Marvin Gaye: Der tragische Tod der Soul-Legende

Mit bürgerlichem Namen hieß er Marvin Pentz Gay jr. In Biografien und Rock-Lexika nennt man ihn gern den „original love man“. Ein netter Euphemismus für jemanden, der mit Oden an die Eifersucht („I Heard It Through The Grapevine“) und die durchaus irdische Liebe („Sexual Healing“) einige seiner größten Hits landete. Als Womanizer galt er ohnehin. Nicht von ungefähr wurde sein erfolgreichstes Album zu Lebzeiten das mit dem programmatischen Titel „Let’s Get It On“.

Das war der eher mehr als minder autobiografische Songzyklus eines 34-jährigen verheirateten Mannes, der sich hoffnungslos in eine Teenagerin verknallt hatte. Trotzdem waren es keine brunftigen Soft-Porno-Arien wie die des Kollegen Barry White. Die Songs waren so sanft wie inbrünstig und jubilierend vorgetragene Bekenntnisse. Wenn man da das Wort „Baby“ durch „Jesus“ oder „Lord“ ersetzt hätte, wären sie auch als Gospel-Hymnen durchgegangen. „Keep Gettin‘ It On“ oder „You Sure Love To Ball“ natürlich nicht, einige der restlichen Songs aber doch.

„Let’s Get It On“ war eine schwere Geburt. Voraufgegangen waren der Veröffentlichung endlose Demo-Sessions, bei denen er immer neue Produzenten verschliss. Dazu verschreckte er Dutzende Musiker, sodass die Arbeit nicht voran kam. Nach dem Erfolg von „What’s Going On“ konnte ihm (damals noch) Schwiegervater Berry Gordy jedoch nicht reinreden. „Just To Keep You Satisfied“, letzter Song auf der LP, war genau genommen der älteste. Die Basic Tracks dazu hatte er schon im Juni 1970 aufgenommen, also schon vor „What’s Going On“, das er dann binnen weniger Tage fertig einspielte.

Marvin Gaye’s 10 greatest songs ever, ranked

Marvin Gaye was one of the greatest singers of all time, who recorded some of the finest ever soul songs in a short period of time.

Taken far too soon, Marvin Gaye’s music took on various styles, from uplifting duets to heartbreaking ballads to socially-conscious anthems.

We’ve taken his 10 very best songs for the ultimate Marvin Gaye introduction:

Marvin Gaye's 10 greatest songs ever, ranked

„What’s Going On“ als erstes Konzeptalbum der schwarzen Musik

Der Frühsommer 1971, drei Jahre vor „Let’s Get It On“, ist in Deutschland mit dem Bestechungs-Skandal in der Fußball-Bundesliga, dem Amtsantritt von Erich Honecker als Erster Sekretär des Staatsrates der DDR und der großen Kampagne gegen das Verbot der Abtreibung verbunden. In den USA sind die Rolling Stones mit „Brown Sugar“ Ende Mai, Anfang Juni zwei Wochen lang auf Platz eins der Billboard-Charts. Wenig später folgt ihnen Carole King gleich fünf Wochen lang mit dem Abrechnungs-Liebeslied „It’s Too Late“.

In Vietnam tobt der Stellvertreter-Krieg der Amerikaner gegen den kommunistischen Norden des Landes immer heftiger. Durch die Veröffentlichung der sogenannten „Pentagon Papers“ (Geheimdokumente des US-Verteidigungsministeriums zur Vorgeschichte des Konflikts) in der „New York Times“ wird ein düsteres Licht auf die frühe Kriegsführung der Amerikaner in den Sixties geworfen. Die Friedens- und Bürgerrechts-Bewegung in den USA bekommt damit weiteren massiven Zulauf.

