Friday, February 01, 2013

Marvin Gaye on a Friday

Smooth mood music. Marvin Gaye would be a reference footnote if smooth mood music had a wikipedia entry. I could write about Marvin Gaye every Friday. I owned multiple Marvin Gaye albums and collections that have disappeared after a few moves. Any other musician soar and crash as often as Gaye? Any that ended up murdered by his or her father? VH1 is a joke now, but when they still had cool specials they ran a "Legends" series with a special on Gaye. His journey in the industry as well as his success, sorrows and life being a mirror for the black cultural changes from his entry into the business in the early '60s to his death in the '80s is fascinating. A great focus in Gaye's work was to discuss sex as much as possible without being graphic or nasty about the subject. In the 1970s, Gaye could sing an entire album's worth of sexual songs without ever mentioning an act or even saying sex. When I think of how devolved R&B is, I can't help but think that there is a reactionary market for smooth R&B modeled after the music Gaye used to churn out.

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