Hello again good people and the bad ones too, I don’t discriminate! England beat the Ukraine last night, what a great result. But Gareth Barry was somewhat shite wasn’t he? Ooops sorry let’s get back to music, this is not a football (or soccer if you live across the big pond) blog. But Peter Crouch does do the Robot Dance as a goal celebration so I think I’m justified. If you want to do the Robot Dance click here
Let’s kick off with a birthday for 2nd April. I promised yesterday there would be more of the late great (welcome back l’s & g’s) Marvin Gaye and today there is. He would have reached the ripe old age of 70 today. I’ve enjoyed Marvin’s music since I first started collecting singles in 69/70. I bought a copy of the “Save The Children” single which was taken from his classic album “What’s Going On?” in about 1971. I then pooled all the spare cash I had and undoubtedly borrowed some from my folks too, because I had to have that album. I got it second hand and it cost me around £1.50 I think. It remains one of my favourite albums of all time. I hope everyone reading this owns a copy, if you don’t then why not? Go out and buy it right now and send photographic evidence which I will be happy to print here for you! I reckon in the UK you can buy the CD for around £5, so I’ll make you a deal. The person that comes up with the best way of making £5 from next to nothing, which does not include stealing, borrowing or begging will receive a copy of the CD. The judges decision will be final and if you’re outside the UK you will need to pay postage.If you don’t win just click here to buy it from Amazon! I think it’s a real shame that the message of this album is still so relevant today, almost 40 years after it was recorded. The planet is still dying and there is still more than enough war to go round.
Another Marvin favourite of mine is “Let’s Get It On“. The song itself is a classic and the album is damned good too. What really irks me though is that it is being used in a UK TV Advertising campaign for bloody pizza’s! That’s how you ruin the feel of such a great song in my opinion.
Marvin originally joined Motown as a session drummer after a stint with Doo Wop act the Moonglows. His drumming can be heard on many Motown hits, notably “Please Mr Postman” by the Marvelettes and the live version of Little Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips” Marvin’s first songwriting success also involved the Marvelettes, he co wrote their hit “Beechwood 45789“. Perhaps the biggest hit of his early Motown career was “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was originally recorded and taken into the US charts by Gladys Knight and the Pips. Click here for their version. I like both versions although I think Marvin’s just shades it for me. Marvin also recorded a number of duets with Tammi Terrell (discussed in a earlier post), Mary Wells, Kim Weston and Diana Ross. How many people know that Kim Weston also recorded a duet with my all time favourite black singer Mr Johnny Nash? It was in the late 60s and I used to have a copy on vinyl. does anyone else own it?
For me Marvin was never as good after he left Motown although the highlight of those post Motown years has to be “Sexual Healing” which incidentally has been covered by another one of my all time favourite artists, Kate Bush. Click here for her version of the song. Kate is currently getting the most searches from people who arrive at this very blog. More than 350 in total in just the last two days. As seems to be usual lately that includes two searches for Kate Bush naked!
And finally for you fact fans out there and those who know that I am a big fan of Stephen King, did you know that in King’s ‘The Dark Tower III: The Wastelands’ Jake’s father has a Marvin Gaye poster hanging in his study? well now you do!