Marvin Gaye

Band members                             Related acts

- Marvin Gaye (RIP 1982) -- vocals, drums, keyboards 





Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston

- Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross

- Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

- The Marquees

- The Moonglows

- The Rainbows

- Tammi Terrell (solo efforts)

- Mary Wells (solo efforts)

- Kim Weston (solo efforts)





Genre: soul

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  TM 258

Year: 1965

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: mono pressing

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: 5405

Price: SOLD $50.00


In keeping with normal Motown marketing, 1965's "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" served as an attempt to capitalize on the massive sales of the title track single.  Essentially a compilation of three earlier singles, a couple of shelved tracks, and a couple of new studio tracks, the difference from earlier releases was that this LP succeeded in revealing Marvin Gaye to be the major talent he was - one of Motown's most impressive performers.  It also served to showcase Motown's writing cadre - just look at some of the credits on this one ... Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland, Harvey Fuqua - Marvin Gaye, Norman Whitfield, Smokey Robinson, William Stevenson ... geez!   The results made for one of those rare albums where virtually every song had something going for it.  As such it's hard to point out the highlights - personal favorites included 'You're a Wonderful One', 'Need Your Lovin' (Want You Back)' and 'No Good without You'.  Lots of folks will disagree, but the title track was actually one of my lesser favorites.  While the album wasn't a major commercial success it did hit # 128 on the pop charts.


For anyone keeping track of the singles compiled on the album:



- 1964's 'You're a Wonderful One It' b/w 'When I'm Alone I Cry' (Tamla catalog number T-54093)

- 1964's 'Try It Baby' b/w 'If My Heart Could Sing' (Tamla catalog number T-54095)

- 1964's 'Baby Don't You Do It' b/w 'Walk On the Wild Side' (Tamla catalog number T-54101)

- 1965's 'How Sweet (It Is To Be Loved By You') b/w 'Forever' (Tamla catalog number T-54107)


"How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) You're a Wonderful One   (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland) - 2:42

2.) How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)   (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland) - 2:57

3.) Try It Baby   (Berry Gordy Jr.) - 2:54

4.) Baby Don't You Do It   (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland) - 2:33

5.) Need Your Lovin' (Want You Back)   (Paul Gaye) - 2:22

6.) One of These Days   (William Stevenson) - 2:56


(side 2)
1.) No Good without You   (William Stevenson) - 2:37

2.) Stepping Closer To Your Heart   (Harvey Fuqua - Marvin Gaye) - 2:56

3.) Need Somebody   (William Stevenson) - 2:50

4,) Me and My Lonely Room   (Norman Whitfield) - 2:50

5.) Now That You've Won Me   (Smokey Robinson) - 2:22

6.) Forever   (Lamont Dozier - Gormann - Brian Holland) - 2:23


And once again thanks to YouTube you can actually see some of these wonderful performance (though they may be lip synched):

''How Sweet (It Is To Be Loved By You)'




Genre: soul

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  In the Groove

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  TS 285

Year: 1968

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: flap sleeve; minor edge and ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5404

Price: $40.00


1968's "In the Groove" has always struck me as kind of an oddity.  For an album that was literally cobbled together to take advantage of the unexpected success Marvin Gaye enjoyed with the release of the single 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine', the results were surprisingly enjoyable.  Featuring a mixture of previously released singles ('You' and 'Chained' ), previously recorded tracks that had been shelved for various reasons, and a couple of forgettable new tracks, the results were uneven, but managed to hang together enough to constitute an album that was thoroughly enjoyable.  Unlike many mid-1960s Motown products, Gaye somehow managed to escape Berry Gordy's ongoing desire to appeal to middle America.  The result was an album without the MOR crap that plagued so many of Gaye's earlier releases.  Virtually everyone of the twelve songs was worth hearing - in addition to the singles, other highlights included 'Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever', 'Change What You Can', 'It's Love I Need', and 'Every Now and Then'.  In fact the only track that didn't register with me was a needless cover of 'There Goes My Baby'.  Ironically, while it featured one of Gaye's best known and most successful songs, today the album is largely overlooked and unrecognized.  Shame, since it's a killer LP.   


