Marvin Gaye

The best album credited to Marvin Gaye is What’s Going On which is ranked number 68 in the overall greatest album chart with a total of 21,987.

Marvin Gaye

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In 1972, things were rapidly shifting in Marvin Gaye’s world. He was coming off of one of his most wide-reaching hit albums with 1971’s instant classic What’s Going On, and his recording contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla was renewed for a cool million dollars and total creative control, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of his day. With Motown’s offices migrating west from Detroit to Los Angeles, Gaye followed suit, beginning work on Trouble Man, both the score to a blaxploitation film of the same name and the soundtrack that would be his next album. With minimal singing (Gaye sings through only the title track, adding fragmentary vocalizations minimally throughout the rest of the album), Gaye wrote, arranged, and conducted the entire soundtrack, working with both Motown players and a full orchestra over the course of its recording. It’s been speculated by some that Trouble Man was a concerted effort to move away from the expectations of a carbon-copy follow-up to the almost immeasurably high standards of What’s Going On, but it’s best to look at the record as an entity unto itself rather than the next Marvin Gaye album in the chain. Though largely absent of his one-of-a-kind vocal presence, the arrangements are richer and more sophisticated than the majority of early blaxploitation fare, with some of the same theatricality and filmic urgency of the best Morricone or David Axelrod soundtracks. With instrumentation more ambitious than even the enormity of What’s Going On, Trouble Man never stays in one place for long. „‚T‘ Plays It Cool“ paints a hustling cityscape with its solid beat and nervous synthesizer bubbles. Plaintive sax trades verses with rudimentary keyboards and Marvin’s soulful wails on „Life Is a Gamble,“ and mournful passages of chamber strings give way to bounding funk grooves. Isaac Hayes‘ Shaft soundtrack would become debatably more widely remembered than the movie it scored, and Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack had a similar reception. Likewise, Trouble Man the soundtrack album outperformed Trouble Man the movie by leaps and bounds, enjoying Top 20 chart success in its day while the movie sank rapidly into obscurity. Looking at the album outside the trends of its era and inward to the art that Gaye was sculpting shows Trouble Man as a mostly wordless statement on the rapidly changing times for both young black America and Marvin’s personal life. The compositions well over with equal parts tension and detached cool, moving through modes of heartbreaking struggle, searching wonder, and playful street scenes. While it’s been relegated to the lesser status of Gaye’s one-off blaxploitation soundtrack, it rises far above the wandering wah-wah guitars and dated bongos of its peers. Trouble Man might not be as immediate or universally relatable as Gaye’s soul-searching on What’s Going On or his later sensual fixations, but a deep listen will show it’s very much part of the same overarching genius that touched all of his work.&copy Fred Thomas /TiVo

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℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist – Pat Sullivan, Unknown, Other

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Gene Page, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer – Marvin Gaye, Composer, Producer, MainArtist – Dale Oehler, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye

