Marvin Gaye 1970/1972


April 30, 1969
Recorded 1966-1968, Hitsville USA
Genre Soul, psychedelic soul, R&B
Length 36:15
Label Tamla
Producer Norman Whitfield
Marvin Gaye chronology
Marvin Gaye and His Girls
(1969) M.P.G.
(1969) Easy (with Tammi Terrell)
Singles from M.P.G.
“Too Busy Thinking About My Baby”
Released: April 1969
“That’s the Way Love Is”
Released: August 7, 1969
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone (favorable)
M.P.G. is the ninth studio album by Marvin Gaye, released in 1969 for the Tamla label. His best-selling album of the 1960s, it became Gaye’s first solo album to reach the Top 40 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart, peaking at #33, and also became his first #1 album on the Soul Albums Chart. Three top 40 hits were released from the album. The title matches the initials of Gaye’s full name, Marvin Pentz Gay.


Released May 21, 1971
Recorded June–September 1970; March–May 1971
Studio Hitsville U.S.A., Golden World, and United Sound Studios in Detroit and The Sound Factory in West Hollywood, California
Genre Soul, R&B
Length 35:38
Label Tamla
Producer Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye chronology
Super Hits
(1970) What’s Going On
(1971) Trouble Man
Singles from What’s Going On
“What’s Going On”
Released: January 20, 1971
“Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”
Released: June 10, 1971
“Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”
Released: September 1971
What’s Going On is the eleventh studio album by soul musician Marvin Gaye, released May 21, 1971, on the Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records. Recording sessions for the album took place in June 1970 and March–May 1971 at Hitsville U.S.A., Golden World and United Sound Studios in Detroit and at The Sound Factory in West Hollywood, California. What’s Going On was the first album on which Motown Records’ main studio band, the group of session musicians known as the Funk Brothers, received an official credit.

The first Marvin Gaye album credited as being produced by the artist himself, What’s Going On is a unified concept album consisting of nine songs, most of which lead into the next. It has also been categorized as a song cycle; the album ends on a reprise of the album’s opening theme. The album is told from the point of view of a Vietnam War veteran returning to the country he had been fighting for, and seeing only hatred, suffering, and injustice. Gaye’s introspective lyrics discuss themes of drug abuse, poverty, and the Vietnam War. He has also been credited with criticizing global warming before the public outcry against it had become prominent.

What’s Going On was an immediate success upon release, both commercially and critically. Having endured as a classic of 1970s soul, a deluxe edition set was released on February 27, 2001, and featured a rare recording of a May 1972 concert shot at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. Worldwide surveys of critics, musicians, and the general public have shown that What’s Going On is regarded as one of the landmark recordings in pop music history, and one of the greatest albums of the 20th century. The album was ranked number six both on Rolling Stone’s 2003 list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, and in the magazine’s update nine years later.

Released December 8, 1972
Recorded 1972
Studio Hitsville West
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genre Soul, funk, jazz
Length 38:25
Label Tamla
Producer Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye chronology
What’s Going On
(1971) Trouble Man
(1972) Let’s Get It On
Singles from Trouble Man
“Trouble Man”
Released: November 21, 1972
Trouble Man is a soundtrack and twelfth studio album by American soul singer Marvin Gaye, released on December 8, 1972, on Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records. As the soundtrack to the 1972 Blaxploitation film of the same name, the Trouble Man soundtrack was a more contemporary move for Gaye, following his landmark politically charged album What’s Going On.

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