For anyone keeping track, here are the singles found on the LP:

- 'You' b/w 'Change What You Can' (Tamla catalog number T-54160)

- 'Chained' b/w 'At Last' (Tamla catalog number T-54170)

- 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine' b/w 'You're What's Happening (In the World Today)' (Tamla catalog number T-54176)


"In the Groove" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) You   (Ivy Lee Hunter - Goga - Bowen) - 2:25

2.) Tear It On Down   (Nicholas Ashford - Valerie Simpson) - 2:54

3.) Chained   (Frank Wilson) - 2:36

4.) I Heard It Through the Grapevine   (Norman Whitfield - Barret Strong) - 2:59

5.) At Last (I Found Love)   (Marvin Gaye - Gaye - Stover) - 2:36

6.) Some Kind of Wonderful   (Carole King - Gerry Goffin) - 2:18


(side 2)
1.) Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever   (Ivy Lee Hunter - Stevie Wonder) - 2:44

2.) Change What You Can   (Marvin Gaye - Stover - Harvey Fuqua) - 2:38

3.) It's Love I Need   (Ivy Lee Hunter - Bowden) - 2:54

4.) Every Now and Then   (Frank Wilson - Holland) - 2:58

5.) You're What's Happening (In the World Today)   (Story - H. Gordy - R Gordy) - 2:20

6.) There Goes My Baby   (Nelson - Patterson - Treadwell) - 2:23


In a marketing move aimed at capitalizing on the hit single (it spent a stunning seven week lodged in the # 1 pop position), Motown subsequently reissued the LP with a new title and cover - "I Heard It Through the Grapevine".  


      Tamla catalog TS 285 


Thanks to YouTube you get to see and head a killer a capella version of "Grapevine" and a latter date more orchestrated version:



Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Soundtrack "Trouble Man"

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  T322-L

Year: 1974

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: flap sleeve; minor edge and ring wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: 5197

Price: SOLD


Apparently inspired by the success Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield had enjoyed composing film scores, 1973 saw Marvin Gaye turning his hand to the genre.  Written for the Robert Hooks starring blaxploitation film, the resulting "Trouble Man" soundtrack featured an instrumental-heavy collection that bounced around between noodling jazz influenced instrumentals, lite funk and more typical Gaye-styled ballads.  It was certainly competent, making for decent background music, but with the exception of the title track (one of three vocal performances), not exactly Gaye's creative zenith. The title track was certainly classic Gaye (easily one of his most innovative ballads), but hardly warranted plunking down hard earned cash for the full LP.  Perhaps I'm being too critical, but to my ears by the time you hit side two the set bogged down in a certain dreary sameness.  Released as a single the title track went top-10 ('Trouble Man' b/w 'Don't Mess with Mr."T"' (Tamla catalog number T-54228)) while the parent LP hit the top-20.  



"Soundtrack "Trouble Man"" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Main Theme from Trouble Man (2) (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 

2.) "T" Plays It Cool (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 

3.) Poor Abbey Walsh (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 

4.) The Break In (Police Shoot Big) (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 

5.) Cleo's Apartment (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 

6.) Trouble Man   (Marvin Gaye) - 

7.) Theme From Trouble Man (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 


(side 2)
1.) "T Stands for Trouble (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 

2.) Main Theme from Trouble Man (1) (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 

3.) Life Is a Gamble   (Marvin Gaye) - 

4.) Deep-In-It  (instrumental)  (Marvin Gaye) - 

5.) Don't Mess with Mister "T"   (Marvin Gaye) - 

6.) There Goes Mr. "T"  (instrumental)   (Marvin Gaye) - 





Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Live!

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  T6 333S1

Year: 1974

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor ring wear; gatefold sleeve with insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5432