Albumbeschreibung

In 1972, things were rapidly shifting in Marvin Gaye’s world. He was coming off of one of his most wide-reaching hit albums with 1971’s instant classic What’s Going On, and his recording contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla was renewed for a cool million dollars and total creative control, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of his day. With Motown’s offices migrating west from Detroit to Los Angeles, Gaye followed suit, beginning work on Trouble Man, both the score to a blaxploitation film of the same name and the soundtrack that would be his next album. With minimal singing (Gaye sings through only the title track, adding fragmentary vocalizations minimally throughout the rest of the album), Gaye wrote, arranged, and conducted the entire soundtrack, working with both Motown players and a full orchestra over the course of its recording. It’s been speculated by some that Trouble Man was a concerted effort to move away from the expectations of a carbon-copy follow-up to the almost immeasurably high standards of What’s Going On, but it’s best to look at the record as an entity unto itself rather than the next Marvin Gaye album in the chain. Though largely absent of his one-of-a-kind vocal presence, the arrangements are richer and more sophisticated than the majority of early blaxploitation fare, with some of the same theatricality and filmic urgency of the best Morricone or David Axelrod soundtracks. With instrumentation more ambitious than even the enormity of What’s Going On, Trouble Man never stays in one place for long. „‚T‘ Plays It Cool“ paints a hustling cityscape with its solid beat and nervous synthesizer bubbles. Plaintive sax trades verses with rudimentary keyboards and Marvin’s soulful wails on „Life Is a Gamble,“ and mournful passages of chamber strings give way to bounding funk grooves. Isaac Hayes‘ Shaft soundtrack would become debatably more widely remembered than the movie it scored, and Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack had a similar reception. Likewise, Trouble Man the soundtrack album outperformed Trouble Man the movie by leaps and bounds, enjoying Top 20 chart success in its day while the movie sank rapidly into obscurity. Looking at the album outside the trends of its era and inward to the art that Gaye was sculpting shows Trouble Man as a mostly wordless statement on the rapidly changing times for both young black America and Marvin’s personal life. The compositions well over with equal parts tension and detached cool, moving through modes of heartbreaking struggle, searching wonder, and playful street scenes. While it’s been relegated to the lesser status of Gaye’s one-off blaxploitation soundtrack, it rises far above the wandering wah-wah guitars and dated bongos of its peers. Trouble Man might not be as immediate or universally relatable as Gaye’s soul-searching on What’s Going On or his later sensual fixations, but a deep listen will show it’s very much part of the same overarching genius that touched all of his work.&copy Fred Thomas /TiVo

Albumbeschreibung

Produktbeschreibungen

Limited vinyl LP repressing of Marvin Gaye’s classic soundtrack to the 1972 motion picture Trouble Man. The album reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200, peaking at #12. The title track was released as a single in November 1972 and became a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #7. The song became one of Marvin’s signature songs for the remainder of his life. More recently, the soundtrack was referenced positively in the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with Falcon (Anthony Mackie) calling it the most important thing Captain America (Chris Evans) missed during his cryogenic slumber.

Produktbeschreibungen

Marvin Gaye

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In 1972, things were rapidly shifting in Marvin Gaye’s world. He was coming off of one of his most wide-reaching hit albums with 1971’s instant classic What’s Going On, and his recording contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla was renewed for a cool million dollars and total creative control, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of his day. With Motown’s offices migrating west from Detroit to Los Angeles, Gaye followed suit, beginning work on Trouble Man, both the score to a blaxploitation film of the same name and the soundtrack that would be his next album. With minimal singing (Gaye sings through only the title track, adding fragmentary vocalizations minimally throughout the rest of the album), Gaye wrote, arranged, and conducted the entire soundtrack, working with both Motown players and a full orchestra over the course of its recording. It’s been speculated by some that Trouble Man was a concerted effort to move away from the expectations of a carbon-copy follow-up to the almost immeasurably high standards of What’s Going On, but it’s best to look at the record as an entity unto itself rather than the next Marvin Gaye album in the chain. Though largely absent of his one-of-a-kind vocal presence, the arrangements are richer and more sophisticated than the majority of early blaxploitation fare, with some of the same theatricality and filmic urgency of the best Morricone or David Axelrod soundtracks. With instrumentation more ambitious than even the enormity of What’s Going On, Trouble Man never stays in one place for long. „‚T‘ Plays It Cool“ paints a hustling cityscape with its solid beat and nervous synthesizer bubbles. Plaintive sax trades verses with rudimentary keyboards and Marvin’s soulful wails on „Life Is a Gamble,“ and mournful passages of chamber strings give way to bounding funk grooves. Isaac Hayes‘ Shaft soundtrack would become debatably more widely remembered than the movie it scored, and Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack had a similar reception. Likewise, Trouble Man the soundtrack album outperformed Trouble Man the movie by leaps and bounds, enjoying Top 20 chart success in its day while the movie sank rapidly into obscurity. Looking at the album outside the trends of its era and inward to the art that Gaye was sculpting shows Trouble Man as a mostly wordless statement on the rapidly changing times for both young black America and Marvin’s personal life. The compositions well over with equal parts tension and detached cool, moving through modes of heartbreaking struggle, searching wonder, and playful street scenes. While it’s been relegated to the lesser status of Gaye’s one-off blaxploitation soundtrack, it rises far above the wandering wah-wah guitars and dated bongos of its peers. Trouble Man might not be as immediate or universally relatable as Gaye’s soul-searching on What’s Going On or his later sensual fixations, but a deep listen will show it’s very much part of the same overarching genius that touched all of his work.&copy Fred Thomas /TiVo

