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Marvin Gaye ‎
What's Going On | 2016 BTB Gatefold


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$48.00 SGD
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$48.00 SGD


A true classic - timeless and even more relevant today than it ever was. A TAV essential. 

The unresolved, discordant elements make this album truly timeless – that, and the fact that too few of its concerns have been addressed since 1971.

Marvin Gaye’s classic 1971 record What’s Going On turns 50 this month, which means more people than ever will have occasion to note how timely it is. “He could have written What’s Going On yesterday,” poet Nikki Giovanni noted in an interview last autumn, explaining that the cover portrait of her 2020 collection, Make Me Rain, pays homage to Gaye’s album cover, picturing Giovanni in a raincoat, her collar upturned. The record’s endurance – most movingly displayed by Nelson Mandela, who, shortly after his release from prison in 1990, recited lines from the album at Tiger Stadium in Detroit – has practically become a cliche.

No one is wrong, of course, to say that Gaye’s album cuts as deeply today as it did in 1971. A divinely inspired work driven by social rage – one that braided doo-wop harmonies, jazz and the hymns Gaye had loved as a child – What’s Going On was also Gaye’s declaration of creative independence from Berry Gordy’s Motown machine. After a decade of polished pop hits, Gaye, now in his early 30s, revealed there was a lot on his mind: the outrage of the war in Vietnam (What’s Happening Brother?); the strangulation of the natural world (Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)); the strategic enforcement of urban poverty and police violence (Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)). The insurgent subject matter was accompanied by a change in Gaye’s personal style: he stopped wearing ties and grew a beard. “Black men weren’t supposed to look overtly masculine,” he told his biographer David Ritz: “I’d spent my entire career looking harmless, and the look no longer fit. I wasn’t harmless. I was pissed at America.” – The Guardian, 2021 

Label: Tamla ‎– 0600753534236, Tamla ‎– TS-310

Series: Back To Black –

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Numbered, Reissue, Gatefold,180 Gram

Country: Netherlands

Released: 27 May 2016

Genre: Funk / Soul

Style: Soul