Price: $6.00



When it comes to Marvin Gaye live sets most critics and fans give the nod to 1977's "Live at the London Palladium".  Naturally I have to dasgree with the norm.  While there's no doubt that "Palladium" was good, stretched over four sides, to my ears it tended to go on and on ...  While 1974's "Live!" wasn't perfect (you'd think the man would have celebrated his past rather than all but ignoring it (the 11 minute "Fossil Medley' roared through six of his biggest hits allocating about 90 seconds to each and giving the impression he didn't think much of the past), and the Gene Page Orchestra backing was occasionally flat, it captured the man at his recording and performing prime.  Recorded in front on an enthusiastic audience at a January 1974 performance at the Oakland Coliseum, it marked a comeback of sorts - Gaye having undertaken very few live performances over the previous four years (in spite of the introduction which indicated a five year layoff).  His well known stage fright was obvious in a couple of places (check out his jittery stage chatter a the start of the hits medley).  Still, once he hit the stage and started singing, on tracks like 'Trouble Man', 'Inner City Blues' and an explosive 'Distant Lover' (check out the frenzied crowd response), Gaye seemed in fine form (with a little nod to cocaine which apparently helped calm his nerves).  Elsewhere the album was interesting for including the only recorded version of his tribute to new girlfriend/future wife Janice Hunter ('Jan').  (Not to sound snotty, but the fact it was rare probably had something to do with the fact it wasn't much of a song.)  Released as a single 'Distant Lover' b/ 'Trouble Man' (Tamla catalog number T-54235) hit the top 40 on both pop ad R&B charts.  Commercially the album continued Gaye's list of successes, hitting # 8 pop and # 1 R&B.


"Live!" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Introduction and Overture (instrumental) - 2:58

2.) Trouble Man   (Marvin Gaye) - 5:33

3.) Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)   (Marvin Gaye - James Nyx) - 3:23

4.) Distant Lover   (Marvin Gaye - Gwen Gordy Fuqua - Sandra Greene) - 6:20

5.) Jan   (Marvin Gaye) - 3:14


(side 2)
1.) Fossil Medley - 11:31

    I'll Be Doggone   (William Robinson - Warren Moore - Marv Tarplin) - 

    Try It Baby   (Berry Gordy) - 

    Can I Get a Witness   (Eddie Holland - Lamont Dozier - Brian Holland) - 

    You're a Wonderful One   (Eddie Holland - Lamont Dozier - Brian Holland) -    

    Stubborn Kind of Fellow   (William Stevenson - Marvin Gaye - George Gordy) - 

    How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)   (Eddie Holland - Lamont Dozier - Brian Holland) - 

2.) Now

    Let's Get It On   (Ed Townsend) - 4:49

    What's Going On   (Marvin Gaye - Al Cleveland - Renaldo Benson) - 4:53



Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  I Want You

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  T342S1

Year: 1976

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5400

Price: $15.00


I'll readily admit to having mixed feelings with respect to 1976's "I Want You".  Produced by Leon Ware (who wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks), with Gaye and Berry Gordy listed as executive producers, the album certainly had it's moments (the title track remains an all-time Gaye classic), but large segments stuck me as  little more than a reflection of coke-fueled lust for a younger woman.  Dedicated to then 17 year old girlfriend and (future wife) Janice Hunter, tracks like 'Come Love with Me Angel' and 'Feel All My Love Inside' and 'Since I Had You' sported an almost embarrassingly intimate feel - all three complete with cheesy Donna Summer styled orgasmic sound effects.  So much for modesty ...  bet Gaye's then wife Anna Gordy had a major fit when she heard this one.  Fans label it romantic, but the constant groaning cheapens it in my eyes (call me a prude).  Motown tapped the LP for a pair of hit singles: 


- 1976's I Want You (long version)' b/w 'I Want You (instrumental)' (Tamla catalog number T-54264F)

- 1976's 'After the Dance' b/w 'Feel All My Love Inside' (Tamla catalog number T-54273F)


Propelled by the hits, the parent LP served as a major comeback, hitting # 1 R&B and # 4 pop.


                                                  Japanese picture sleeve

"I Want You" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Want You   (Leon Ware - T-Bone Ross) - 4:35

2.) Come Live with Me Angel   (Leon Ware - J. Hilliard) - 6:28

3.) After the Dance (instrumental)   (Leon Ware - Marvin Gaye) - 4:21

4.) Feel All My Love Inside   (Leon Ware - Marvin Gaye) - 3:23

5.)  I Want You   (Leon Ware - T-Bone Ross) - 1:17


(side 2)
1.) I Want You (Intro Jam)   (Leon Ware - T-Bone Ross) - 0:20

2.) All the Way Around   (Leon Ware - T-Bone Ross) - 3:45

3.) Since I Had You   (Leon Ware - Marvin Gaye) - 4:05

4.) Soon I'll be Loving You Again   (Leon Ware - Marvin Gaye - T-Bone Ross) - 3:16

5.) I Want You (intro Jam) - 1:36

6.) After the Dance   (Leon Ware - Marvin Gaye) - 4:40


Looking on YouTube I came across an amazing Gaye practice session for 'I Want You'.  The guy's literally lying on a couch in sweats, singing the track without breaking a sweat ...  what a talent.


