Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973
What's Going On:
What's Going On:
Could be that this will be the breakthrough that Marvin Gaye needs, since he is not exactly a household name in this country. Overseas Gaye has sold more singles, had more top ten hits in America than any other solo artist in the last ten years. His "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" is still Motown's biggest single of all time, and his latest "Let's Get It On" sold 500,000 copies in its first ten days of release. The album under review sold two million copies, spent a year in the charts and has had no less than four hit singles culled from it. Yet for all that it took EMI 2½ years to get round to releasing it. So what's going on, Louise?
Gaye sings soul and he's probably one of the best interpreters of lyrics around, as he proved with his unusual version of McCartney's "Yesterday". But at first hearing this album is almost too mellow, the cutting edge of Gaye's voice being continually threatened by the orchestration. But if you give it time this equal mixing of voice and backing proves surprisingly effective, a very mellow, uptown soul sound.
In 1973 his lyrics look a little dated, but at the time Gaye's discovery of Jesus, the way, pollution etc they were pretty personal. The religion came during a year's seclusion after the death of his friend and singing partner Tammi Terrell. And while hardly revolutionary his social stances arc pretty radical for the middle class black mentality that characterised Motown thinking during the sixties. Generally while its great to have this album available. I'm glad Gaye has since returned to his gospel influenced style. And for those who dig early Motown I bring good tidings. EMI shortly plan to import limited stocks of triple albums by Gaye, Wonder, the Miracles and the Temptations. Included in the package will be the legendary volume one of the Tempts' greatest hits, from the days before they fell into the clutches of Norman Whitfield. All this has been in response to demand. So tell them to quit messing with shit like Malo and get on to re-releasing that first Grateful Dead live double.