Listen to over 70 million songs with an unlimited streaming plan.

Listen to this album and more than 70 million songs with your unlimited streaming plans.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist – Pat Sullivan, Unknown, Other

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Gene Page, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer – Marvin Gaye, Composer, Producer, MainArtist – Dale Oehler, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1972 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Marvin Gaye

Album Description

In 1972, things were rapidly shifting in Marvin Gaye’s world. He was coming off of one of his most wide-reaching hit albums with 1971’s instant classic What’s Going On, and his recording contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla was renewed for a cool million dollars and total creative control, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of his day. With Motown’s offices migrating west from Detroit to Los Angeles, Gaye followed suit, beginning work on Trouble Man, both the score to a blaxploitation film of the same name and the soundtrack that would be his next album. With minimal singing (Gaye sings through only the title track, adding fragmentary vocalizations minimally throughout the rest of the album), Gaye wrote, arranged, and conducted the entire soundtrack, working with both Motown players and a full orchestra over the course of its recording. It’s been speculated by some that Trouble Man was a concerted effort to move away from the expectations of a carbon-copy follow-up to the almost immeasurably high standards of What’s Going On, but it’s best to look at the record as an entity unto itself rather than the next Marvin Gaye album in the chain. Though largely absent of his one-of-a-kind vocal presence, the arrangements are richer and more sophisticated than the majority of early blaxploitation fare, with some of the same theatricality and filmic urgency of the best Morricone or David Axelrod soundtracks. With instrumentation more ambitious than even the enormity of What’s Going On, Trouble Man never stays in one place for long. „‚T‘ Plays It Cool“ paints a hustling cityscape with its solid beat and nervous synthesizer bubbles. Plaintive sax trades verses with rudimentary keyboards and Marvin’s soulful wails on „Life Is a Gamble,“ and mournful passages of chamber strings give way to bounding funk grooves. Isaac Hayes‘ Shaft soundtrack would become debatably more widely remembered than the movie it scored, and Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack had a similar reception. Likewise, Trouble Man the soundtrack album outperformed Trouble Man the movie by leaps and bounds, enjoying Top 20 chart success in its day while the movie sank rapidly into obscurity. Looking at the album outside the trends of its era and inward to the art that Gaye was sculpting shows Trouble Man as a mostly wordless statement on the rapidly changing times for both young black America and Marvin’s personal life. The compositions well over with equal parts tension and detached cool, moving through modes of heartbreaking struggle, searching wonder, and playful street scenes. While it’s been relegated to the lesser status of Gaye’s one-off blaxploitation soundtrack, it rises far above the wandering wah-wah guitars and dated bongos of its peers. Trouble Man might not be as immediate or universally relatable as Gaye’s soul-searching on What’s Going On or his later sensual fixations, but a deep listen will show it’s very much part of the same overarching genius that touched all of his work.&copy Fred Thomas /TiVo

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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas

