Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Marvin Gaye: What's Going On

An album that is definitely in my all time top 5, is Marvin Gaye's soulful What's Going On. The title song honestly gives me a lump in my throat every time I hear it, and that's pretty nuts considering how often I listen to this album. The song is not only moving in light of when it was written (1971) and the world events that were going on at the time, but it is still relevant and moving today.

There's a pretty good, extensive biography of Marvin Gaye on Wikipedia, including this interesting tidbit about "What's Going On":

"Gaye wanted to release "What's Going On". Motown head Berry Gordy refused, however, calling the single "uncommercial". Gaye refused to record any more until Gordy gave in and the song became a surprise hit in January 1971. Gordy subsequently requested an entire album of similar tracks from Gaye."
I found this video on YouTube from brainchild. It's an excerpt from the recently released DVD of some of Marvin's greatest live performances on TV and film, Real Thing: In Performance 1964-1981. According to the YouTube page, this live performance comes from the long out-of-circulation 1973 film, "Save The Children" with James Jamerson on bass.

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On Lyrics
(Al Cleveland/Marvin Gaye/Renaldo Benson)

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Ah, what's going on

In the mean time
Right on, baby
Right on
Right on

Father, father, everybody thinks we're wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Tell me what's going on
I'll tell you what's going on - Uh
Right on baby
Right on baby

1 comment:

Kate said...

I'm going to go listen to 'What's Going On' right now!

Hopefully we can talk on the phone soon!!