Marvin Gaye, one of the biggest stars to come out of Motown Records, and who became one of the biggest R&B performers in American history, was shot killed by his father 30 years ago today, one day before his 45th birthday. At the time of his death, Gaye was in the midst of a serious comeback, as his career had stutter stepped for the past few years prior.
With electricity as a stage performer on par with the likes of James Brown and Michael Jackson, a consummate word and songsmith who penned and produced opposite spectrums of sound like the seminal urban awareness musical masterpiece “What’s Going On,” to being an absolute aural lothario and sexmeister with “Let’s Get it On,” the sheer power of the creative arcs of Marvin Gaye have stood the test of time and even broke new ground and shattered previous sonic conventions. Like a John Lennon in many ways, Gaye was never afraid to express himself wholeheartedly in his public guise, with his creative visions and his fearless confidence, which like Lennon, sometimes required all too unhealthy by-products to keep help manifesting that vision (drugs, etc.), but ultimately still became globally revered as a figurehead in his respective genres.
The Best of the 1970’s, part of The 20th Century Masters Millennium Collection, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00. (The CD is currently $6.77 and is an AutoRip, which means with the CD purchase you’ll also get a FREE MP3 download of the entire album.)
At first quick glance, with its garishly colored cover, replete with appropriate 70s-esque font and the silhouetted shot of bell-bottomed people “getting down,” one would think that this album spans the disco/kitschy end of the 1970’s spectrum, but not so with this collection. Spanning from 1970 (with Edwin Scott’s urgent, explosive plea for ending global combat with the funky “War”) to 1976 (Nice Guy Finishes First guitar virtuoso Peter Frampton doing the voice box vox on the pop classic “Show Me The Way”), The Best of the 70’s contains 12 songs that run the gamut that while were hits and remain for the most part radio and pop cultural classics, (Rod Stewart’s lovely and pendulum swing of folk and rock blends “Maggie May,” Three Dog Night’s anthemic “Joy to the World,” Southern Fried Rock with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” or the political yet accessible to all “Wild World” and “What’s Going On”, by Cat Stevens and Marvin Gaye respectively) are also finely crafted slices of a musical era where things were reflected by a time in history that was still hungover from the fallout of a 1960s that pushed and pushed and pushed. By the time most of these songs were released, those times were rife with a sort of a collective impotence, but the music retained and foraged a vitality that made it memorable and a perfect aural reflection of a decade that on the surface seemed carefree and innocuous, but in reality, was anything but. Kind of like the music.
Browse hundreds of albums on sale this month for only $5 each!
Rocker Lenny Kravitz has signed on to play Motown R&B singer Marvin Gaye in a biopic to be shot next year, reports Yahoo News. For Kravitz, who recently as of late began an acting career to go along with his successful rock and roll one with appearances in films like The Hunger Games, it marks his first leading role. Kravitz’s publicist reportedly confirmed the news on Tuesday.
The untitled film is to be directed by Julien Temple, who his best known for helming pictures (the Sex Pistols’ The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle) and music videos (Duran Duran, Judas Priest, Sade, The Kinks, David Bowie) during the early 1980s. Not much is known on the proposed film, except the fact that it’s mainly going to focus on Gaye’s life and era during the 1980s when he was battling inner demons and stinging addictions and trying to walk the tightrope with that and his career, which was in need of a comeback.