Back off, Robin Thicke
Despite being dead for absolutely ages now – shot by his own father no less – Marvin Gaye was back in the news last week after it transpired that the ever-so-catchy rape anthem Blurred Lines was fashioned entirely on Got to Give it Up. Guilty verdicts were decreed, money will be exchanging hands and the whole thing is completely ridiculous. If copying people becomes a crime, we’re all done for. Oasis will have to give all of their money to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones would spend their final years coughing up a fortune to long-forgotten blues singers, Bond films and Bourne films will glare at each other from across a lake, Bake Off will kiss its teeth when Sewing Bee walks into the room, Vic and Bob will be in debt to the tune of practically everything to Morcambe and Wise, as would Ant and Dec, almost every young columnist writing for a national paper would have to give at least half of their fee to Charlie Brooker or Caitlin Moran. We’re all basically an amalgamation of things we’ve seen other people do, like today for example, which finds me in a shirt that looks better on a communist, jeans lifted from old-time working men, trainers from sportsmen, and a beard and glasses that I once saw a media twonk sporting so thought “yeah I’ll have some of that”. There’s not even anything original about this paragraph, all of the words have been used before, I probably shoplifted the sentiment behind them from someone else’s brain. Anyway, this is a very strange opening paragraph for what’s about to come next, which is the ten best Marvin Gaye albums, in order of best to tenth best. Or if you’re Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams, these are the ones to avoid…
Here, My Dear
Not his most celebrated, but for me this is his best album. It was made during the breakdown of his marriage to Anna Gordy, and the whole thing is basically someone shouting fuck you! while inadvertently making great music.
What’s Going On
His masterpiece, there’s nothing to say about this record that hasn’t already been said. Um.
I Want You
Definitely the sexiest Marvin Gaye record of them all (which is saying something!) it’s impossible to listen to this from start to finish without someone getting pregnant or taking their trousers off and chucking them on the floor presumptuously.
Diana & Marvin
Literally the first soul record I ever bought, I found this down the Lovely Duets aisle at the local 99p shop. Trumps his great records with Mary Wells, Kim Weston and Tammi Terrell thanks to some sterling work from Mr Diana Ross.
That’s The Way Love Is
This is a rare example of one of his pre-What’s Going On albums sounding fresh and joyful despite presumably being made at knifepoint. Listen to Abraham, Martin and John.
Let’s Get It On
Two years after his forensic examination of society, Gaye decided to kiss goodbye to his political leanings and basically got his dick out on record.
Every 70s soul man worth his onions churned out at least one Blaxploitation score, and this was Marvin’s. One of the best of the lot, and that includes the soundtrack to Blacula, Blackenstein, Dr Black and Mr Hyde, and the Hunchblack of Notre Black.
In the Groove
Aka: the album with I Heard It Through the Grapevine on it. In turn the theme tune to a launderette strip tease ad from the 1980s that loosened everyone’s perms and stonewashed their jeans, if you know what I mean.
You’re All I Need (with Tammi Terrell)
During the mid-60s when longhairs, acid freaks and dope smokers ruled America, Marvin missed the bus completely and started making uplifting duets about the joys of dating.
In Our Lifetime
The final spot was either going to go to this album, or to Midnight Love which features his ode to bonking, Sexual Healing. This one nicked it on account of being a much much better record.