Marvin Gaye – ‘Anthology’

A life in music No.15 – 1982

Marvin Gaye – ‘Anthology’

By early 1982 my love affair with the Top 40 was all but over. I still consider 1979-81 to be a fantastic era for music; blessed with the energy of punk, lyrically influenced by the societal issues of the day and stylistically inspired by 60s, ska and roots – at least the stuff I loved anyway. By ’82 synthesisers and emotionless new romantics with fake plastic sentiment had replaced Dexys, The Jam and The Specials. Fuck that. I was looking elsewhere for inspiration and musical kicks. I was heading back to the 60s.

Marvin Gaye was next. A few of his singles were well known to me inspiring me to make this 3-disc mountain of classic Marvin my next purchase and new obsession. It contained everything from his early Motown releases up to and including gems from his classic What’s Going On, the tracks from which soon became my focus. Marvin Gaye sung like an angel, oozing laid-back cool. Duets with Mary Wells, Kim Weston and Tami Terrell just brought smiles, epitomising happiness through perfect vocal harmony. But it was those later tracks that I couldn’t resist – this was cool with a conscience – groundbreaking for the Motown hit factory.

Once more this was my classroom. ‘Inner City Blues’, ‘What’s Going On’ and ‘Mercy Mercy Me’ raised my conscience, despite being penned ten years previously these issues were still real and even more relevant. “Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury / What about this overcrowded land / How much more abuse from man can she stand?” And this music was beautiful; notes were gently caressed, beats were blessed, flowing with ethereal refrain and Marvin’s vocals… stunning, soulful and sublime.

Marvin-Gaye-Anthology

My love of Marvin Gaye still remains after more than 30 years. He led the way in developing black music both musically and politically, changing attitudes and beliefs whilst influencing his and future generations. I look at this album cover and I feel joy, I feel awakening and I feel love.

1972: Theme To Robinson Crusoe
1973: Sweet – ‘Blockbuster’
1977: E.L.O – ‘Out Of The Blue’
1978: Blondie – ‘Picture This’
1979: Squeeze – ‘Cool For Cats’
1979: Madness – ‘One Step Beyond’
1979: The Specials – ‘The Specials’
1980: The Beat – ‘I Just Can’t Stop It’
1980: The Jam – ‘Going Underground’
1980: Dexys Midnight Runners – ‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels’
1980: The Beatles – ’1967-1970′ (Blue album)
1980: This Is Soul
1981: The Kinks – ‘Golden Hour Of The Kinks’
1981: Motown Chartbusters Volume 3
1982: Marvin Gaye – ‘Anthology’

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5 thoughts on “Marvin Gaye – ‘Anthology’

  1. Great choices for the years. I was never much of a Beatles fan, but I will let that one slide!
    I was around the first time for Marvin Gaye, as well as all the others in the Motown and Stax/Volt stable. More to explore for you. Try some Brenda Holloway, The Elgins, and not forgetting a heap of Northern Soul. (And I’m a Londoner, I just happen to live in Norfolk,,,)
    You might like these posts (or might not…)
    http://beetleypete.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/significant-songs-29/
    http://beetleypete.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/significant-songs-20/
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Ah, cheers Pete.
      I dj’d for years playing loads of funk, soul and northern. Good times.
      Been browsing through your significant songs… so many great choices – Bowie, John Martyn and Steely Dan caught my eye.
      Great blog too…

      • Thanks for the kind words. I had presumed you were younger- apologies for that. I didn’t mean to sound patronising!
        (Just watched great Northern Soul documentary on BBC4- worth catching.)
        Best wishes, Pete.

        • 48 years old… I’m not sure if that’s young or old!
          The Northern Soul documentary was great wasn’t it – absolutely loved the music and nostalgia – and sooooo envious of those dancers!

          • OK, I am going with 48 being young (ish). When you are 62, and kids start to treat you with respect, you realise it is almost all over!
            I never could do that NS dancing either, I was more of a ‘Saturday Night Fever’ dancer. Even had a white suit before the film came out. Best forgotten now though.

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