The sound quality isn't great, but YouTube also had a 1980 Montreaux performance of 'After the Dance':




Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Marvin Gaye's Greatest Hits

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  T6-342S1

Year: 1976

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: cut out notch lower edge; cut out hole top right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5414

Price: $8.00



There isn't a great deal to say about "Marvin Gaye's Greatest Hits".  These ten tracks were mostly hits, though you have to wonder about the hit-or-miss track listing.  The only item of real interest was a live version of 'Distant Lover'.  With such a deep catalog, I certainly would have opted for some changes to the listing.  Still, take it as a decent, if incomplete place to start ...  


"Marvin Gaye's Greatest Hits" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Let's Get It On   (Marvin Gaye - Ed Twonsend) - 

2.) I Want You   (T-Bone Ross - Leon Ware) - 

3.) How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)   (Eddie Holland - Lamont Dozier - Brian Holland) - 

4.) I Heard It Through the Grapevine   (Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong) - 

5.) Mercy mercy Me (The Ecology)   (Marvin Gaye) - 


(side 2)
1.) What's Going On   (Marvin Gaye - Al Cleveland - Renaldo Benson) - 

2.) After the Dance   (T-Bone Ross - Marvin Gaye - Leon Ware) - 

3.) Can I Get a Witness   (Eddie Holland - Lamont Dozier - Brian Holland) - 

4.) Trouble Man   (Marvin Gaye) - 

5.) Distant Lover (live)   (Marvin Gaye - Harvey Fuqua - Sandra Greene) - 




Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Live at the London Palladium

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  T7-352R2

Year: 1977

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve; double LP

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5412

Price: $15.00



Recorded during a series of October 1976 London concerts in support of the "I Want You" album, "Live At the London Palladium" was a minor miracle.  Coming at a time when Gaye's personnel life was spiraling out of control - he'd recently divorced Anna Gordy, married Janice Hunter, seen his drug abuse problem explode, seen his American audience fade, and begun to suffer from severe stage fright, the fact he could still perform was nothing short of amazing.  Even listening to this album decades after it was recorded you can hear how uncomfortable Gaye was interacting with the audience.  His stage fright clear comes through at the start of the '60s medley on side two.  At the same time, those self doubts faded away the minute he started to sing.  The fact Gaye could still mesmerize an audience for some 80 minutes with a mixture of hits and new material was nothing short of stunning.  There were plenty of highlights including his respectful comments directed to the late Tammi Terell.  (Unfortunately the duets with Florence Lyles replacing Terrell were disappointing.)  Other highlights included side one's 'Let's Get It On' and the second medley that focused on his more recent catalog ('Inner City Blues,' 'God Is Love', 'What's Going On' and 'Save the Children').  Another minor complaint - with such a large catalog to chose from Gaye rushed through the 'hits' medleys reducing many of these classic songs to little more than song snippets.  Classics like 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine' and 'Hitch Hike' get 20 second ...  Elsewhere Gaye reportedly wrote 'Got To Give It Up' when he discovered he didn't have enough quality material for a fourth side of the concert set.  Unwilling to release the set as a single album, he used side four to showcased a new studio effort - the disco-flavored 'Got To Give It Up'.  Easily Gaye's best dance track, the song marked a return to chart domination.  Released as a single (Tamla catalog number T 54280F) the song topped both the pop and R&B charts.   Propelled by the hit commercially the parent album was a blockbuster, providing Gaye with one of his biggest sellers hitting # 3 pop and #1 R&B.


