ARTIST: Marvin Gaye
TITLE: Anthology: The Best of Marvin Gaye
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #61, #10 R&B
SINGLES: Most all of ‘em.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Most all of ‘em
LINEUP: Marvin Gaye + Motown session players.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Probably the best compilation of Marvin Gaye around, if you just want the hits, quickly.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: NOTE: I’m covering his duet albums with Tammi Terrell separately, and his albums from What’s Going On to his death will be dealt with individually, as he didn’t have much artistic control until then.
Marvin Gaye, wanna be jazz and pop singer, who really wanted to record songs in the mode of Nat King Cole and Ray Charles, became one of the signature Motown singers in the 60’s, singing soul and R&B songs given to him by the Motown production machine, until he finally got total control of his career in 1971.
The first half of this anthology is the classic Motown 60’s material, with some duets featuring Kim Weston and Tammi Terrell. None of his jazz albums are represented, but those are more for jazz explorers, really.
The second half of the anthology come from his ‘independent’ phase at Motown, where he had artistic control. You can tell the shift in material and mood, as he’s no longer part of a production machine and dives into deeper soul and funk.
Gaye was and is a treasure, and we should celebrate his career.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: His 1961 album was the second one released by Motown, and it didn’t do well as the company and Gaye had different ideas about content.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. But this is the third different lineup of songs in an Anthology.
GRADE: A: A must have, though you may be better served to explore his post-1970 albums on their own.