Marvin Gaye erinnerte sich gegenüber seinem späteren Biografen an jene Zeit: „Um mich herum explodierte die Welt; wie um Himmels Willen sollte ich da weiterhin Liebeslieder schreiben?“ Resultat dieser Grübelei ist Gayes elftes, am 21. Mai 1971 auf dem Unterlabel Tamla Motown veröffentlichtes Album. Wenn man so will, das erste komplett durcharrangierte Konzeptalbum in der Geschichte der Schwarzen Musik. Gewidmet einem (politischen) Oberthema wird „What’s Going On“ heute in einem Atemzug mit „Pet Sounds“ von den Beach Boys und „Sergeant Pepper’s“ von The Beatles genannt.

„What’s Going On“ als erstes Konzeptalbum der schwarzen Musik

Wann starb Marvin Gaye?

Anfang der 80er-Jahre schien Marvin Gaye aus der Versenkung zurückgekehrt. Nach einer Auszeit und einem Drogenentzug feierte der berühmteste Soul-Sänger der 60er-Jahre mit seiner Single „Sexual Healing“ und dem dazugehörigen Album „Midnight Love“ ein Comeback. Nach seiner Rückkehr in die USA begab sich Gaye, der das Touren eigentlich nicht mochte, auf die Reise, um sein Album zu promoten. Um dem Druck standzuhalten, griff er wieder zu Kokain. Sein Gemütszustand zerrüttete zusehends, Gaye fühlte sich verfolgt.

Nach dem Ende der Tour im August 1983 zog sich der Sänger zu seinen Eltern nach Los Angeles zurück. Das Haus hatte er selbst einige Jahre zuvor gekauft. Nach einer Zeit, die von Familienmitgliedern als „ruhig und ohne besondere Vorkommnisse“ beschrieben wird, geriet Gaye jedoch immer öfter und immer heftiger mit seinem Vater, einem strenggläubigen Prediger, aneinander.

Am 1. April 1984 eskalierte ein Streit um ein Versicherungs-Dokument. Erst kam es zu Handgreiflichkeiten, dann schoss der Vater seinem Sohn mit einer Pistole in die Brust, einer Smith & Wesson, die Marvin ihm zu Weihnachten geschenkt hatte.

Als die Polizei 20 Minuten später am Tatort eintraf, war Marvin Gaye bereits tot. Am nächsten Tag hätte er seinen 45. Geburtstag gefeiert.

Wann starb Marvin Gaye?

1. Hitch Hike

Marvin Pentz Gay Jr’s earliest experiences of singing in public came when he was three, performing as a part of his father’s church choir in Washington DC. With a passion for music that continued into his teenage years sand saw him performing with various groups in DC and then Chicago, he came to the attention of Berry Gordy Jr after moving to Detroit in 1960, and was signed to Tamla, one of Gordy’s Motown imprints. Gaye initially showed no particular desire to become an R&B performer, however, and instead strove to succeed as a jazz musician, perhaps because of his agonising shyness – a trait that was often evident throughout early live performances. He made his first album in 1961, but had to wait until the end of 1962 for his first hit. Hitch Hike was released as a dance song – Gaye recorded the drums and piano himself – showcasing the singer’s soulful vocal range. The song’s composition also clearly influenced other classic songs such as the Velvet Underground’s There She Goes Again, as well as the Smiths’ There is a Light That Never Goes Out.

1. Hitch Hike

2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (with Tammi Terrell)

After having hits with duets with Mary Wells and Kim Weston, Gaye was teamed with Tammi Terrell, who was hired especially for the job, in 1967. At first, both artists recorded their vocal contributions separately but soon they formed a close friendship. They were given a song by husband-and-wife songwriting team Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough became a huge crossover hit – a romantic love song you could dance to. Between 1967 and 1969, Gaye and Terrell went on to record three albums together, and released a host of successful singles, most of which were also written by Ashford and Simpson. Tragically, the duo’s partnership was cut short when Terrell died of a brain tumour a month short of her 25th birthday in 1970. Though their relationship was purely platonic, Terrell’s impact on Gaye’s life and career was immeasurable, and her death led to him to depression and drug abuse – neither of which he ever truly overcame, almost causing him to quit music. Gaye’s reaction to Terrell’s death would also profoundly influence his future work, particularly his introspective 1971 masterpiece: What’s Going On.