Here's a YouTube clip of the song:



"Live At the London Palladium" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Intro Theme (instrumental)   (Ross - Ware) 2:34

2.) All the Way 'Round   (Ross - Ware) 3:50

3.) Since I Had You   (Marvin Gaye - Ware) 4:59

4.) Come Get to This   (Marvin Gaye) 2:24

5.) Let's Get It On   (Marvin Gaye - Townsend) 6:21


(side 2)
1.) Trouble Man   (Marvin Gaye) 5:39

2.) Medley I - :49

     Ain't That Peculiar

     You're a Wonderful One

     Stubborn Kind of Fellow

     Pride and Joy

     Little Darling (I Need You)

     I Heard It (Through the Grapevine)

     Hitch Hike


     Too Busy Thinking About My Baby

     How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

3.) Medley II - 9:49

     Inner City Blues

     God Is Love 

     What's Going On

     Save the Children


(side 3)

1.) Medley III - 10:27

     You're All I Need to Get By

     Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing

2.) Thanks 1:05

3.) Distant Lover   (Harvey Fuqua - Marvin Gaye - Greene) 8:31

4.) Closing Theme: I Want You   (Ross - Ware) 3:47


(side 4)
1.) Got to Give It Up   (Marvin Gaye) 11:52




Genre: soul

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Here My Dear

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  T3 364LP2

Year: 1978

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: double LP; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2838

Price: $20.00


It's funny but I can remember walking into a local record store (yes, I'm old enough to remember record stores) and literally seeing piles of this album sitting in the clearance section.  Stores literally could not give this double album set away ...  Here we are a couple of decades later and suddenly "Here My Dear" has attained a sheen of respectability with publications like Mojo and Rolling Stone singing it's praises.  The album's background is well known, so I'll limit the biographical comments to a brief executive summary.


By the mid-1970s Gaye and first wide Anna were engaged in open warfare.  The fact Gaye was living with a much younger woman (Janice Hunter) and had already fathered a child with her certainly didn't help to mend fences.  Fed up with the situation, Anna filed for divorce.  Unfortunately for Gaye, the trappings of a rock star existence (multiple homes, lots of cars, expensive tastes in wine, women, and drugs left him almost bankrupt.  Unable to cover Anna's demands for alimony and child support for their son Marvin III (the child was reportedly actually a result of an affair Gaye had with one of Anna's nieces), Gaye's lawyer suggested a settlement that would give her a $307,000 down payment based on guaranteed royalties and another $293,000 from sales of his next record.  (Gaye died before paying Anne the balance.)  Popular legend has it that Gaye's original plan was to release a lame album that would tank, leaving Anna with little in the way of royalties.  That plan quickly fell apart when Gaye went into the studio.  Exemplified by material like the in-your-face title track, 'I Met a Little Girl', 'When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You' and 'You Can Leave, But It's Going to Cost You' Gaye ended up recording an almost painful collection of autobiographical songs that reflected back on the marriage with Anna with plenty of finger pointing (the inner sleeve reflected a Monopoly-styled board game entitled 'Judgment' that included a man's hand giving a record album to an outstretched female hand) .  Gaye rounded the collection out with a host of other personal demons that had plagued him through the years ('Anger' and 'Is That Enough').  Recorded over a two year timeframe, Gaye was initially reluctant to release the album, but Motown's insistence on releasing a new album and the need for cash ultimately saw him agree to release it.  The results were far from commercial and critics drubbed the album which did little to generate sales (it proved Gaye's poorest selling release for Motown).  For her part furious at the results which she saw as a slap at her privacy Anna threatened a lawsuit.  Upset with the critical drubbing Gaye basically walked away from the album.  He ended up splitting with his second wife and basically went into self-imposed exile.  


Hoping to recoup some of its investment Tamla tapped the album for a single in the form of :




'A Funky Space Reincarnation, Pt. 1' b/w 'A Funky Space Reincarnation, Pt. 2' (Tamla catalog number T 54298F)


Tamla also financed Gaye's first music video which you can see courtesy of the attached YouTube link:


The funny thing is I remember being distinctly disappointed when I originally heard the album.  Of course at the time I was single, had never been in a really deep relationship and was more interested in melodies and grooves than insight.  I recalling thinking that album was tuneless and a complete downer and I didn't listen to it for years afterwards.  I don't know where my head was all those years ago, because it's a killer album.  Part of the change probably has to do with the fact I've been married and divorced and experienced many of the same feelings.  Yeah, Gaye's self loathing and mean spirited rants aren't something to be proud of, but the album is simply packed with classic, if overlooked tracks and the grooves were there, though occasionally submerged in a jazzy atmosphere.  I was just to dumb to notice them the first time around.  Besides, how can you not laugh at a track with a title like 'A Funky Space Reincarnation', or smile at the funky workout 'Anger'.  Best description for this wonderful LP - the ultimate breakup album !


