was a hit, producing a top 10 pop title track and legions of new fans, including musicians who started the acid-jazz movement in its wake.
A lustful counterpart to What's Going On, 1973's Let's Get It On took shape after the vocalist changed his approach while singing the classic title song. Originally intended to be a tune about moving on with life, Gaye turned it into a paean to sexual craving and consummate desire. The mood, feel, and tone of the record took off from there. Etched with tempting grooves and Gaye's deep tenor, Let's Get It On caused an untold number of doors, to swing wide open.
It takes two, goes the saying, and in 1973 Motown's two biggest solo superstars, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross, proved the saying true when they teamed for an unforgettable duet album. Ross and Gaye had always felt a mutual admiration for each other's talent. When they joined together for Diana & Marvin, their emotional and vocal chemistry was apparent. Not surprisingly, the album was a hit, Top 10 R&B and Top 30 pop. "My Mistake (Was To Love You)" reached Top 20 pop and R&B, "You're A Special Part Of Me" No. 4 R&B/No. 12 pop and "Don't Knock My Love" Top 30 R&B/Top 50 pop.
By the mid-70s, Marvin had already dropped a pair of classic albums and then disappeared. Getting Marvin back in the studio was Leon Ware, the man behind Michael Jackson's "I Wanna Be Where You Are," and hit albums like Quincy Jones' Body Heat and Minnie Riperton's Adventures In Paradise. Berry Gordy heard music Ware had begun recording, and felt it perfect for the reclusive Marvin. Ware's songs became forums for Gaye to express his desire for Janis Hunter. His passion is evident on every track. The songs - including the title track hit "I Want You" and "After The Dance" - spoke to the world and a whole new generation of young fans.
Here, My Dear, Gaye's soul baring concept album about the pitfalls of love and divorce was originally released in 1978. As a condition of his divorce from then-wife Anna Gordy, Gaye was ordered to forfeit a percentage of his album royalties. Accordingly, Gaye exorcised his frustrations with his next release, a sign of the times confessional in which he unabashedly wears his pain and suffering on his sleeve, right down to the album's cover art.
1981's In Our Lifetime served as Gaye's final album for Motown before leaving for Columbia Records where he cut his last ever record Midnight Love (1982). After scrapping the bedroom funk album Love Man, Marvin changed gears with the more contemplative In Our Lifetime centered around his internal struggles, our brief time on this earth and of course love. Passionate and personal, the criminally underrated release features a little bit of everything you want from Marvin Gaye and latter day gems like "Praise," "Life Is For Learning" and "Heavy Love Affair" stand as consummate bookends to his Motown supremacy.