In 1972, things were rapidly shifting in Marvin Gaye’s world. He was coming off of one of his most wide-reaching hit albums with 1971’s instant classic What’s Going On, and his recording contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla was renewed for a cool million dollars and total creative control, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of his day. With Motown’s offices migrating west from Detroit to Los Angeles, Trouble Man, both the score to a blaxploitation film of the same name and the soundtrack that would be his next album. With minimal singing (Gaye sings through only the title track, adding fragmentary vocalizations minimally throughout the rest of the album), Gaye wrote, arranged, and conducted the entire soundtrack, working with both Motown players and a full orchestra over the course of its recording. It’s been speculated by some that Trouble Man was a concerted effort to move away from the expectations of a carbon-copy follow-up to the almost immeasurably high standards of What’s Going On, but it’s best to look at the record as an entity unto itself rather than the next Marvin Gaye album in the chain. Though largely absent of his one-of-a-kind vocal presence, the arrangements are richer and more sophisticated than the majority of early blaxploitation fare, with some of the same theatricality and filmic urgency of the best MorriconeDavid AxelrodWhat’s Going OnTrouble Man never stays in one place for long. „‚T‘ Plays It Cool“ paints a hustling cityscape with its solid beat and nervous synthesizer bubbles. Plaintive sax trades verses with rudimentary keyboards and Marvin’s soulful wails on „Life Is a Gamble,“ and mournful passages of chamber strings give way to bounding funk grooves. Isaac HayesShaft soundtrack would become debatably more widely remembered than the movie it scored, and Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack had a similar reception. Likewise, Trouble Man the soundtrack album outperformed Trouble Man the movie by leaps and bounds, enjoying Top 20 chart success in its day while the movie sank rapidly into obscurity. Looking at the album outside the trends of its era and inward to the art that Gaye was sculpting shows Trouble Man as a mostly wordless statement on the rapidly changing times for both young black America and Marvin’s personal life. The compositions well over with equal parts tension and detached cool, moving through modes of heartbreaking struggle, searching wonder, and playful street scenes. While it’s been relegated to the lesser status of Gaye’s one-off blaxploitation soundtrack, it rises far above the wandering wah-wah guitars and dated bongos of its peers. Trouble Man might not be as immediate or universally relatable as Gaye’s soul-searching on What’s Going On or his later sensual fixations, but a deep listen will show it’s very much part of the same overarching genius that touched all of his work.

Review by Fred Thomas

In 1972, things were rapidly shifting in Marvin Gaye’s world. He was coming off of one of his most wide-reaching hit albums with 1971’s instant classic What’s Going On, and his recording contract with Motown subsidiary Tamla was renewed for a cool million dollars and total creative control, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of his day. With Motown’s offices migrating west from Detroit to Los Angeles, Trouble Man, both the score to a blaxploitation film of the same name and the soundtrack that would be his next album. With minimal singing (Gaye sings through only the title track, adding fragmentary vocalizations minimally throughout the rest of the album), Gaye wrote, arranged, and conducted the entire soundtrack, working with both Motown players and a full orchestra over the course of its recording. It’s been speculated by some that Trouble Man was a concerted effort to move away from the expectations of a carbon-copy follow-up to the almost immeasurably high standards of What’s Going On, but it’s best to look at the record as an entity unto itself rather than the next Marvin Gaye album in the chain. Though largely absent of his one-of-a-kind vocal presence, the arrangements are richer and more sophisticated than the majority of early blaxploitation fare, with some of the same theatricality and filmic urgency of the best MorriconeDavid AxelrodWhat’s Going OnTrouble Man never stays in one place for long. „‚T‘ Plays It Cool“ paints a hustling cityscape with its solid beat and nervous synthesizer bubbles. Plaintive sax trades verses with rudimentary keyboards and Marvin’s soulful wails on „Life Is a Gamble,“ and mournful passages of chamber strings give way to bounding funk grooves. Isaac HayesShaft soundtrack would become debatably more widely remembered than the movie it scored, and Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack had a similar reception. Likewise, Trouble Man the soundtrack album outperformed Trouble Man the movie by leaps and bounds, enjoying Top 20 chart success in its day while the movie sank rapidly into obscurity. Looking at the album outside the trends of its era and inward to the art that Gaye was sculpting shows Trouble Man as a mostly wordless statement on the rapidly changing times for both young black America and Marvin’s personal life. The compositions well over with equal parts tension and detached cool, moving through modes of heartbreaking struggle, searching wonder, and playful street scenes. While it’s been relegated to the lesser status of Gaye’s one-off blaxploitation soundtrack, it rises far above the wandering wah-wah guitars and dated bongos of its peers. Trouble Man might not be as immediate or universally relatable as Gaye’s soul-searching on What’s Going On or his later sensual fixations, but a deep listen will show it’s very much part of the same overarching genius that touched all of his work. [This expanded 40th anniversary edition includes the original LP, original film score, and also outtakes and working sketches from the recording sessions.]