3. I Heard It Through The Grapevine

During 1968, Motown worked on a new album with Gaye, after a couple of years in which he had released only singles. Though Gladys Knight & the Pips’ 1967 version of I Heard it Through the Grapevine had become Motown’s biggest selling single so far ,Gaye’s rendition from those sessions provided his commercial breakthrough, giving him his first US No 1. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, the song’s narrative featured themes of betrayal and emotional suffering, built upon a phrase associated with civil war slaves’ form of telegraph: the human grapevine. Gaye’s paranoid interpretation of the track is sensational, far more ominous than Knight’s, with its slower tempo and brooding vocals. The song’s release as a single was initially rejected by Gordy, yet it overtook the Pips’ version to become Motown’s new biggest seller, only succeeded two years later by the Jackson 5’s I’ll Be There. The single was so successful, in fact, that Gaye’s 1968 album In the Groove was later reissued and retitled I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

4. What’s Going On

What’s Going On, from 1971, was the first album Gaye produced himself, and it proved to be a stark contrast to his back catalogue, as he unveiled a social conscience. The album’s title track – initially shunned by Gordy, who claimed it was the worst song he’d ever heard – was conceived by Motown songwriter Al Cleveland, who had been inspired by Four Tops bassist Renaldo “Obie” Benson witnessing police brutality in Berkeley, California. The rest of the Tops weren’t interested, but Benson convinced Gaye to take it on. Gaye adopted the song’s initial concept and reworked it, lyrically and melodically, adding his own personal experiences into the mix. The Vietnam war experiences of Gaye’s brother Frankie played a vital role in inspiring the album’s overall concept – the perspective of a veteran returning home to America, only to be greeted by a plague of suffering and injustice.

5. Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)

The second single from What’s Going On, Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology), was written by Gaye, who also played piano and mellotron on the song. Gaye was mourning mankind’s mistreatment of the world, but also expanding his vision to include the chemical weapons used by the US military in Vietnam to destroy the vegetation used by the Vietcong as cover and the rice paddies they relied on for food. Since its original release, Mercy, Mercy Me has become one of Gaye’s most famous recordings, and to mark the 20th anniversary of its release, in 1991, Motown released a new video for the song which featured guest appearances from labelmates such as Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross.

6. Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)

While the title track set the blueprint for What’s Going On, it’s the album closer that’s most gripping. Built upon a bluesy atmospheric groove, Inner City Blues is the product of a collaboration between Gaye and Motown songwriter James Nyx Jr, who between them conjured a timeless composition that works as a tale of frustration about the state of America’s inner cities, ending with a reprise that harks back to the album’s opening. Instead of being indignant, Gaye’s delivery of the track is both reflective and cynical – frankly discussing issues such as poverty and taxation (“Money, we make it / Before we see it, you take it”), crime, lack of opportunity, and “trigger-happy policing”.

9. Got To Give It Up

Soon after the release of I Want You, Gaye embarked on his first European tour for more than 10 years. The London show, at the Palladium, was recorded for a live album, which also featured this one studio track. Got To Give It Up is the live album’s only studio recording, a response to Motown pressing him to take advantage of the new popularity of disco. Rather than create a simple pop song, Gaye instead recorded a 12-minute disco parody track that combines a casual party atmosphere with a solid funk composition and falsetto lead vocals that showcase his astonishing vocal range. The four-minute single version of the song became a huge hit. It cut the final half of the song, which spirals into a loose funk jam, topped with a guitar solo and a repetitive chant that directly inspired Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough. The song later became the subject of a landmark court case, when Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ruled to have taken elements from it for their worldwide hit Blurred Lines.

10.

