What's going on?

What's Going On - album cover
In 1971 Marvin Gaye released his 11th album titled "What's Going On".

Before this album Marvin was singing songs written by the many songwriters of Motown. But the urge to start writing his own songs increased. A chance Motown didn’t offer to all of their artists. Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 left Motown for that reason to receive the freedom in writing their own material. Marvin just like Stevie Wonder were permitted by Motown to write their own songs.

He released 3 albums with Tammi Terrell that gave him many hits and this success ended when Tammi died of a brain tumor. Since then he refused to record any new music again and tried starting a career in American Football but that didn’t worked out. He came in contact with Al Cleveland and Renaldo Benson who were working on a political themed song called “What’s Going On”. Gaye wanted to produce the song for them under the name of The Originals but they incisted on doing the song himself.
Mercy, Mercy Me - 45 single
This led to a whole album which is very political, social and personal. Which can be considered unique for the Motown label. His brother served in the Vietnam war and send him letters about the situation there. It was a concept album about a Vietnam verteran returning home where he opened his eyes and sees what's happening in this world. Also awareness of ecological issues was promoted long before the whole world came aware of the effects of climate change.

The songs of the album follow each other non-stop to tell this story. His ultimate masterpiece.
What's Going On
What's Going On / What's Happening Brother /Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky) / Save the Children / God Is Love / Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) / Right On / Wholy Holy / Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) / God Is Love(Single Version) / Sad Tomorrows

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