December 17, 2008

Bedtime Music: Marvin Gaye - What's Going On/What's Happening, Brother

Tonight's male vocalist is Marvin Gaye with the first two tracks off his landmark 1971 album, What's Going On, with the title track and What's Happening, Brother. The song, What's Going On, and album are rightly considered to be among the very best of all time, with Rolling Stone ranking the title song the fourth greatest of all time and the album the sixth greatest.

What's interesting is that Motown's chief, Berry Gordy, originally tried to block the release of the single, which had been recorded before the remainder of the album, as he felt the song was too political for radio at the time and that the song would flop for being "uncommercial." When the single proved to be a best-seller, Gordy reversed himself and asked for the remainder of the album to be finished.

This live performance comes from the long out-of-circulation 1973 film,
Save The Children.

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