The late 70s and early 80s saw Gaye immersed in personal, emotional and financial problems, and at odds with Motown. He finally left the label in 1982, signing to Columbia for what turned out to be his final album. Midnight Love was trailed by the single Sexual Healing, a song that combined funk and reggae influences with gospel-streaked vocals with a frank expression sexual desire. It became a huge worldwide hit. However, Gaye’s cocaine addiction had worsened, his two failed marriages haunted him, and he continued to mourn Tammi Terrell. After a period spent living in Ostend, Belgium, he moved back to his parents’ home in Los Angeles, but his relationship with his father flared up again. On 1 April 1984, Gaye intervened in an argument between his parents; at 12.38pm his father shot him twice. Marvin Gaye was pronounced dead at 1.01pm.

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

Written by the famous Holland–Dozier–Holland trio at Motown, this gave Marvin Gaye his biggest hit at the time in 1964.

The song’s title was inspired by one of Jackie Gleason’s signature catchphrases: „How Sweet It Is!“

The love song was later recorded as a famous cover version by James Taylor in 1975.

Abraham, Martin and John

Originally by Dion, this song was a tribute to four iconic Americans who were assassinated: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, John F Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

Marvin Gaye covered the song in 1970, and was one of his first experiments in socially-conscious music, a year before his What’s Going On? album. It reached the top 10 in the UK.

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Taken from his iconic What’s Going On? album, this song is one of music’s most poignant anthems regarding the environment.

It was a million-seller, and was later covered by Robert Palmer in 1990 as part of a medley with Gaye’s song ‚I Want You‘.

Let’s Get It On

This was the song that saw Marvin Gaye become a sex symbol for the rest of his life. How could it not?

The title track of his 1973 album, it became Marvin’s biggest hit and one of his singature songs.

Co-written with Ed Townsend, it was originally conceived as a religious song after Townsend had recently finished rehab, before Gaye transformed it into an emotional plea about love and sexual liberation.

What’s Going On?

This song was co-written by Renaldo ‚Obie‘ Benson, Al Cleveland, and Marvin Gaye, and produced by Gaye himself.

It marked Gaye’s departure from the Motown Sound of his previous output, towards more personal material.

Read more: The Story of… ‚What’s Going On?‘

It was inspired by the many racial injustices of the 1960s that had spilled over into the 1970s. Gaye asked himself: „‚With the world exploding around me, how am I supposed to keep singing love songs?'“

I Heard It Through the Grapevine

The Miracles first recorded ‚I Heard it Through the Grapevine‘, and it was first a hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips.

However, it is Marvin Gaye’s version from 1968 that became the most iconic, despite the fact that Motown chief Berry Gordy was not convinced it would be a hit at first.

Read more: Marvin Gaye’s isolated vocals from ‚I Heard it Through the Grapevine‘ will give you tingles

It became a hit for a second time in 1985, after its use in the iconic Levi’s advert featuring a certain Nick Kamen at a laundrette.

Marvin Gaye Songs

Alle Marvin Gaye Songs in der Übersicht. Die grüne Zahl steht für die Höchstposition in den Charts, die graue Zahl in Klammern für die Wochen in den Charts und das Datum ist der Ersteinstieg in die jeweiligen Charts. Über die Auswahlbox können die Songs nach Ersteinstieg eines Landes sortiert werden.

Kurzbeschreibung

This concert was recorded live on Marvin Gaye’s first European tour in 1976. Filmed in Holland at the Edenhalle Concert Hall in Amsterdam before a sell-out audience, this show, preserved now for prosperity, was one of the rare live performances captured on film. – All The Way Round – Since I Had You – Come Get To This – Let’s Get It On – Ain’t That Peculiar – You’re A Wonderful One – Stubborn Kind Of Fellow – Pride & Joy – Little Darling (I Need You) – I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Hitch Hike – You – Too Busy Thinking About My Baby – How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) – What’s Happening? – Save The Children – Your All I Need – Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing – Heaven Must Have Sent You – It Takes Two – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Distant Lover