"Here My Dear" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Here, My Dear   (Marvin Gaye) 2:48

2.) I Met a Little Girl   (Marvin Gaye) 5:03

3.) When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You   (Marvin Gaye) 6:17

4.) Anger   (Ashby - Marvin Gaye) 4:04


(side 2)
1.) Is That Enough  (Marvin Gaye)  7:47

2.) Everybody Needs Love  (Townsend - Marvin Gaye) 5:48

3.) Time to Get It Together  (Marvin Gaye) 3:55


(side 3)

1.) Sparrow (Townsend - Marvin Gaye) 6:12

2.) Anna's Song  (Marvin Gaye) 5:56

3.) When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Instrumental)  (Marvin Gaye) 6:03


(side 4)
1.) A Funky Space Reincarnation  (Marvin Gaye) 8:18

2.) You Can Leave, But It's Going to Cost You  (Marvin Gaye) 5:32

3.) Falling in Love Again  (Marvin Gaye) 4:39

4.) When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Reprise)  (Marvin Gaye) 0:47





Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  In Our Lifetime?

Company: Tamla

Catalog:  T8-374 M1

Year: 1981

Country/State: Washington, D.C.

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD


Another chapter in Marvin Gaye's complicated life and occasionally torturous relationship with Motown ...  It's always struck me as somewhat of a miracle that Berry Gordy Jr. didn't fire Gaye in the wake of 1979's "Here My Dear".  Not only was that album a serious slap at Gordy's sister (then Gaye's ex-wife), but the album didn't sell squat.  In the wake of the album's release Gaye filed for bankruptcy; moved to Hawaii and spent several months living in a van.  Contemplating his next move Gaye's follow-on was originally intended to be a commercial party album tentatively entitled "Love Man".  Apparently most of the album was actually completed with Tamla releasing the single 'Ego Tripping Out' b/w 'Ego Tripping Out (instrumental)' (Tamla catalog number T 54305F).  Gaye then had a major change of heart fearing the album was too lightweight and started to re-record some of the material with a new focus on his religious beliefs (the track 'A Lover's Plea' was reworked into 'Praise').  In the meantime, increasingly frustrated with the delays and Gaye's ever more erratic behavior, Motown executives apparently ran out of patience and simply decided to cobble an album together without Gaye's active participation, or permission.  Gaye was understandably furious with the results.  As a result 1981's  "In Our Lifetime?" came off sounding like a compromise project that touched on both of Gaye's earlier concepts.   I'll readily admit that it took me awhile to warm up to this one.  The 'neither fish nor fowl' approach gave the album a strange vibe. Added to that the collection lacked a killer song.  On the other hand it was an album that's grown on me with multiple spins.  Gaye's instantly recognizable voice remained in good form throughout and tracks like 'Praise', 'Life Is For Learning' and 'Love Party' did have grooves - it just took a little time to discover them.   As can be seen by Neil Breeden's cover art and the eight songs, thematically the album was a mess reflecting Gaye's messy personal life which at that point included two ex-wives; child care payments; a nasty drug problem; money problems; a growing sense of isolation, and a record label that was about to dump his ass.  Judging by the bizarre 'Far Cry'  the fact Gaye managed to record anything was probably a minor miracle.  The fact that a couple of these songs were first rate ('Love Party' and the funky 'Heavy Love Affair') made for an even more impressive result.  Not one of his best, but weird enough to warrant the investment.


Tamla pulled two singles from the album:


- 'Praise' b/w 'Funk Me' (Tamla catalog number T 54322F)

- 'Heavy Love Affair' b/w 'Far Cry' (Tamla catalog number T 54326F)


Courtesy of YouTube, here's a European (Belgian?) television performance of 'Heavy Love Affair':



"In a Lifetime" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Praise

2.) Life Is For Learning

3.) Love Party

4.) Funk Me


(side 2)
1.) Far Cry

2.) Love Me Now or Love Me Later

3.) Heavy Love Affair

4.) In Our Lifetime


The album also marked the end of Gaye's longstanding relationship with Motown.  He subsequently signed with Columbia Records.