Live! by Marvin Gaye

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Live! by Marvin Gaye
Live! by Marvin Gaye

Album Released: 1974

Live! ::: Artwork

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3.Trouble Man6:33
4.Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)3:23
5.Distant Lover6:20
7.Fossil Medley11:31
8.Let's Get It On4:49
9.What's Going On4:52


Marvin Gaye was not known for being a great live performer - he mugged for the crowd, substituted moans and ow!s for actual lyrics, and - on his final tours - spent a good portion of the concert stripped sweatily down to his britches, no matter how much Las Vegas paunch was hanging over his belt. Moreover, he didn't perform that often.

I think this 1974 show had been his first since - I dunno, 1969 or something - and he only performed sporadically until his 1982 tour. So it's easy to understand how Gaye might've had some cashflow issues around this time, without the easy money available from the tour circuit. (artists - especially Motown ones - hardly made anything on their record sales. Gaye only made much at all on his last three albums, where he collected songwriting royalties). All in all then, Motown artist + resistance to touring + coke habit + long recording sessions = one broke superstar.

So Live! was released to capitalize on what was a rare event - a Gaye live performance - and luckily with this one, they got a great one. Once he gets into his groove around track [3] - a chilling version of "Flyin' High (in the Friendly Sky)" (a CD bonus track, not on the original album - Editor) - he's about unstoppable.

A Marvin Gaye performance is a helluva lot closer to a dimly-lit bedsheet Tony Bennett concert (a great thing if you haven't seen one, and I'm being damned serious there), than the rocking blast of Otis Redding or James Brown. Gaye doesn't so much 'rock', as flit from one pillowy soft ballad to another. So yup - with the exception of the mashed potatoes funk version of "Inner City Blues" (only slightly marred by mic feedback problems), this is yet another sex-session, all the way from "Trouble Man" through to the surprisingly thrust-filled "Keep Gettin' It On" (another bonus track - Editor).

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by Reviewer: Capt Bonanza (blogging at Capn Marvel's Bonanza [Defunct])