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  1. #1

    Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" still relevant and revealing, 50 years on

    Great lengthy article on the 50th anniversary of the recording of "What's Going On". Had no idea they recorded the instrumental in June, the vocals in July and the DSO in September!

    https://www.freep.com/in-depth/enter...ts/5397442002/

  2. #2
    Great look back on Marvin Gaye's classic What's Going On. Thanks for sharing Midnightman.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Great look back on Marvin Gaye's classic What's Going On. Thanks for sharing Midnightman.
    No prob.

  4. #4
    When was it not relevant?

  5. #5
    Great article

    Thanks for posting!

    So much of success is timing/luck/whims of the public

    If Berry didnít block Whatís Going On for so long and it was released as soon as it was finished would it have been just as successful?

    Maybe yes, maybe no

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    Great article

    Thanks for posting!

    So much of success is timing/luck/whims of the public

    If Berry didnít block Whatís Going On for so long and it was released as soon as it was finished would it have been just as successful?

    Maybe yes, maybe no
    That's a great question!!!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    Great article

    Thanks for posting!

    So much of success is timing/luck/whims of the public

    If Berry didn’t block What’s Going On for so long and it was released as soon as it was finished would it have been just as successful?

    Maybe yes, maybe no
    I'm going to say NO. I don't think that year long wait for the single "What's Going On" to come out made any difference to it's success. After all we're still talking about the song (and the album) nearly 50 years after it first came out (and as it's been said repeatedly, the issues raised by WGO are still relevant today).

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    Great article

    Thanks for posting!

    So much of success is timing/luck/whims of the public

    If Berry didn’t block What’s Going On for so long and it was released as soon as it was finished would it have been just as successful?

    Maybe yes, maybe no
    One more thing: "What's Going On" wasn't held back that long. Marvin first entered the studio to record the song in June 1970 and completed it in September 1970. The song finally came out in January 1971 so it was only held back for a few months. Message songs in Soul Music were still very much in vogue at the time so "WGO" came out just in time to become a major hit (and an All-Time Classic).

  9. #9
    The same can be said of two temps classics -ball of confusion..power!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I'm going to say NO. I don't think that year long wait for the single "What's Going On" to come out made any difference to it's success. After all we're still talking about the song (and the album) nearly 50 years after it first came out (and as it's been said repeatedly, the issues raised by WGO are still relevant today).
    It wasn't even that long. That was part of the Motown myth lol

    As it stated in that article (which I need to bookmark), Marvin and his instrumentalists recorded the instrumental on June 10, Marvin recorded his lead and background vocals the following month, August, I believe, was when he recorded the background vocals and the party chatter, September, he and Dave Van DePitte added in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

    Marvin presented the song to Berry in October 1970 and he initially had a lot of issues with it (besides Marvin's image as R&B's leading Lothario, he felt it was too sophisticated for a release and its subject matter was too controversial even compared War and Ball of Confusion - and I agree BOC is just as relevant today!).

    Marvin actually kept on recording during the time he went on a release hiatus. I think the truth was, Marvin refused to RELEASE anything unless WGO came out. Plus when Quality Control heard it, they didn't know how to react cause it was different from all the songs they were recording then. Think he recorded Come Get to This, Distant Lover and Just to Keep You Satisfied around this time (September, October, November, December 1970).

    We know he recorded the original version of God is Love and Sad Tomorrows (later Flyin' High in the Friendly Sky) around this period as well.

    The song was sent to radio stations on January 17, 1971, with a full release three days later on January 20.

    So that was, what, five months? Not exactly a full year. Marvin also managed to finish the entire WGO album in its original concept album format in just ten days and then remixed the album's contents in Hollywood after Berry asked him "where's the next hit?" And that mix paved the way for "Mercy Mercy Me" and "Inner City Blues" to be released.
    Last edited by midnightman; 07-17-2020 at 11:12 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    The same can be said of two temps classics -ball of confusion..power!
    Heh, I forgot about Power. Too bad it wasn't a bigger hit... Reagan wasn't even elected yet smh they could've gave it a chance!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    It wasn't even that long. That was part of the Motown myth lol

    As it stated in that article (which I need to bookmark), Marvin and his instrumentalists recorded the instrumental on June 10, Marvin recorded his lead and background vocals the following month, August, I believe, was when he recorded the background vocals and the party chatter, September, he and Dave Van DePitte added in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

    Marvin presented the song to Berry in October 1970 and he initially had a lot of issues with it (besides Marvin's image as R&B's leading Lothario, he felt it was too sophisticated for a release and its subject matter was too controversial even compared War and Ball of Confusion - and I agree BOC is just as relevant today!).

    Marvin actually kept on recording during the time he went on a release hiatus. I think the truth was, Marvin refused to RELEASE anything unless WGO came out. Plus when Quality Control heard it, they didn't know how to react cause it was different from all the songs they were recording then. Think he recorded Come Get to This, Distant Lover and Just to Keep You Satisfied around this time (September, October, November, December 1970).

    We know he recorded the original version of God is Love and Sad Tomorrows (later Flyin' High in the Friendly Sky) around this period as well.

    The song was sent to radio stations on January 17, 1971, with a full release three days later on January 20.

    So that was, what, five months? Not exactly a full year. Marvin also managed to finish the entire WGO album in its original concept album format in just ten days and then remixed the album's contents in Hollywood after Berry asked him "where's the next hit?" And that mix paved the way for "Mercy Mercy Me" and "Inner City Blues" to be released.
    Iím pressing my imaginary ďLikeĒ button.

  13. #13
    Just heard an instrumental cover of Marvin's, "Inner City Blues " on a Lincoln SUV commercial. Smooth, man! But is it just me or don't you hate it when you hear a fave song (or cover) and that tell you who it is? Ellen used to do it. Remember her show used to open with song? And then she'd dance from somewhere off-stage. Down the aisle and leap over her foot stool into her seat? Meanwhile, the song and artist was show at the corner of the screen? Guess she got into trouble with legal clearance and such. The tv commercials used to that too. Probably got into the same legal obstacle; cease & desist, etc.

  14. #14
    Johnny Britt did a tasty rendition, which lead into a pleasing vocal note-for-note cover. Was recorded a few years ago.

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