Marvin Gaye, real name Marvin Pentz Gay Jr, was an American singer-songwriter and singer who most contributed to the development of the legendary Motown label.
Singer who started his artistic career at the age of 4, singing in church accompanied by his father on the piano. A particularly precocious talent which is confirmed around the age of 11 when he is particularly noticed during a performance at his school. Then he joined the Randall Junior Hign School in which he would very quickly shine as a singer.
We find him from the year 1957 in the quartet The Marquees, a brief adventure that will produce only one record. Disc which will pass, moreover, completely unnoticed. The group quickly renamed itself Harvey and the New Moonglows after Harvey Fuqua took over the group. Adventure once again short-lived but which will at least allow the artist to appear for the first time as a full-fledged singer on the track "Mama Loocie".
Motown finally noticed him in the early 60s and signed him to the Tamla label. At first, he mainly gives in jazzy music and the cover of standards. He also took the opportunity to change his name by adding an ‘e’. Indeed, the various and varied jokes about his name Gay become unbearable and penalize him more and more at the career level.
The passage under label finally allows him to release his first solo title "Let your conscience be your guide" during the year 1961. Followed in the wake of the album "The soulful moods of Marvin Gaye". Two outings that will unfortunately go unnoticed.
The year 1962 indirectly brought him his first success thanks to the title "Beechwood 4-5789" which he co-wrote for the Marvelettes. His first real solo success came shortly after with the title "Stubborn kind of fellow". Title taken from the album of the same name which was released later in 1963.
His first classified album "How sweet it is to be loved by you" was released in 1965, an album which mainly produced the top hit "Try it baby". An exceptional year 1965 which saw him reach the top of the Charts for the first time with the titles "I’ll be doggone" and "Ain’t that peculiar", flagship titles taken from the album "Moods of Marvin Gaye".
It was the end of the decade that saw him reach new heights, first with the single "I heard it trough the grapewine" in 1968, a single which saw him first reach 1st place in the Charts. Then with the album "M.P.G.' in 1969, album which will be his biggest success of the decade and which produces the top hit «Too busy thinking about my baby ».
At the end of the 60s, he also formed a magical duo with singer Tammi Terrell, a duo that was to experience several big successes thanks to songs mostly written by Ashford & Simpson. Unfortunately, the great adventure will be short-lived because the singer is suffering from a brain tumor, at the beginning benign, but which will quickly degenerate and which will end up killing her in 1970. A drama which will deeply affect Gaye who will even think a time to put an end to his career.
After the time of mourning and pain, the singer goes back to work, a job that will bear fruit since he released the album "What's going on" in 1971. An album that will quite simply become his biggest success to date and notably produce the mega hit of the same name as the album.
The artist's success is such that he allows himself to renegotiate his contract with Motow on terms, and especially amounts, never before seen for a black artist.
A success that cannot be denied with the release in 1972 of the soundtrack album for the film Trouble man, followed in 1973 by the album "Let's get it on", an album of consecration which will sell for more than 3 million exemplary and which makes him one of the largest planetary phenomena of the moment. Album from which will be extracted one of the biggest hits of his career with the title of the name of the album.
New shocking and above all charming duo in 1974 with one of the biggest stars of the moment, Diana Ross on the album "Diana & Marvin". An improbable reunion of significantly different musical styles which will all the same produce several very large caliber titles. Once again with the help of another magical duo, Ashford & Simpson.
Back in solo in 1976 with the album "I want you" and new planetary success. Notably with the single which bears the name of the album. A year later in 1977, Gaye went on tour in Europe and performed on stage an unreleased record that would become one of the biggest hits of his entire discography, namely "Go to give it up".
The end of the 1970s saw the artist decline for one of his very first times. On the one hand by his increasingly important addiction to cocaine, on the other hand by an inspiration at half mast and to close the whole serious different financiers who oppose him to the American tax service. The album "Here, my dear", which was released in 1978, met with only moderate success, a first for him in years.
The early 80s saw him this time against Motown over his new album "In our lifetime ?», album which is remixed and released without his consent by the label. Album which, like its predecessor, was to meet with limited success after all.
We will have to wait for the year 1982 to see the artist make a sensational comeback on the front of the stage thanks to the album “Midnight love”, album which will sell more than 6 million copies worldwide and which will produce the biggest single of all the artist's discography, namely the enormous “Sexual healing”. A single that will be a worldwide hit and which remains to this day one of the most emblematic songs of the decade.