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Even when a movie soundtrack isn’t so awful you’d just as soon throw it down the stairs, it very rarely achieves anything beyond a sort of banal, predictable mood music: a little suspense, a little drama, an ooze of romance, maybe a brisk driving-in-the-car-to-possible danger track counterpointed with a lighter, romantic-leads-take-a-walk sequence — all compressed, like a week’s worth of garbage, for one tight, bright under-the-credits Main Theme. Altogether, it’s about as creative as an hour of elevator muzak and only slightly more bearable.

The score to Shaft took some steps out of this particular mire, especially with that gorgeously gritty title song, but Isaac Hayes’ inclination toward the grossest sort of movie music stopped the whole thing dead. Curtis Mayfield moved even further away from soundtrack conventions with his music for Superfly, a track of songs and music which commented upon rather than merely illustrated the film’s action. Mayfield didn’t restrict his lyrics to the “theme” or title song and kept his score relatively free of genre cliche, so the music stands quite successfully free of the movie.

Marvin Gaye’s work for Trouble Man (yet another Shaft-style black film, this one dropped from sight soon after its release) falls somewhere between that of Hayes and Mayfield. He lacks the Hayes double-punch but avoids his heavy-handedness. While there’s no attempt to make a song-score like that of Superfly — “Trouble Man,” the title song, is practically the only cut with lyrics and even these are spare — Gaye, like Mayfield, has created a score strong enough to be completely independent of the film. It’s not a lot of fluff wrapped around some slick images and obvious themes; mostly, it’s sweet and churning jazz that abstracts the action rather than decorating or interpreting it.

Gaye’s first album since his surprising and innovative What’s Goin’ On more than a year ago, Trouble Man doesn’t take his music a whole lot further and certainly sidesteps the problem of how to follow up a sweeping life statement — aha! Just take this movie assignment and make no personal statement at all. Yet it’s no throwaway. Most of the music carries on in a similar vein from What’s Goin’ On, although here it’s a little more hard-edged (heavy drum punctuation, sharp horns and a staccato of hand-clapping or tambourines predominate) and at times self-consciously dramatic. The “Main Theme” is handsome if slightly overdrawn; I wouldn’t miss the strings if they were cut from the arrangement, however. “‘T’ Plays It Cool” is more successful and gripping: hard drumming, a Moog line and energetic sax work intertwining like hot electric wires over a sweet, almost mournful piano and light horns.

Much of the other material is moody and more reminiscent of Gaye’s “Mercy, Mercy Me” or “Save The Children,” with Marvin singing a few lines of lyrics or scatting in that strangely ethereal voice of his. “Trouble Man” is the only complete song here, Gaye’s vocal gliding gracefully, supercool, or grabbing quickly at lines like a black-gloved fist, embodying the slick, fast mood of Mister “T.” Gaye handles it all with ease and Trouble Man is surely one of the most attractive and listenable of the recent picture soundtracks, but it only stalls the question of what Marvin Gaye will do after What’s Goin’ On. A stylish way of stalling, yes, but it’s still your move, Marvin.

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