Marvin Gaye’s Early Hits Still Hit Home Runs
I had about an hour drive on I-75 last night, and after selecting a CD for the ride (and playing it at a far too loud volume), came to this conclusion:
It had been too doggone long, since I had played or heard, Marvin Gaye’s “doggone” song, and the other early 60’s classics. Hits like “Stubborn Kind of Fellow”, “Pride and Joy”, “Hitchhike”, “Ain’t That Peculiar”, “You’re A Wonderful One”, Marvin’s first hit duet, “It Takes Two”, with the great Kim Weston, and, yes, the Smokey Robinson written and produced “I’ll Be Doggone”.
Remarkable songs, sometimes over-looked in the rightful appreciation of “What’s Going On” and on through to “Sexual Healing”. But take another listen to the early Marvin Gaye “songbook”. From his use of his three-octave range, through the evolution of The Funk Brothers, to working with Motown’s writer/producers Mickey Stevenson, Holland-Dozier-Holland and Smokey; the results that came out of the”Snakepit”, were fabulous!
Conclusion? ANY Marvin is great Marvin. And maybe better, live. Check out Marvin’s medley on 1964’s “The T.A.M.I. Show”, with Darlene Love and The Blossoms and the “Wrecking Crew” house band.