The album also produced 3 'minor' hits in 1983 with the singles "My love is waiting", "Till tomorrow" and "Joy".
A shattering return of short duration because the adventure will unfortunately turn into a drama the following year in 1984 when the singer is shot dead by his own father with a bullet in the heart after an altercation between the 2 men has gone wrong.
An adventure that will not be quite over since 1985 will see the release of a posthumous album "Dream of a lifetime", album which will be the artist's last major success. Album that will mainly produce the flagship single "Sanctified Lady".
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
Stubborn kind of fellow 1962
Hitch hike 1962
Pride and boy 1963
You’re a wonderful one 1964
Once upon a time 1964
Try it baby 1964
How sweet it is (To be loved by you) 1964
I’ll be doggone 1965
Ain’t that peculiar 1965
Little darling (I need you) 1966
It takes two 1966
Ain’t no mountain high enough 1967
Your precious love 1967
If I could build my whole world around you 1967
Ain’t nothing like the real thing 1968
You’re all I need to get by 1968
I heard it through the grapevine 1968
Too busy thinking about my baby 1969
That’s the way love is 1969
The onion song 1970
What's going on 1971
Mercy mercy me (The ecology) 1971
Inner city blues (Make me wanna holler) 1971
Trouble man 1972
Let's get it on 1973
Stop, look, listen (To your heart) 1973
Come get to this 1973
My mistake (Was to love you) 1974
You are everything 1974
I want you 1976
Got to give it up 1977
Pops, we love you (A tribute to father) 1978
Heavy love affair 1981
Sexual healing 1982
My love is waiting 1983
Sanctified lady 1985
It’s madness 1985
My last chance 1991
1962 ... the first steps of the man who will become one of the greatest American singers of the next 25 years. When we already see the level of talent, we imagine the rest
1962 ... now, it's an almost uninterrupted wave of top hits, and mega hits, which he will deliver for the next 25 years. Yes Yes, it's possible !
1963 ... everything is good, the style, the voice, the sound, nothing to throw away. Hence this incredible success that he will experience for decades and decades
1964 ... after a year 1963 slightly inward, the year 1964 promises to be auspicious. Starting with this title !
1964 ... he is as good in the Dance register as in the Intimist register, the mark of the greatest. Versatility that allows him to obtain its first global hit
1964 ... an exceptional year 1964 with a plethora of titles and above all a plethora of top hits. The singer is on a truly astounding upswing !
1964 ... a year 1964 which never ends and which ends in apotheosis with this new global mega hit. Barely 2 years of career and already the status of undisputed star
1965 ... he alternates plethora of years and more sober years. The year 1965 will rather belong to the second category ...
1965 ... even if the production of titles is smaller that year, this does not prevent the singer from recording a level of success which, for his part, does not weaken !
1966 ... a style with formidable efficiency and which hits the mark every time. But when the talent is there, everything follows !
1966 ... new duo of shock but above all of charm. The previous one was on an Intimist title, this one will be done in a much faster mode ...
1967 ... still in duo mode but this time with the one that will become more than precious for the artist. Unfortunately, a beautiful story that will have a sad end ...
1967 ... we find them in Intimist mode and whatever the register they have chosen, it is clear that it works very well !
1967 ... a year 1967 which will once again combine with 2. When the recipe works perfectly, why change it ...
1968 ... a perfectly functioning duo/couple who were promised a bright future. Unfortunately, when fate steps in ...
1968 ... another huge year with another plethora of titles and once again a plethora of successes. Whether alone or in pairs, success is always there !
1968 ... then THIS title comes ! We find the solo artist who takes here in a masterly way the title of Gladys Knight & the Pips dating from the previous year. He manages to deliver an even stronger version than the original and at the same time obtains the first mega hit of his career. MAS-TER-FUL !
1969 ... the end of the sixties which ended in style with this new mega hit. The singer is on an exceptional dynamic which sees him transform into gold everything he touches !
1969 ... a style that will have changed little during the whole decade but a style of formidable effectiveness given its level of success in the Charts !
1970 ... one of the last titles of the duo. The ruthless fate will unfortunately catch up with the young singer and forcibly remove her from her partner. A shock that will deeply affect and especially destabilize him...