Synopsis

This concert was recorded live on Marvin Gaye’s first European tour in 1976. Filmed in Holland at the Edenhalle Concert Hall in Amsterdam before a sell-out audience, this show, preserved now for prosperity, was one of the rare live performances captured on film.Tracklisting:01 All The Way Round02 Since I Had You03 Come Get To This04 Let’s Get It On05 Ain’t That Peculiar06 You’re A Wonderful One07 Stubborn Kind Of Fellow08 Pride & Joy09 Little Darling (I Need You)10 I Heard It Through The Grapevine11 Hitch Hike12 You13 Too Busy Thinking About My Baby14 How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)15 Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)16 What’s Happening?17 Save The Children18 Your All I Need19 Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing20 Heaven Must Have Sent You21 It Takes Two22 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough23 Distant Lover

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Info for Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (Remastered)

Marvin Gaye’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 is a compilation album of greatest hits, a second compilation by American R&B/soul singer Marvin Gaye. Other than the Anthology line, this was for quite a while the best single album set featuring Gaye’s early and mid-’60s hits. There isn’t a dud in the bunch, but both the Super Hits and Anthology line give you more cuts, while the boxed set has more variety. But this isn’t by any stretch a bad GayeDigitally remastered

Marvin GayeBrilliant, enigmatic, and headstrong, Marvin Gaye was an innovator. In 2009, he would have been 70 years old, and it has been 25 years since his tragic death. But today Marvin remains as influential and exciting as ever: Rolling Stone recently named him one of the greatest singers of all time. He was born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. on April 2, 1939, in Washington, D.C., where he dreamed of singing before large crowds; he joined a co-founded a local doo-wop group, the Marquees, who were spotted by Harvey Fuqua, who made them his new Moonglows. Marvin arrived in Detroit on tour with the Moonglows and stayed, as did Harvey, and Marvin was signed to Motown just based on raw singing talent. He was also a songwriter, an OK drummer-and handsome as hell. He wanted to sing jazz, to croon Tin Pan Alley standards, but that didn’t pan out. Motown founder Berry Gordy encouraged Marvin to sing R&B, and once Gaye sang the soulful (and autobiographical) “Stubborn Kind Of Fellow” in 1962, stardom enveloped him. The incendiary “Hitch Hike,” “Pride And Joy,” and “Can I Get A Witness” sold like crazy in 1963, and Marvin oozed silky sexiness on the 1965 classics “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” “I’ll Be Doggone” and “Ain’t That Peculiar.” By 1968′s immortal “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” and on a series of electrifying duets with Mary Wells, Kim Weston (“It Takes Two”), and his ultimate singing partner, the ravishing but ill-fated Tammi Terrell (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” et al), Gaye was a commercial force. He soon became recognized as an artistic one as well. At decade’s turn, Marvin seized full control of his output with the deeply personal, socially aware 1971 masterpiece What’s Going On, which produced three hit singles: the title track, “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” and “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).” He defied expectations again with “Trouble Man,” a 1972 hit single featured in his haunting, jazzy score of the movie of the same name. He zoomed to the top of the charts with his passionate Let’s Get It On, while delivering a pop confection in Diana and Marvin, his duet album with Motown’s queen, Diana Ross. I Want You, released in 1976, was another sensual masterwork, a meditation on obsessive love that was also No. 1. Marvin made his personal life public through his songs, and it was never more evident in 1978′s Here, My Dear, a sprawling double-album chronicling his divorce from Anna Gordy, Berry’s sister. Even his No. 1 dance classic from 1977, “Got To Give It Up,” a studio cut added to flesh out the double-LP Live At The London Palladium, was about the singer’s reluctance to get loose on the dance floor. Marvin left Motown in 1981, with the politically tinged album In Our Lifetime. He fled to London, then Belgium, where he created for Columbia Records “Sexual Healing,” his first Grammy® winner. But another hit was not salvation from his demons. On April 1, 1984, one day before his 45th birthday, Marvin was shot to death by his father. Marvin’s influence reaches across the generations. He was rightfully among only the second group of artists honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987. More recently, Marvin was No. 6 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time. “Motown Week” on American Idol 2009 (Season 8) featured remaining contestants singing not one but two of Marvin’s songs. His records-and his ringtones and his DVDs-are still going gold.

