Saturday, April 4, 2009

Remembering the Master

Although I'm a little late, I still wanted to mention a couple of anniversaries in relation to Marvin Gaye that occurred earlier this week. The first is Wednesday April 1st, which marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Marvin Gaye at the hands of his father, Marvin Sr. Just like I remember where I was when I learned of the deaths of Elvis, John Lennon and other public figures, I still recall the moment I found out about the death of Marvin. I was listening to the radio in the car heading home with members of my family. It was a Sunday afternoon and we had just finished celebrating the birthday of one of my nephews at Showbiz Pizza Place. One of life's cruel jokes is how joyous moments can sometimes be interrupted by tragedy.

As I said in the previous paragraph, there are two anniversaries this week related to Marvin. Thursday April 2nd marked what would have been Marvin's 70th birthday. As with anyone who is taken too soon, we are left with a lot of unanswered questions about Marvin Gaye. Had he lived, did he have another masterpiece on the level of the 1971 album What's Going On in him? Would he have retreated from the spotlight, leaving us with just the memories of his recordings and performances from a 20-plus year career?

Because he released a wealth of quality material, it's hard for me to name my favorite Marvin Gaye song. In light of that, here are 5 of my favorite Marvin Gaye songs (in no particular order):

1. Piece of Clay
2. Hitch-Hike
3. Got To Give It Up
4. Chained
5. Trouble Man

What are some of your favorite tunes by The Master, Marvin Gaye?

Here is a clip of Marvin performing The Star Spangled Banner at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game:


Pop Art Diva! said...

Has it been that long really since we lost Marvin Gaye? God, how sad that was. I really liked your comment about how life will take a good moment and toss in some tragedy for good measure, that's so true.

I have to go with Heard It Through The Grapevine and Ain't That Peculiar - Grapevine has been one of my favorite songs since he recorded it and still is.

pjazzypar said...

Hey Malcolm, Ironically today is the 41st anniversary of Dr. Kings death.
As you may well know Marvin Gaye is my favorite male singer of all times. Not only his singing, but his style and charisma were incomparable. It is so very hard to choose five songs. I know my favorite album is "I Want You" and it still in heavy rotation in my player after all these years.

Here are my five:

1) Soon I'll Be Loving You Again

2) Mercy, Mercy, Me

3) Try It Baby

4) Wonderful One

5) California Soul (with Valerie Simpson).

Malcolm said...

Pop Art Diva: Until a few years ago, I preferred Marvin Gaye's post-1970 work much more than his earlier stuff. However, the gap has narrowed considerably as I've gained a greater appreciation for songs like Pride and Joy as well as his duets with Tammi Terrell.

Pjazzy: I thought that James Brown was your favorite male singer... thanks for setting me straight.

Try It Baby almost made my list. In addition to Marvin's performance on the track, the backing vocals by The Temptations are top notch. #5 on your list is one I had forgotten... but it's a winner too.

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