What's Going On [10" Vinyl]
Marvin Gaye submitted a version of the most important single of his career, "What's Going On", to Motown Records in the summer of 1970.
Forty years of ubiquity have made the title track commonplace, so it's easy to forget that the song was the "most avant-garde hit Motown ever had," according to Ben Edmonds' thorough album history What's Going On: Marvin Gaye and the Last Days of the Motown Sound. With this album, Gaye wished to sidestep the sound that made him and others famous during Motown's untouchable 60s run, trading in that trademark big, bright beat for laid-back grooves inspired by Duke Ellington, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, and Santana. And not only was the album a coming-out party for Gaye as a producer and songwriter, he found his signature voice-- soft, floating, airy-- on What's Going On, too.
"I felt like I'd finally learned to sing." - Gaye
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On Review