HighRes-Studio Master files are lossless at various sample rates from 44.1 kHz up to 384 kHz or 1-bit (2.8224 MHz) for DSD.

AllMusic Review by Cub Koda

The title is a bit of a misnomer, as you could count up on the fingers of both hands all the early hits that aren’t on this 15-track collection. But if it’s latter-day Marvin you’re looking for — from „How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)“ through tracks like „Let’s Get It On“ and „Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)“ — this set will fill the bill nicely, despite the utter lack of decent liner notes or recording date information. There’s some great music here; just don’t expect to fill your Marvin Gaye collection with this one disc, and you’ll be just fine. [When Motown remastered and reissued the set in 2000, two tracks were added: „Ain’t That Peculiar“ and „I’ll Be Doggone.“]

Die Neuauflage der gleichnamigen, mit Platin verkauften Kompilation aus dem Jahr 1983 deckt Marvin Gayes Karriere von seinen wichtigsten Hits der 1960er Jahre bis hin zum Multi-Chart Nr. 1 »Got to Give It…

Marvin Gaye zählte zu den talentiertesten, visionärsten Künstlern unter dem Dach von Motown. Er bereitete mit seinem kraftvollen R’nB, seinem weltgewandten Soul und dem Einfluss seiner politischen Haltung…

Motown veröffentlichten die erste Marvin Gaye-Platte »(I’m Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over« 1961; eine Single die für (Radio-)Promotion für das Debütalbum des Sängers gedacht war. Es folgte die offiziell v…

Das erste Album auf dem Motown-Label war „Hi… We’re the Miracles“ (1961), als zweites folgte „The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye“ und ist ist das Debüt-Studioalbum von Marvin Gaye aus dem gleichen Jahr. …

What’s Going On (Live) ist ein Livealbum, das die legendäre Performance von Soul-Sänger Marvin Gaye am 1. Mai 1972 in Washington D.C. festhält. Dieser Auftritt war seine erste Live-Performance in vier Jah…

Das »verschollene« AlbumKaum zu glauben: Mit »You’re The Man« erscheint 2019 ein verschollenes Album von Soulikone Marvin Gaye, und zwar auf CD und Doppel-LP. Das Album, von dem man zwar wusste, dass …

Das »verschollene« AlbumKaum zu glauben: Mit »You’re The Man« erscheint 2019 ein verschollenes Album von Soulikone Marvin Gaye, und zwar auf CD und Doppel-LP. Das Album, von dem man zwar wusste, dass …

Marvin Gaye zählte zu den talentiertesten, visionärsten Künstlern unter dem Dach von Motown. Er bereitete mit seinem kraftvollen R’nB, seinem weltgewandten Soul und dem Einfluss seiner politischen Haltung…

Marvin Gaye war eine umstrittene und zugleich enorm erfolgreiche Persönlichkeit. In seinen frühen Jahren versuchte der Sohn eines Priesters sich an einer Vielzahl charttypischer Songs, ganz in der Traditi…

»His Classic Duets« ist ein Update der Sammlung von Marvin Gaye aus dem Jahr 1970 mit dem Titel »Marvin Gaye & His Girls«. Das Artwork der LP-Albenhülle (Cover und Rückseite) basiert auf dem Original. Das…

What’s Going On (Live) ist ein Livealbum, das die legendäre Performance von Soul-Sänger Marvin Gaye am 1. Mai 1972 in Washington D.C. festhält. Dieser Auftritt war seine erste Live-Performance in vier Jah…

Am 7. Juli 1980 traf Marvin Gaye am 14. Montreux Jazz Festival in der Schweiz auf ein vorwiegend jazzfreudiges Publikum. Obwohl das Festival einige der berühmtesten Künstler der Jazzwelt präsentierte, wur…